This unit will explore two important areas of understanding underpinning good pastoral practice: human development theory, and theological notions of the self. After exploring theories of human psychological development, the unit will explore how we come to understand the self within a pastoral setting. This will involve developing a theological understanding of the person within context: personal, familial, social and global. This unit will explore key concepts in developmental theory as well as selected theological works that bridge the gap between pastoral psychology and pastoral practice.

Unit Code: DP8001Y

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit Discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning Outcomes


Demonstrate an understanding of the main theories of and approaches to human development.


Compare and contrast selected theoretical positions (both theological and psychological) on human development and the theology of the self.


Identify key notions of the self within different social and cultural contexts.


Demonstrate an understanding of the place of human development theory, and a theological understanding of the self, within pastoral practice.


Formulate pastoral practice strategies with this understanding in mind.


Demonstrate how this understanding can apply in complex and challenging pastoral situations.


Lectures, seminars, tutorials


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Short essay focussing on the student demonstrating a clear understanding of human development theory. The essay may utilise both theory and case examples. (1500 words)

1500 20.0
Seminar or Tutorial

A seminar paper (written and presented) on one specific cultural understanding of the self (e.g., Vietnamese, Polynesian, Anglo-Celtic, Indian). (1500 words )

1500 20.0

An essay demonstrating how human development theory, and theological perspectives on the self, are relevant to a pastoral practice environment. The essay will refer to relevant theory and also utilise case study material to demonstrate a clear understanding of the material in the unit. Through an advanced understanding of theory, and a comprehension of complex case material, the student will demonstrate an advanced understanding of the significance of the unit’s focus to pastoral practice. (3000 words)

3000 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 31 Dec, 2015

Unit Record last updated: 2019-06-19 12:16:44 +1000