The three complementary units are situated in the following context: Australians are living longer and our society is an ageing one. The recently concluded Royal Commission indicates some of the challenges and complexities in providing effective care for older citizens. Ageing in Australia today has become an urgent and increasingly important public issue. There are political, social and economic costs associated with an ageing society that require strategic thinking. A Gospel perspective calls Christians to collaborate in the building of a just and compassionate society. At a time when older citizens are increasingly marginalised the theological and spiritual foundations of the journey into old age must be given greater attention.

This specific course unit takes up this context by focussing on the theological and spiritual foundations necessary for individual and societal flourishing.

Unit code: DT8632C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Moral Theology

Delivery Mode: Online

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate an understanding of human ageing from theological and spiritual perspectives;


Evaluate critically the range and variety of theological and spiritual approaches to human ageing;


Analyse the role and influence of theological and spiritual traditions in the lives of ageing believers and non-believers;


Formulate the contribution made by theological and spiritual understandings to the experience of human ageing.

Unit sequence

This unit is part of a suite of three integrated units: DT8632C, DT9631C and DT9633C


This unit is divided into three modules.

  • Module 1 Contexts for Ageing
  • Module 2 Key Issues in Ageing
  • Module 3 Implications of Ageing

  • each module involves two Saturdays of online sessions

  • each Saturday requires 4 hours synchronous online learning (10-12 noon, 2-4pm)

  • each Saturday requires performance of 4 hours of related asynchronous tasks

Indicative Bibliography

  • Ames, S. Finding the Way. A Theology of Ageing. Melbourne: Benetas, 2012.
  • Bianchi, E.C. Aging as a Spiritual Journey. Eugene, OR.: Wipf and Stock, 2011.
  • Dulin, R. Z. A Crown of Glory. A Biblical View of Aging. New York: Paulist Press, 1988.
  • Kimble, M.A., S.H. McFadden, J.W. Ellor, J.J. Seeber (ed.), Aging, Spirituality and Religion. A Handbook. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995.
  • Kimble, M.A., S.H. McFadden, J.W. Ellor, and J.J. Seeber, eds. Aging, Spirituality, and Religion. A Handbook. vol.2, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003.
  • Kitwood, T. Dementia Reconsidered. The Person Comes First. Buckingham: Open University Press, 1997.
  • Lange, F. de Loving Later Life: An Ethics of Aging. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2015.
  • MacKinlay, E. Spiritual Growth and Care in the Fourth Age of Life. London: Jessica Kingsley, 2006.
  • Richard, L.: “Aging: Setting Limits Within a Christian Vision: A Theology of the Paschal Mystery”, Journal of Religious Gerontology, 8:1(1991): 25-40.
  • Stoneking, K.G. Meador, D. Cloutier (ed.) Growing Old in Christ. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 2003.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay 1500 words

1500 25.0

Essay 1500 words

1500 25.0

Essay 3000 words

3000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 16 Aug, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-08-16 17:24:15 +1000