(NAIITS Indigenous unit – open to Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants)

This capstone unit will provide students with the capacity to synthesise their learnings and understandings within their theological studies and Indigenous Knowledges. It will give students an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills to show competency in the areas of theology, Indigenous knowledge and research, the environment, history, languages and more through the development of an individual research project. Students will demonstrate an awareness of Indigenous research methods and protocols and consider the ethical considerations of working with their own communities and other Indigenous peoples, organisations and communities through their chosen project. Students will work in collaboration with a community of Australian and international Indigenous peoples to consolidate existing skills and knowledges with a view to applying these in culturally sensitive ways within theological and community settings.

The unit will draw upon the student’s theological studies across a range of disciplines, towards an integrated application in their own situation or community. The Capstone unit is undertaken within the final two semesters of a master’s degree. Indigenous Elders and community members will play an integral role in providing the cultural and educational frameworks for learning within this unit.

This unit needs to be taken in the final two semesters of the Masters award

Unit code: XX9975W

Unit status: Approved (Minor revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Capstone

Unit discipline: Capstone Other X

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Combine the various academic strands of their theological education in a comprehensive missional-theological framework.


Integrate their academic work with their sense of spiritual growth and calling to ministry by focusing on a self-designed project.


Research (biblically, theologically, historically, or culturally), reflect and present on a specific topic, which can serve the student’s ministry context or advance the student’s personal or professional goals.


Demonstrate the capacity to operate effective, ethical, and meaningful research relating to Indigenous theology, histories, and cultures


Demonstrate a high level of written communication skills including structuring and supporting an academic argument.

Unit sequence

Pre-requisites: Nil


Indigenous pedagogy and andragogy require space for the involvement of the whole community in the life of the student’s work within the capstone unit. Two oral presentations allow students the opportunity to have input and feedback that is cultural, intergenerational, and scholarly throughout all stages of their work, giving them the opportunity to develop work that is culturally and academically sound.

Contact: 6 hours meeting with supervisor + personal study hours + community seminars

Indicative Bibliography

  • Archibald, Jo-Ann, Jenny Lee-Morgan, and Jason De Santolo, eds. Decolonizing research: Indigenous storywork as methodology. London ZED Books Limited, 2019.
  • Brown, Leslie Allison, and Susan Strega. Research as Resistance, 2e: Revisiting Critical, Indigenous, and Anti-Oppressive Approaches. Toronto, Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2015.
  • Chilisa, Bagele. Indigenous research methodologies. London, Sage Publications, Incorporated, 2019.
  • Denzin, Norman K., Yvonna S. Lincoln, and Linda Tuhiwai Smith, eds. Handbook of critical and indigenous methodologies. London, Sage Publications, 2008.
  • Hokowhitu, Brendan, Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Linda Tuhiwai-Smith, Steve Larkin, Chris Andersen eds. Routledge Handbook of Critical Indigenous Studies. London, Taylor & Francis Limited, 2020.
  • Moreton-Robinson, Aileen, ed. Critical indigenous studies: Engagements in first world locations. Tucson, University of Arizona Press, 2016.
  • Muller, Lorraine. A theory for Indigenous Australian health and human service work: Connecting indigenous knowledge and practice. London, Routledge, 2020.
  • Restoule, Jean-Paul, Deborah McGregor, and Rochelle Johnston. Indigenous Research: Theories, Practices, and Relationships. Toronto: Canadian Scholars, 2018.
  • Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. London, Zed Books Ltd., 2013.
  • Smith, Linda Tuhiwai, Eve Tuck, K. Wayne Yang, and EBSCOhost. Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education: Mapping the Long View. New York: Taylor and Francis / Routledge, 2019.
  • Windchief, Sweeney, and Timothy San Pedro, eds. Applying Indigenous research methods: Storying with peoples and communities. London, Routledge, 2019.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Oral Presentation

Initial Project Proposal 15 minute presentation

1000 10.0

Written Project

6000 80.0
Oral Presentation

Final Project Presentation 15 minute presentation

1000 10.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 20 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-20 16:08:57 +1100