This capstone learning experience requires students to undertake self-directed learning to address an issue (or issues) of pastoral ministry relating to today’s context. Students are required to choose a theme (or themes) specifically related to the contemporary practice of ministry in consultation with the lecturer and develop an appropriate methodology for investigation. The student will conduct a theological reflection on this theme (or themes) through engagement with methodologies and concepts from across different fields such as theology, biblical studies, spirituality, and also other non-theological fields where appropriate. The research will culminate with a presentation of key findings in a peer-engaged forum on how the issue (or issues) studied influences our understanding of the practice of pastoral ministry today.

Unit code: XS9904C

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Capstone

Unit discipline: Capstone Other S

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Choose and use relevant and appropriate theological and historical sources, formulations and/or practices to engage creatively with issues of significance in church and culture


Apply advanced critical thinking and hermeneutical skills to texts and contexts, with particular reference to the historical setting and reception of theological formulations


Critically analyse the relationship between issues of ‘pastoral practice’ (in general) in contemporary context and the fundamental dimensions of Christian pastoral practice in particular.


Construct a rigorous and integrated presentation of a capstone learning experience, using methodologies and scholarly style of the relevant disciplines.

Unit sequence

Unit may only be taken in the final two semesters of the Master of Pastoral Care course


The capstone learning experience requires students to undertake self-directed, multi-discipline, integrative and contextually-attuned study with the support of a supervisor.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Cameron, Helen, and Catherine Duce. Researching Practice in Ministry and Mission: A Companion. London: SCM, 2013.
  • Cameron, Helen, et al. Talking About God in Practice: Theological Action Research and Practical Theology. Norfolk: SCM, 2010.
  • Egan, Gerard. The Skilled Helper: A Problem-Management Approach to Helping, 11th ed. Belmont: Australia: Cengage, 2019.
  • Graham, Elaine L. Transforming Practice: Pastoral Theology in an Age of Uncertainty. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2002.
  • Graham, Elaine, et al. Theological Reflection: Methods. London: SCM, 2005.
  • Miller-McLemore, Bonnie J., ed. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Practical Theology. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.
  • Miller-McLemore, Bonnie J., ed. Christian Theology in Practice: Discovering a Discipline. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012.
  • O’Connell-Killen, Patricia, and John de Beer. The Art of Theological Reflection. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1994.
  • Rulla, Luigi M., Joyce Ridick, and Franco Imoda. Anthropology of the Christian Vocation. Vol. 2 of Existential Confirmation. Rome: Gregorian University Press, 1989.
  • Sperry, Len. Transforming Self and Community: Revisioning Pastoral Counselling and Spiritual Direction. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2002.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)


6000 80.0
Oral Presentation

20-minute presentation

1300 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Jul, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2019-09-09 08:48:42 +1000