This unit theologically explores the nature and practice of pastoral care in the context of dementia, palliative care and end-of-life care. Focused theological input, case study analysis, peer reflection and practitioner insight will engage participants as they review their own practice and develop their own theological frameworks. The unit will consider the social determinants of health in Australia today and critique individual and corporate pastoral care responses. Drawing on recent theological, spiritual care and healthcare literature, participants will consider what promotes health and spiritual wellbeing in the context of dementia and palliative care. This theoretical and practical exploration will assume a multidisciplinary and multi-faith environment of ethical care.

Unit Code: DP9029W

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Whitley College

Show when this Unit is running

Learning Outcomes


Describe and demonstrate an understanding of dementia and palliative care that engages theological, spiritual and pastoral perspectives.


Critique and evaluate their pastoral practice through sound theological reflection, case study methodology and integration of peer review.


Develop a theologically informed pastoral approach for care and support of people throughout the life-cycle, as they experience ageing themselves and support those who are ageing.


Articulate a clear understanding of the social determinants of health and spiritual wellbeing that respects and engages in dialogue with other relevant disciplines and faiths.


Articulate and theologically evaluate from within their pastoral practice, both individually and as a team-member, the major themes and insights of current research that lead to health-promoting pastoral care.

Unit sequence

This unit is an elective, building on the skills introduced in Foundational units of Pastoral Care. There is a pre-requisite 24 points in Field D.


This unit encourages students to engage with theoretical materials applying their theological understanding to lived experience. They are prompted to reflect weekly upon their readings, and to develop a link between a mini example and their theological frameworks. Through content delivery, theological reflection methods, case studies, practice exercises and assessment tools, learning opportunities will be offered.


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Portfolio (2000 words)

2000 30.0
Tutorial Paper

Tutorial Paper (2000 words)

2000 30.0

Essay (3000 words)

3000 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 17 Oct, 2018

Unit Record last updated: 2019-06-21 14:51:11 +1000