This unit examines the theological, developmental and methodological resources for children and families ministries in varied contexts and across the spectrum of Australian church based, community based and para-church expressions, including age-sensitive and intergenerational settings. Addressing the theology, spirituality and sociology of the child in relation to family, church, faith, culture, technology, history and philosophical discourse, the unit develops critical skills for evaluating and designing robust, contextual processes for discipleship, pastoral care, safe practice, mission and leadership with children and their families.

Unit code: DP8100Z

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Delivery Mode: Mode determined at Scheduling

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College and Stirling College

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Learning outcomes


Compare and contrast the fields of child theology, theologies of child, child spirituality and theology for children in key faith formation contexts, such as Faith community, education, family, mission and welfare.


Analyse the interaction between child development, theological architecture, biblical texts, social discourse and faith formation praxes, interpreting these strands in their own context.


Evaluate the place, agency and needs of the child within ecclesiological, missional, faith formation and discipleship structures.


Identify and interpret complex risk factors and best practice procedures regarding protective behaviours to safeguard the welfare of children, practitioners and communities, and use this knowledge in analysing case studies.


Critique different methodologies and theologies in ministry with children and their families.


Integrate, in reflection and practice, theories of child spirituality, child theology and child development


Lectures, facilitated workshops, immersive classroom, reflective journaling, case studies.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Allen, Holly C., and Christine Lawton Ross. Intergenerational Christian Formation : Bringing the Whole Church Together in Ministry, Community and Worship. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2012.
  • Buckland, Ron. Perspectives on Children and the Gospel: Excellence in Ministry with Children and their Families. West Gosford, NSW: Scripture Union, 2001.
  • Bunge, Marcia J. The Child in Christian Thought. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001.
  • Csinos, David. A Gospel for All Ages: Teaching and Preaching with the Whole Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2022.
  • Espinoza, Benjamin D., James R. Estep, Jr., and Shirley Morgenthaler. Story, Formation, and Culture : From Theory to Practice in Ministry with Children. La Vergne: Pickwick Publications, 2018.
  • Jensen, David. Graced Vulnerability. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2005.
  • Kociumbas, Jan. Australian Childhood; A History. St Leonards, N.S.W : Allen & Unwin, 1997.
  • Lings, George, ed. Messy Church Theology: Exploring the Significance of Messy Church for the Wider Church. Abingdon: BRF, 2013.
  • Seibel, Cory. Engage All Generations: A Strategic Toolkit for Creating Intergenerational Faith Communities. Abilene, TX: Abilene Christian University Press, 2021.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Case Study

Small group investigation of a Duty of Care case study with class presentation

1000 10.0
Book Review

Book review on a text relating to theology of the child

1500 25.0

Three 500-word journal reflections on the 'World of the Child'

1500 25.0

Essay on core issues

3000 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 9 Sep, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-09 14:58:43 +1000