This unit explores the art of engaging in Christian life and ministry with a contemplative awareness.
It will examine the Biblical, theological and practical foundations for a Christian contemplative spirituality and the implications of this posture of union with God for one’s personal life, relationships, ministry and involvement in wider society. Particular focus will be given to: The Biblical, theological and practical issues of reconciling one’s active and contemplative life with the personal and social dimensions of ministry; A theological understanding and critical engagement with the dynamics of forgiveness and reconciliation in ministry from a contemplative awareness; Spiritual and practical exercises to increase their awareness of being present to themselves, the Holy Spirit and to others.

Unit code: DS3205W

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Spirituality

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Articulate the Biblical and theological foundations for a contemplative spirituality in Christian life and ministry


Identify the challenges and resources to live with a contemplative awareness in daily life


Evaluate the effect of a contemplative practice and vision on a person’s engagement in ministry


Analyse their theological and practical understanding of forgiveness, reconciliation and non-violent social action for a particular cultural and social context


Critically self-evaluate their growth through personal and peer supervision

Unit sequence

18 Points in Field D


Lectures (pre-recorded and live), seminar discussions, workshops, student case studies and presentations

Indicative Bibliography

  • Armstrong, K. Twelve steps to a compassionate life. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
  • Barton, R.H. Invitation to Solitude and Silence. 2nd Edition. Downer’s Grove, IL: IVP, 2010.
  • Benner, D.G. Presence and Encounter. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos, 2014.
  • Benner, D.G. Desiring God’s Will. Downer’s Grove, IL: IVP, 2005.
  • Greenspan, M. Healing through the Dark Emotions. Boston, MA: Shambhala Pubs, 2003.
  • Laird, M. OSA. Into the Silent Land. New York: Oxford Press, 2006.
  • McHugh, Adam. The Listening Life. Downer's Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2015.
  • Newell, J.P. The Rebirthing of God. Woodstock, VT: SkyLight Paths Publ., 2014.
  • Palmer, P. A Hidden Wholeness. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2004.
  • Schreiter, R. The Ministry of Reconciliation. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1998.
  • Wink, W. The Powers that Be: Theology for a new millennium. New York: Doubleday 1998.
  • Worthington, E. Dimensions of forgiveness. Radnor, PA: Templeton, 1998.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Personal & Professional Evaluation

One Self-awareness report

1500 30.0
Case Study

One case study

1500 30.0

One Essay

2000 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 3 Sep, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-10-06 15:11:32 +1100