This unit explores relationships between theology, pastoral practice and context. It aims to help students develop a reflective capacity in pastoral ministry that is grounded in the Christian tradition, and in particular Christian theology of the human person. Consideration will be given to such matters as: the distinctiveness of ‘pastoral’ care; the roles of prayer, scripture and Christian spirituality in pastoral care; attention to the socio-economic and cultural setting of pastoral care; and differences between various traditions of pastoral theology. Scope will be given for students to explore a range of contextual issues and questions in pastoral ministry.

Unit code: DP9509T

Unit status: Archived (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate an understanding of biblical and theological foundations of pastoral care.


Communicate a theology of the human person.


Articulate integrative connections between pastoral practice, theology, and context.


Critically evaluate various models of pastoral care in the light of pastoral practice.


Evaluate a ministry with respect to its integration of theology with pastoral practice.

Unit sequence

Foundation Unit in Field D


Web material for reading, tutorial discussions

Indicative Bibliography

  • Allain-Chapman, J. Resilient Pastors: The Role of Adversity in Healing and Growth. London: SPCK, 2012.
  • Burns, S. Pastoral Theology for Public Ministry. New York, NY: Church Publishing, 2015.
  • Doehring, C. The Practice of Pastoral Care: A Postmodern Approach. Louisville, TN: WJKP, 2006.
  • Dykstra, R., ed. Images of Pastoral Care: Classic Readings. St Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2004. (recommended for purchase)
  • Graham, E. Words Made Flesh: Essays in Pastoral and Practical Theology. London: SCM Press, 2009.
  • Gula, R.M. Just Ministry: Professional Ethics for Pastoral Ministers. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2006.
  • Kujawa-Holbrook, S. and K. Montagno, eds. Injustice and the Care of Souls: Taking Oppression Seriously in Pastoral Care. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010.
  • Lartey, E.Y. Pastoral Theology in an Intercultural World. Peterborough: Epworth Press, 2006. (recommended for purchase)
  • McGarrah Sharp, M. Misunderstanding Stories: Toward a Postcolonial Pastoral Theology. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2013.
  • Ramsey, N., ed. Pastoral Care and Counseling: Redefining the Paradigms. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2005.
  • Pattison, S. The Challenge of Practical Theology. London: Jessica Kingsley, 2007.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Book Review

Book Review 1,500 words

1500 20.0

Essay of 3000 words

3000 45.0

Essay of 2,500 words

2500 35.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 8 Oct, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000