This unit focuses on the undisputed letters of Paul and what they reveal to us about the apostle, his co-workers, his mission, the communities he addresses and his theology within the context of Second Temple Judaism and the first century Greco-Roman world. Insights to Paul’s strategies to build sustainable faith communities, support local leadership, expand broader networks and secure identity in Christ are explored. Relevant engagement with the disputed letters and the Acts of the Apostles will be made as appropriate. This unit will encourage theological discussion of the legacy of Paul for the church today.

Unit code: BN9200C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Critically evaluate the strategic methods employed by Paul in his correspondence as a means of building sustainable faith communities


Articulate the influence and rhetorical importance of the context of the letters to their meaning.


Critically analyse passages from Paul’s letters demonstrating competence in biblical interpretative and research methods


Formulate fresh theological insights for building, developing and strengthening identity, leadership, pastoral formation, evangelization in the life of the church today.


Research and critically assess passages or themes from the Letters of Paul in a rigorous and self-directed manner

Unit sequence

BS8001C and BS8002C or equivalent


Lectures and Focus Text Workshops

Indicative Bibliography

  • Ascough, Richard S., and Charles A. Cotton. Passionate Visionary: Leadership Lessons from the Apostle Paul. Peabody, MS: Hendrikson Publishers, 2006.
  • Bassler, Jouette M. Navigating Paul: An Introduction to Key Theological Concepts. London: Westminster John Knox, 2007.
  • Byrne, Brendan. Galatians and Romans. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2010.
  • Dunn, James D. G. The Theology of Paul the Apostle. London: T & T Clark, 2003.
  • Elliott, Neil, and Mark Reasoner, eds. Documents and Images for the Study of Paul. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011.
  • Harrill, J. Albert. Paul the Apostle: His Life and Legacy in their Roman Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Horrell, David G. An Introduction to the Study of Paul. 3rd ed. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.
  • Murphy-O'Connor, Jerome. Paul: His Story. Oxford: Oxford University, 2004.
  • Sampley, J. Paul, ed. Paul in the Greco-Roman World: A Handbook. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2003.
  • Wischmeyer, Oda, ed. Paul: Life Setting, Work, Letters. London: T & T Clark International, 2012.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Option 1: 1,000-word Report (Essay plan and bibliography) 10% Week 6 Outcome 5 6000 word essay (or equivalent assessment task, with permission of lecturer) 90% Week 14 Outcomes 1, 2, 3 4, 5


Option 2:
5000 word essay 75% Week 14 Outcomes 1, 2, 3 4, 5 2000 word report 25% Week 6 Outcomes 1, 2, 3 4

7000 100.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 20 Jul, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000