What ecclesiological resources do we have for transforming the culture of the church? How can we reclaim the church as a collaborative and vulnerable space? Can we build a church where the mission of serving the reign of God and the relationships of community are more important than the preservation of the institution? In the light of these questions, this unit examines the theology of the church grounded in Jesus’ preaching of God’s kingdom / reign and oriented to the mission of that kingdom. It will explore New Testament images and metaphors for the church and historical and contemporary models of church and mission. The ecclesiological documents of the Second Vatican Council will be assessed both for what they contribute to the quest for a humbler church and for what they fail to resolve.

Unit code: CT9016Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the Kingdom of God and the church


Critically evaluate a variety of theological approaches to church and mission


Critically evaluate the ecclesiological significance and contribution of Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes


Articulate a theology of the nature and mission of the church


Apply a theology of the church and its mission to a particular contemporary context

Unit sequence

One Foundational unit in both BN & CT


Lectures, tutorials, discussions

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bosch, David. Transforming Mission. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2011.
  • Dulles, Avery. Models of the Church. New York: Doubleday, 2002.
  • Fuellenbach, John. Church, Community for the Kingdom. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2002.
  • Gaillardetz, Richard R. Ecclesiology for a Global Church: a People Called and Sent. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2008.
  • Gaillardetz, Richard R., and Edward P. Hahnenberg. A Church With Open Doors: Catholic Ecclesiology for the Third Millenium. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical/ Michael Glazier, 2015.
  • Kasper, Walter. The Catholic Church. Nature, Reality and Mission. London: Bloomsbury/ T & T Clark, 2015.
  • Kung, Hans. The Church. London: Burns & Oates, 1967.
  • Lakeland, Paul. Church: Living Communion. Engaging Theology: Catholic Perspectives. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2009.
  • ———. A Council That Will Never End: Lumen Gentium and the Church Today. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical/ Michael Glazier, 2013.
  • Mannion, Gerard. Ecclesiology and Postmodernity. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical/ Michael Glazier, 2007.
  • Ogden, Steven. The Church, Authority and Foucault: Imagining the Church as an Open Space of Freedom. Abingdon, VA: Routledge, 2017.
  • Phan, Peter, ed. The Gift of the Church. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 2000.
  • Pickard, Stephen. Seeking the Church. An Introduction to Ecclesiology. London: SCM, 2012.
  • Tillard, Jean M. R. Church of Churches: The Ecclesiology of Communion. Translated by R.C. DePeaux. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1992.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Major Essay (3,000 words)

3000 50.0

Minor Essay (2000 words)

2000 25.0

Summative Essay (Reflection & Application) (2000 words)

2000 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000