This unit explores aspects of the nature and action of the church in its biblical, historical, and contemporary forms. Particular attention is paid to investigating the relationship between the Christian community and the kingdom of God, and to the ideas of the Church as a Body of Christ and as a People of God. It also attends to matters of the community’s various proclamation activities and asks how these relate to mission, worship, faith formation, and to the church’s life with and in the world today

Unit code: CT2020W

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Articulate a theology of the church, drawing upon both biblical and extra-biblical sources


Outline and discuss the key critical issues in theological debates about the nature, purposes, and practices of Christian communities


Critically appraise the idea of the ‘priesthood’ of all Christians and the nature of ‘ordained ministry’ in relation to the mission and life of God in the world


Evaluate, on theological criteria, a number of contemporary models of the church

Unit sequence

18 points in CT


Lectures, Seminars

Indicative Bibliography

  • Avis, Paul, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Ecclesiology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • Badcock, Gary D. The House Where God Lives: Renewing the Doctrine of the Church for Today. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2009.
  • Bender, Kimlyn J. and D. Stephen Long, eds. The T&T Clark Handbook of Ecclesiology. London: T&T Clark, 2020.
  • Colwell, John. Promise and Presence: An Exploration in Sacramental Theology. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2011.
  • Flett, John G. Apostolicity: The Ecumenical Question in World Christian Perspective. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2016.
  • Greggs, Tom. Dogmatic Ecclesiology, Volume 1: The Priestly Catholicity of the Church. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2019.
  • Hoekendijk, Johannes Christiaan. The Church Inside Out. Translated by Isaac C. Rottenberg. London: SCM Press, 1967.
  • Loos, Noel. White Christ Black Cross: The Emergence of a Black Church. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, 2007.
  • Root, Andrew. The Congregation in a Secular Age: Keeping Sacred Time against the Speed of Modern Life. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2021.
  • Sanneh, Lamin O. Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2009.
  • Ward, Pete. Liquid Ecclesiology: The Gospel and the Church. Leiden: Brill, 2017.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Variant 1

Seminar or Tutorial - Seminar Paper 800 25.0
Annotated Bibliography - Annotated Bibliography 1200 25.0
Essay - Essay 2500 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 15 Sep, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-15 15:27:20 +1000