The unit invites students to consider issues and concerns in the theology and practice of ministry in contemporary Christian pastoral contexts. It will address the origins of Christian ministry in the Scriptures and the historical developments that have formed and informed the contemporary practice and theology of mission and ministry in both Catholic and ecumenical contexts. Ministry shapes the church but the church shapes ministry so we will examine the role that ecclesiology plays in the theology and practice of ministry. Lay and ordained ministry will be examined in the context of pastoral leadership and the necessity for a ministerial spirituality to sustain and develop the future shape of ecclesial ministry.

Unit code: DP9111Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Describe and analyse the development of Christian ministry over the centuries


Identify the different roles of lay and ordained ministry


Analyse relevant issues in contemporary pastoral leadership


Articulate a spirituality that will sustain those in ministry


Assess the importance of ecclesiology in developing a theology of ministry

Unit sequence

Undergraduate degree in theology or three foundational units in a postgraduate award


Required student reading, discussion, face to face learning and teaching, lecture and individual presentations

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bartlett, David. Ministry in the New Testament. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1993.
  • Bernier, Paul. Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 1992.
  • Catholics for Renewal. Getting back on Mission: Reforming our Church Together. Mulgrave: Garratt Publishing, 2019.
  • Gaillardetz, Richard R. Ecclesiology for a Global Church: a People Called and Sent. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2008.
  • Gula, Richard. Just Ministry: Professional Ethics for Pastoral Ministers Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2010.
  • Hoge, Dean R., and Jacqueline Wegner. Evolving Visions of the Priesthood: Changes from Vatican II to the Turn of the New Century. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press,
  • O’Meara, Thomas. Theology of Ministry. Revised Edition. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1999.
  • Martin, James. Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity. Revised and expanded edition. New York: HarperOne, 2018.
  • Osborne, Kenan B. Ministry: Lay Ministry in the Roman Catholic Church: Its History and Theology. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2003.
  • Sofield, Loughlan, and Carroll Juliano. Principled Ministry: A Guidebook for Catholic Church Leaders. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2011.
  • Wells, Samuel. Incarnational Ministry: Being with the Church. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2017.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Oral Presentation

Formative Assessment: Class presentation on a selected topic with a paper presented for assessment a week after presentation which includes both the presentation and the class feedback (2500 word paper and 1000 word class feedback) Learning outcomes will depend on the topic chosen by the student but must include learning outcomes 1 and 3

3500 50.0

Summative Assessment: 3500 word essay on either a stipulated topic or one chosen by the student in consultation with the lecturer

3500 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 1 Sep, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-01 15:40:20 +1000