This unit explores a variety of approaches to and aspects of prayer, setting the discussion in historical and theological context; reflection on personal experience of prayer; practical exercises from a range of strategies for prayer; engagement intellectually with key writers from the Christian tradition. Particular attention will be paid to: the place of Scripture, the role of the community, meditative and contemplative traditions, ritual traditions, prayer in ordinary and extreme times, as a basis for action, and as a dimension of Australian experience.

Unit code: DS1222P

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Spirituality

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Articulate the place of personal prayer within the Christian tradition


Appreciate the significance of personal prayer for a life of public Christian Ministry


Identify key features of Christian styles of prayer and spirituality, including both apophatic and kataphatic approaches


Identify effective strategies for their own practice of personal prayer


Evaluate resources for fostering Christian prayer and spirituality against criteria of the Uniting Church’s Basis of Union;


Introduce at least one style of prayer and spirituality from the Christian tradition to other adults in a small group setting.


While historically grounded and theologically exploratory, each contributing to traditioning, the unit foregrounds practice and a practical task.

Indicative Bibliography

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practises that Transform Us, Rev ed. (Westmount, IL: IVP, 2015)
Mary Collins, Women at Prayer (New York: Crossroad, 1987)
Robert Ellsberg, ed., Modern Spiritual Masters (SERIES) (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1997-)
Arthur Holder, ed., The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005)
Gordon Mursell, ed., The Story of Christian Spirituality (London: Lion, 2014)
Joyce Rupp, Prayer. Maryknoll (N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2007)
Philip Sheldrake, ed., Traditions of Christian Spirituality (SERIES) (London: DLT, 1998-)
Gordon Wakefield, Groundwork in Christian Spirituality (Peterborough: Epworth, 2000)
Diana Villegas, The Christian Path in a Pluralistic World and the Study of Spirituality (Lanham, Md: Lexington Books, 2012)


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Journal 3000 40.0
Seminar or Tutorial 0 10.0
Learning Resource 3000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 18 Sep, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2021-07-13 16:27:22 +1000