According to some scholars there are more than 2,000 references to poverty and justice issues in the Bible, however the topic of poverty has had a history of neglect in many Protestant Christian traditions. In this unit students will explore the reasons for this omission and evaluate different ways of understanding poverty. Students will also explore empowering and sustainable means of addressing poverty in local, national and international contexts.

Unit code: DM2018W (Approved)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Missiology

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Describe problems associated with modern worldviews that are not holistic in relation to issues of poverty.


Articulate the meaning of transformational development and how it differs from previous understandings of the ways to address issues of poverty.


Communicate a holistic and comprehensive understanding of biblical teaching related to poverty and transformation.


Evaluate differences between healthy and unhealthy models of poverty alleviation.


Develop a contextually appropriate and empowering program for addressing issues of poverty that takes into consideration what this means for Christian witness.

Unit sequence

This unit can be taken as part of an undergraduate award. A prerequisite is a foundational unit in the Hebrew Bible or in the New Testament.


The ‘Circle of Courage’ framework will guide the delivery of this Unit where the teacher is a co-learner and facilitator and the whole class is involved in the process of teaching and learning. The Circle is made up of Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity and each of these components will be a part of the learning process.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Barker, Ash. Make Poverty Personal. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2009.
  • _______. Risky Compassion. Birmingham: Urban Life Together Publishing, 2014.
  • Christian, Jayakumar,God of the Empty-Handed. Rev. ed, Melbourne: Acorn Press, 2011.
  • Corbett, S. & B. Fikkert. When Helping Hurts. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2012.
  • Lupton, Robert, Toxic Charity. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2011.
  • Myers, Bryant, Walking with the Poor. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2016.
  • Payne, Ruby, De Vol, Philip, & Smith, Terri, Bridges Out of Poverty. Highlands, TX: aha! Process Inc., 2009.
  • Sider, Ron, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson, 2015.
  • Snyder, Howard, The Radical Wesley. Franklin: Seedbed Publishing, 2014.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Written Assessment Task: 1,500 words

1500 35.0
Critical Review

Critical Review : 1,000 words

1000 20.0
Oral Presentation

30 minute presentation: 2,000 words equivalent

2000 45.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2018

Unit record last updated: 2019-06-04 12:07:01 +1000