This unit teaches methods for the practice of pastoral and spiritual care through an examination of historical forms of praxis, including early Greek therapeutic schools of philosophy and current expressions of contextual reflective practice. The unit also introduces students to the basis, purpose, and methods of reflective practice for supervision.

Unit code: CT8472S

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Stirling College

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Learning outcomes


Explain the nature and scope of praxis methods as forms of theological reflection, identifying their main historical applications.


Critically assess the sources of praxis method including critical reasoning, experience, traditions and formative texts.


Evaluate the role of praxis method in reflective practice, professional supervision and personal spiritual formation.


Demonstrate the application of praxis method to the formation of a spiritual basis for vocation.


Apply praxis method in case study analysis to spiritual care practice.

Unit sequence

The unit is one of four foundational units required in the Master of Pastoral Care (Regulation 70)


Lectures and tutorial discussions provided face to face and online. Lectures will provide theory and tutorials will ground theory in application through Case Study analysis.

Indicative Bibliography

Boff, Clodovis (1987). Theology and Praxis: Epistemological Foundations. Eugene: Wipf and Stock.

Fook, Jan; Gardner, Fiona (2007). Practicing Critical Reflection: A resource handbook. New York: Open University Press.

Gardner, Fiona (2011). Critical Spirituality: A Holistic approach to contemporary practice. London: Ashgate.

Gordon, Tom; Kelly, Ewan; Mitchell, David (2011). Spiritual Care for Healthcare Professionals: Reflecting on clinical practice. London, Radcliffe Publishing.

Gutierrez, Gustavo (1974). A Theology of Liberation. London: SCM Press.

Hughes, William; Lavery, Jonathan; Doran, Katheryn (2010). Critical Thinking: An introduction to the basic skills (6th edition). New York: Broadview Press.

Macallan, Brian (2014). Postfoundationalist Reflections in Practical Theology: A framework for a discipline in flux. Eugene: Wipf & Stock.

Midgley, Mary (1984). Wickedness. London: Routledge.

Nussbaum, Martha C. (2009). The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Said, Edward W. (1978) Orientalism. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd.

Swinton, John; Mowat, Harriet (2006). Practical Theology and Qualitative Research. London: SCM Press.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Variant 1

Case Study - Case Study Report 1500 20.0
Annotated Bibliography - Annotated Bibliography 2500 30.0
Essay - Essay 4000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 21 Sep, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-21 19:21:08 +1000