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: DS8222P

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

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;


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


Identify and assess 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;


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


Source-based seminars, small group reflection, guided personal reflection. 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

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

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 - Class Participation 0 10.0
Learning Resource

Kit/resource for small group of adults

4000 50.0

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

Unit record last updated: 2020-09-18 09:28:31 +1000