This unit will examine the nature of the Church and its mission in the world. It will begin with a consideration of the nature of the kingdom of God as proclaimed by Jesus Christ, the foundation of the Church and the nature of the apostolic and sub-apostolic churches, their diversity and unity. The understanding of “communion” which emerges from this will be the basis for a study of the contemporary understanding of the nature and structure of the Church, local and universal: ordained ministry, episcopal collegiality, the service of the bishop of Rome (primacy, infallibility) and the teaching magisterium. This will be followed by an examination of the role of lay people in the Church, the place of the parish community, the nature of evangelisation and an examination of the Church in the modern world.
The historical background to the modern ecumenical movement and the involvement of the Roman Catholic Church will be studied as an introduction to the nature and principles of ecumenism. A principal focus will be on Vatican II and post-conciliar documents on ecumenism. Attention will be paid to theological convergence through bi-lateral and multi-lateral dialogues.

Unit Code: CT1001C

Points: 18.0

Unit Level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit Discipline: Systematic Theology

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning Outcomes


Present in written and oral form the essential dimensions of the Church as understood in Catholic theology.


Demonstrate with examples from Scripture and Tradition the Church’s understanding of itself throughout history in its teaching, life and worship.


Explain the necessary distinctions between the concepts of the Kingdom of God, the one Church of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church.


Demonstrate a knowledge of the history of the modern ecumenical movement and the Roman Catholic Church’s entry into that movement.


Identify and explain the Church’s teaching on Ecumenism in the documents of the magisterium, “Unitatis redintegratio” (1964), the “Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism” (1993) and the vision outlined in Pope John Paul II’s “Ut unum sint” (1995).

Unit sequence

One unit of Philosophy, Biblical Studies or Church History is recommended


Lectures and seminars


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Major essay (2000 words)

0 50.0
Seminar or Tutorial

Seminar Paper in Ecclesiology including oral presentation to class (500 words).

0 10.0
Seminar or Tutorial

Seminar Paper in Ecumenism including oral presentation to class (500 words)

0 10.0
Written Examination

One Hour written exam covering whole unit

0 30.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2013

Unit Record last updated: 2019-04-02 10:45:59 +1100