This unit will address the changing context in which Catholic schools operate and the import this has for school leaders. It will focus on the centrality of ‘mission’ in a context where the historical partnership between family, school and parish has diminished. The unit will then address the need for openness to the Spirit as we re-contextualise by drawing on the wisdom of Tradition, Scripture, church and human experience as we negotiate the needs of an increasingly pluralist school community. It will also examine the responsibilities of those aspiring to or involved in leadership under the rubrics of educational, spiritual and managerial leadership.

Unit code: DM9663Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Missiology

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Analyse the signs of the times as they are reflected in the context of Catholic schools


Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of mission and its import for school leadership


Critically engage issues to which those in Catholic school leadership must attend


Evaluate the roles of Tradition, Scripture, church and human experience in the re-contextualisation of Catholic schools


Identify and describe the range of skills necessary for educational leadership

Unit sequence

10 points of Scripture and 10 points of Systematic Theology or Education or religious Education (or equivalent)


Face to face teaching, discussion and the use of LMS, video and online resources

Indicative Bibliography

  • Arbuckle, Gerard A. Intentional Faith Communities in Catholic Education: Challenge and Response. Strathfield: St Pauls, 2016.
  • Calian, Carnegie Samuel. The Spirit-Driven Leader: Seven Keys to Succeeding Under Pressure. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2010.
  • D’Orsa, Jim and Therese. Leading for Mission: Integrating Life, Culture and Faith in Catholic Education. The Broken Bay Institute Mission and *Education Series. Mulgrave: Vaughan, 2013.
  • Daw, Joan. Young People, Faith and Social Justice. Box Hill: Yarra Institute Press, 2013.
  • Doohan, Leonard. Spiritual Leadership: The Quest for Integrity. New York and Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 2007.
  • Door, Donal. Spirituality: Our Deepest Heart’s Desire. Dublin: Columba, 2008.
  • Duignan, Patrick. Educational Leadership: Together creating ethical learning environments. 2nd ed. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Franchi, Leonardo and Stephen McKinney, eds. A Companion to Catholic Education. Leominster: Gracewing, 2011.
  • Grogan, Margaret, ed. The Jossey-Bass Reader on Educational Leadership. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, 2013.
  • Hession, Anne. Catholic Primary Religious Education in a Pluralist Environment. Dublin: Veritas, 2015.
  • Kouzes, James M., and Barry Z. Posner. Leadership Challenge. 3rd ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2002.
  • Massaro, Thomas. Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.
  • Rymarz, Richard, and Angelo Belmonte, eds. Religious Education in Australian Catholic Schools: Exploring the Landscape. Mulgrave: Vaughan Publishing, 2017.
  • Sipe, James W., and Don M. Frick. Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership: Practicing the Wisdom of Leading by Serving. Revised and Expanded Edition. New York and Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2015.
  • Church Documents on Catholic Education: 1965-2002. Strathfield: St Pauls, 2004.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Paper of 3,000 words focussing on the development of a vision for a Catholic school and a strategic plan to effect its implementation. This can be a paper, or an equivalent length presentation to the staff of a Catholic school. Alternatively, a topic chosen by the student may be approved after consultation.

3000 40.0

Paper of 3,000 words focussing on the place of ‘mission’ in a Catholic school

3000 40.0

Review and reflection on online learning day 2 (750 words)

750 10.0

Review and reflection on online learning day 1 (750 words)

750 10.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 31 Aug, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000