This unit will address the changing context in which Catholic schools operate and the import this has for school leaders. It will focus on the centrality of ‘mission’ in a context where the historical partnership between family, school and parish has diminished. The unit will then address the need for openness to the Spirit as we re-contextualise by drawing on the wisdom of Tradition, Scripture, church and human experience as we negotiate the needs of an increasingly pluralist and multi-faith school community. It will also examine the responsibilities of those aspiring to or involved in leadership under the rubrics of educational, spiritual and managerial leadership.

Unit code: DR9663Y

Unit status: Approved (Minor revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Religious Education

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Analyse the signs of the times as they are reflected in the context of Catholic schools


Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of mission and its import for school leadership


Critically engage issues to which those in Catholic school leadership must attend


Evaluate the roles of Tradition, Scripture, church and human experience in the re-contextualisation of Catholic schools


Identify and describe the range of skills necessary for educational leadership

Unit sequence

No prior requirements, but the the equivalent of the Graduate Certificate in Teaching Religious Education (GCTRE) would be helpful and would also be counted in a recognition of prior learning.


Face to face teaching, discussion, and the use of LMS, video and online resources

Indicative Bibliography

  • Arbuckle, Gerard A. Intentional Faith Communities in Catholic Education: Challenge and Response. Strathfield: St Pauls, 2016.
  • Catholic Education Melbourne. Horizons of Hope Foundation Statement: Leadership in a Catholic School. Melbourne: MACS, 2016.
  • D’Orsa, Jim and Therese. Leading for Mission: Integrating Life, Culture and Faith in Catholic Education. The Broken Bay Institute Mission and Education Series. Mulgrave:
    Vaughan, 2013.
  • Doohan, Leonard. Spiritual Leadership: The Quest for Integrity. New York and Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 2007.
  • Door, Donal. Spirituality: Our Deepest Heart’s Desire. Dublin: Columba, 2008.
  • Duignan, Patrick. Educational Leadership: Together creating ethical learning environments. 2nd ed. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Grogan, Margaret, ed. The Jossey-Bass Reader on Educational Leadership. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, 2013.
  • Hession, Anne. Catholic Primary Religious Education in a Pluralist Environment. Dublin: Veritas, 2015.
  • Kouzes, James M., and Barry Z. Posner. Leadership Challenge. 7th ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2023.
  • Massaro, Thomas. Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.
  • Rymarz, Richard, and Paul Sharkey, eds. Moving from Theory to Practice: Religious Education in the Classroom. Mulgrave: Vaughan Publishing, 2019.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Paper of 3,000 words focussing on the place of ‘mission’ in a Catholic school

3000 40.0
Critical Review

Review and reflection on online learning day 1 (750 words)

750 10.0
Critical Review

Review and reflection on online learning day 1 (750 words)

750 10.0

Paper of 3,000 words focussing on the development of a vision for a Catholic school and a strategic plan to effect its implementation. This can be a paper, or an equivalent length presentation to the staff of a Catholic school. Alternatively, a topic chosen by the student may be approved after consultation.

3000 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 25 Sep, 2023

Unit record last updated: 2023-09-25 12:29:48 +1000