Research Methodologies


Prof. John McDowell (coordinator)
Semester 1, 2019
face-to-face and online:
Wednesday 6.00pm — 9.00pm

This unit introduces students to contemporary approaches to qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, with a particular focus on those that are most often used in research in areas of theology and ministry. It provides students with tools to select and apply those methodologies in the formulation of a research proposal. The unit outlines the methodological challenges, hermeneutical questions, and new directions for recent theological research, and the responses across various disciplines to those new developments. Students will be introduced to the skills, competencies and technical methods that are needed to conduct and present high quality research, including identifying a research topic, citation and bibliographical protocols, and obtaining ethics clearances.

Census Date

Tuesday 19 March 




3 hours per week


one 1,000-word review article   20%
one 5,000-word research essay   80%

Recommended Texts

  • Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. 3rd ed. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2008.
  • Turabian, Kate L.  A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. Revised by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and the University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff. 9th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018.


  • Abraham, William. Canon and Criterion in Theology: From the Fathers to Feminism. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002.
  • Fink, Arlene. Conducting Research Literature Reviews: From the Internet to the Paper. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2010.
  • Lonergan, Bernard. Method in Theology. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.
  • Mueller, John J. What Are They Saying About Theological Method? New York: Paulist Press, 1984.
  • Ricoeur, Paul. Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences: Essays on Language, Action, and Interpretation. Edited and translated by John B. Thompson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981.
  • Ruether, Rosemary R., ed. Feminist Theologies: Legacy and Prospect. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007.
  • Swinton, John, and Harriet Mowat. Practical Theology and Qualitative Research. London: SCM Press, 2006.
  • Whitehead, James, and Evelyn Whitehead. Method in Ministry: Theological Reflection and Christian Ministry. Rev. ed. Kansas City: Sheed & Ward, 1995.
  • Yaghjian, Lucretia. Writing Theology Well: A Rhetoric for Theological and Biblical Writers. New York: Continuum, 2006.