Christian initiation through baptism and confirmation is an insertion into Christ’s death and resurrection as well as an entry into the Church. With the help of Christian anthropological insights, this unit will look at the scriptural, patristic foundations of these sacraments and their historical development. The contemporary theological reflection and the significance of baptism and confirmation in daily faith living will be discussed as a translation of rituals into daily life of the believers. Besides examining Baptism and Confirmation, the unit investigates the way how the Church deals with sins committed by those who have already imitated Christ’s death in baptism through the Sacrament of Penance. The historical and pastoral approach will be employed in order to arrive at a comprehensive knowledge how the Church administers the forgiveness won by Christ. The unit concludes by addressing the pastoral questions posed by the revised rites and contemporary situations of the three sacraments.

Unit code: CT2131C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Demonstrate a capacity to understand and explain the terminologies and concepts of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Penance in contemporary reflection.


Formulate a developed understanding of the scriptural foundations of Baptism, Confirmation and Penance within the theological framework of these sacraments.


Situate the various aspects of the practice and theology of Baptism, Confirmation and Penance within an historical and cultural context.


Explain how a pastoral awareness enriches the theology of Baptism, Confirmation, and Penance.

Unit sequence

Prerequisites: CT1100C and CT1110C.


Learning consists of lectures/instructions with visual PowerPoint presentations, video clips, and occasional group discussions.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Chauvet, Louis-Marie. Symbol and Sacrament: A Sacramental Reinterpretation of Christian Existence. Translated by Patrick Madigan and Madeleine Beaumont. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1995.
  • Connolly, Hugh. The Irish Penitentials and Their Significance for the Sacrament of Penance Today. Blackrock: Four Courts Press, 1995.
  • Dallen, James. The Reconciling Community: The Rite of Penance. New York: Pueblo, 1986.
  • Irwin, Kevin. The Sacraments: Historical Foundations and Liturgical Theology. New York: Paulist Press, 2016.
  • Johnson, Maxwell E. The Rites of Christian Initiation: Their Evolution and Interpretation. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2007.
  • O'Loughlin, Frank. The Future of the Sacrament of Penance. Homebush: St Paul's Publication, 2007.
  • Stasiak, Kurt. Return to Grace: A Theology for Infant Baptism. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1996.
  • Turner, Paul. Confirmation: The Baby in Solomon’s Court. New York: Paulist Press, 1993.
  • Walsh, Liam. Sacraments of Initiation: A Theology of Life, Words and Rite. Chicago: Hillenbrand Books, 2011.
  • Wood, Susan K. One Baptism: Ecumenical Dimensions of the Doctrine of Baptism. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2009.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper

Tutorial paper 500 words

500 10.0

Essay 2,500 words

2500 55.0
Written Examination

1 ½ hour written exam

1500 35.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 13 Jun, 2023

Unit record last updated: 2023-06-13 16:32:25 +1000