This unit provides a framework for reflection, action and learning in the ministry of supervision. It seeks to equip practicing pastors to work as supervisors for ordination candidates and ministers-in-formation. The theory and practice of supervision will be explored through group work and theoretical input. The distinctives of supervision alongside other mentoring, coaching and accountability processes will be considered. Theoretical input will address issues of goal setting, case studies and evaluation, developing feedback and intervention skills, ethics and duty of care, intercultural dynamics in supervision, along with an introduction to key psychological aspects including projection, transference and power in supervision.

Unit code: DP9077W

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate an understanding of the frameworks and skills for pastoral supervisory practice;


Critically consider the structure and theological basis for supervision for ordination candidates.


Evaluate contexts and experiences of ministry and formation in terms of the ethical and duty of care principles, including the principles of evaluation and feedback in supervision;


Critically examine the dynamics of power in the supervisory relationship and implement this understanding in providing a safe and ethical pastoral practice of supervision;


Integrate their theological understanding with their supervision praxis

Unit sequence

Students will have successfully completed Supervised. Theological Field Education (DP9067 and DP9069) in an award. In addition, they will need to complete an application form and be interviewed and approved for acceptance into the program by the lecturer of Field Education.


A combination of lectures, seminar papers and case study presentations will be used. Students will reflect upon ministry experiences, and examine documents that pertain to ethical supervisory practice. A combination of group work and triads will seek to apply the learning within the class context.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Graham, Elaine, Heather Walton, and Frances Ward. Theological Reflection: Methods. London: SCM Press, 2005.
  • Hawkins, Peter, and Robin Shohet. Supervision in the Helping Professions. 2nd ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2000.
  • Johnson, Abigail, Shaping Spiritual Leaders: Supervision and formation in Congregations. Herndon, VA: Alban Institute, 2007.
  • Kinast, Robert L. Let Ministry Teach: A Guide to Theological Reflection. Collegeville Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1996.
  • Leach, Jane & Patterson, Michael. Pastoral Supervision: A handbook. London: SCM Press, 2010
  • Paver, John E. Theological Reflection and Education for Ministry: The Search for Integration in Theology. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2006.
  • Pohly, Kenneth. Transforming the Rough Places: The Ministry of Supervision. 2nd ed. Franklin, Tennessee: Providence House Publishers, 2001.
  • Pyle, William and Mary Alice Seals, eds. Experiencing Ministry Supervision: A Field-Based Approach. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1995.
  • Shohet, Robyn.ed. Passionate Supervision. London, Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Pub, 2008
  • Swift, Christopher, Cobb, Mark, Todd, Andrew. A Handbook of chaplaincy studies: understanding spiritual care in public places. Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2015.
  • Thompson, Judith, Stephen Pattison, and Ross Thompson. SCM Study Guide to Theological Reflection. London: SCM Press, 2008.
  • Ward, Frances. Lifelong Learning: Theological Education and Supervision. London: SCM Press, 2005.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay 3000 words

3000 40.0
Seminar or Tutorial

Seminar Paper 2000 words

2000 20.0
Case Study

Case study 1000 Words

1000 13.3
Case Study

Case study 1000 Words

1000 13.3
Case Study

Case study 1000 Words

1000 13.4

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2019-10-21 09:30:21 +1100