Students in this unit will explore the principles and practice of church law in the Anglican Church of Australia, with particular reference to the law’s implications for church governance at the national, diocesan and parish levels.

Unit code: DC3000T

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Canon Law

Delivery Mode: Intensive

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning outcomes


Explain the theological concepts upon which church law is based.


Describe the adoption of English canon law into the Anglican Church of Australia and its subsequent development at national and diocesan levels.


Apply church law to one or more chosen fact situations and critically evaluate its effects and implications.


Critically evaluate the existing body of Anglican church law in Australia at national and diocesan levels, in particular as it relates to: the governance of dioceses ; the governance of parishes; the conduct of worship: the maintenance of professional standards; and the status, role, responsibilities and discipline of the clergy

Unit sequence

No prerequisites. Experience in parish ministry desired.


The unit will be taught in seminars held in two 3 day intensive sessions. Students will be required to engage actively in discussion and identification of issues, drawing on their own experiences.

Indicative Bibliography

The Anglican Church of Australia The Constitution, Canons and Rules of General Synod, 2014

The Anglican Church of Australia The Constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia and General Synod canons: and

Avis, Paul D. L The Anglican Understanding of the Church, SPCK Publishing, 2000

Billings, Bradly S The Parish Council Handbook, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, 2017

Billings, Bradly S. A Pastoral Handbook for Anglicans: Guidelines and Resources for Pastoral Ministry, Broughton Publishing, Sydney, 2018

Briden, Timothy (ed.) Moore’s Introduction to English Canon Law, 4th ed., Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013

Church of England 1603/04 Canons of the Church of England

Davis, John Australian Anglicans and their Constitution, Acorn Press Canberra, 1993

Hardy, Daniel ‘Goodness in History: Law, Religion and Christian Faith’; ‘Developing Anglican Polity’ and ‘Dimensions of Anglican Polity’ in idem., Finding the Church, London: SCM Press, 2001

Hooker Richard The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, 1594-97


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Case Study 1250 30.0
Critical Review 1250 30.0
Essay 2500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 6 Oct, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-10-06 15:13:45 +1100