This unit considers the life and written work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer who has been variously described as theologian, pastor, pastor-theologian, writer, activist, pacifist and martyr. In the face of such diversity we attend to the continuities in Bonhoeffer’s thought and practice. More specifically, this unit will posit a personal quest undertaken by Bonhoeffer to understand the plight of ego and power and their solution in the notion of freedom. Dietrich Bonhoeffer offers a notion of ministry practice and discipleship whereby the follower of Jesus can embrace undefended leadership, the appropriate use of power and a degree of self-determination.

Unit Code: DM9026S

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Missiology

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Stirling Theological College

Show when this Unit is running

Learning Outcomes


Use primary sources as tools for shaping contemporary ministry & mission practice.


Evaluate the impact that theological method can have on subsequent decision-making in real life contexts.


Analyse ways in which scholars have sought to understand and appropriate Bonhoeffer for today.


Critically explore Bonhoeffer’s life and thought in conversation with psychology and sociology.


Learn how best Bonhoeffer informs pastoral ministry and mission service for today.

Unit sequence

At least 30 points of Foundational Units including 15 points in Field D. This unit is primarily orientated to the professional theological development of a cohort representing alumni, ministry and Christian service vocations.


A combination of taught classes, group discussion, one-on-one conversation, and online interaction will be utilized throughout the course. The course will be taught as a seminar, meaning students will be given readings to summarize and present critical interactions with such readings in class, guided by the lecturer. Employing biography as theology, my own story of discipleship, being a pastor, activist and theologian will pepper the discussion especially as it pertains to ego and power in ministry and mission.


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Essay (biographical) (2500 words)

2500 30.0

Essay (topical) (3000 words)

3000 40.0

Essay (application) (2500 words)

2500 30.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 4 Sep, 2018

Unit Record last updated: 2019-06-07 08:34:06 +1000