This unit examines the theological, developmental and methodological resources for contextual children and families ministries across the spectrum of Australian church based, community based and para-church expressions. Addressing the theology, spirituality and sociology of the child in relation to family, church, faith, culture, technology, history and philosophical discourse, the unit develops critical skills for evaluating and designing robust, contextual processes for discipleship, pastoral care, safe practice, mission and leadership with children and their families.

Unit code: DA1000P

Unit status: Approved (Minor revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Mission and Ministry

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Outline major frameworks of child theology, theologies of child, child spirituality and theology for children in religious education.


Articulate the interaction between child development, theology, social discourse and learning paradigms.


Identify ecclesiological, missional, religious education and discipleship structures and evaluate the place of child within these.


Identify and articulate best practice procedures regarding protective behaviors to safeguard the welfare of children, practitioners and the community.


Critically evaluate different methodologies in ministry with children and their families.


Lectures and tutorials reflective journaling plus attendance at annual Ministry To Children Conference

Indicative Bibliography

  • Barna, George. Transforming children into spiritual champions. Ventura: Regal, 2003.
  • Beckwith, Ivy. Postmodern children’s ministry: ministry to children in the 21st century. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. (recommended for purchase (depending on availability)
  • Buckland, Ron. Perspectives on children and the Gospel: excellence in Ministry with children and their families. West Gosford, NSW: Scripture Union, 2001. (recommended for purchase (depending on availability)
  • Bunge, MJ. The Child in Christian Thought. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.
  • Cupit, G. Children and Spirituality. Central Coast Business Centre, N.S.W. : Scripture Union Australia, 2005. (recommended for purchase (depending on availability)
  • Hay, David & Nye, Rebecca, The Spirit of the Child. London: Fount, 1998.
  • Kociumbas, J. Australian Childhood; A History. St Leonards, N.S.W : Allen & Unwin, 1997.
  • Medved, Michael and Dianne. Saving Childhood: Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence. Zondervan, 1998.
  • Mercer, Joyce. Welcoming children: a practical theology of childhood. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2005.
  • Stonehouse, C. Joining Children on the Spiritual Journey. Grand Rapids: Baker,1998.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Short Answer Tests

20 questions short-answer quiz on duty of care issues and safe practice (must pass). 500 word equivalent

500 10.0

Core Issues Essay 1000 words

1000 40.0
Book Review

Theology of Child literature review 1000 words

1000 30.0

‘World of the Child’ Observation Journal Reflections 2 x 500 words

1000 30.0

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

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-28 19:03:29 +1000