This unit focuses on the future of cities and competing visions for their projected futures. Biblical and theological understandings will be explored and used as lenses through which the city’s future can be envisaged. In particular, a biblical understanding of God’s ‘Shalom’ as this relates to people, society and broader creation will be described and used as a critical tool to discern factors that prevent Shalom from becoming a reality in urban neighbourhoods. Students will consider the theology and spirituality of ‘local urban places’ and explore strategies through which positive and hopeful change can be effected. Students will be encouraged to consider and envisage how God’s peace and reconciliation can be realised in the midst of urban conflict and suffering, unjust powers and vested interests.

Unit code: DM2022S (Approved)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Missiology

Proposing College: Stirling Theological College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Demonstrate a broad understanding of competing visions for the nature and character of ‘city’.


Articulate biblical and theological underpinnings for God’s Shalom and hope for cities.


Analyse contemporary theories of urban powers and principalities in cities and develop ways for models of ministries of justice and reconciliation to emerge.


Describe how Christians are reinterpreting ‘local place sharing’ as part of contemporary Christian discipleship and mission.


Demonstrate a theological and practice-oriented understanding of the unique role that Christian mission can play in the transformation of local places in cities.

Unit sequence

15 points in field D


classroom lectures, seminars and tutorials

Indicative Bibliography


  • Wright, NT. Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. New York: HarperOne, 2008.


  • Barker, Ash. Make Poverty Personal: Taking the poor as seriously as the Bible does. Grand Rapids, Baker, 2009.
  • Bernard, Daniel. City Impact: How to Unify, Empower and Mobilize God’s People to Transform Their Communities. Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 2004.
  • Conn, H. and M. Ortiz. Urban Ministry: The kingdom, the city and the people of God. Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity, 2001.
  • Cray, Graham. Disciples & Citizens: A Vision for Distinctive Living. Notingham: IVP, 2007.
  • Gornick, Mark R. To Live in Peace: Biblical Faith and the Changing Inner City. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.
  • Green, Laurie. Urban Ministry and the Kingdom of God. London: SPCK, 2003.
  • Hauerwas, Stanley, and Jean Vanier. Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2008.
  • Inge, John. A Christian Theology of Place: Explorations in Practical, Pastoral and Empirical Theology. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003.
  • Keller, Timothy. Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.
  • Lederach, John P. Reconcile: Conflict Transformation for Ordinary Christians. Harrisonburg: Herald Press, 2014.
  • Lupton, Robert D. Renewing the City: Reflections on Community Development and Urban Renewal. Downers Grove: IVP, 2005.
  • McKnight, Scot. A Fellowship of Differents: Showing the World God’s Design for Life Together. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014.
  • Sider, Ronald, J. Completely Pro-Life: Building a Consistent Stance on Abortion, The Family, Nuclear Weapons & the Poor. Downers Grove: IVP, 1987.
  • ------ Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2005.
  • Wright, Christopher J. H. Old Testament Ethics for the People of God. Leicester: InterVarsity, 2004.
  • Um, Stephen T & Justin Buzzard. Why Cities Matter: To God, the Culture, and the Church. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper

2,000 word tutorial paper

2000 40.0
Case Study

2,500 word case study

2500 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-06-04 13:42:49 +1000