Enhancing Catholic Institutional Identity

crosslisted as DR9011C

Dr Paul Sharkey
Semester 1, 2019
Face-to-face (Thursday/Friday): 7, 8 March; 16, 17 May
9.00am – 4.00pm
 Online Learning: 12-hours equivalent

This unit introduces learners to the theological foundations, empirical frameworks, and pedagogical perspectives of the Enhancing Catholic School Identity (ECSI) approach to the mission of church schools. A survey of relevant demographic and cultural trends in Australia will help to identify key factors affecting the transmission of religious identification and personal faith formation. In this context, the key insights of Vatican II’s theology of revelation, faith, and the person in relation to God and others will be explored. The empirical-theoretical instruments offered by the ECSI resources will be critically engaged with as a valuable tool for Catholic communities to respond intentionally and strategically to the challenges of faith formation in our context. We will examine the hermeneutical pedagogies and learning encounters called for by the revelatory dialogue with humanity initiated by God in and through the church in its missional agencies, and most clearly manifested in the person and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Census Date

Friday 29 March


St Francis Xavier College, 4 Beaconsfield Avenue, Beaconsfield 


BS8600C and CT8605C or equivalent


mixed mode: four days face-to-face (9.00am – 4.00pm), plus
online learning: 12 hours equivalent


one 1,000-word report on pre-reading   20%
one 2,000-word directed reflection portfolio   30%
one 3,000 word essay   50%


  • Arbuckle, Gerald. International Faith Communities in Catholic Education: Challenge and Response. Educating Hearts 1. Strathfield: St Pauls, 2016.
  • Boeve, Lieven. Theology at the Crossroads of University. Church and Society: Dialogue, Difference and Catholic Identity. London: Bloomsbury T. and T. Clark, 2016. 
  • Dixon, Robert E. The Catholic Community in Australia. Edited by Phillip J. Hughes. Australia’s Religious Communities. Adelaide: Openbook Publishers, 2005. 
  • Dumais, Marcel. After Emmaus: Biblical Models for the New Evangelization. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2014.
  • Hughes, Philip, ed. Charting the Faith of Australians: Thirty Years in the Christian Research Association. Nunawading: Christian Research Association, 2016.
  • Lombaerts, Herman, and Didier Pollefeyt, eds. Hermeneutics and Religious Education. Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniesium 180. Leuven: Peeters, 2004. 
  • Pollefeyt, Didier, and Jan Bouwens. Identity in Dialogue: Assessing and Enhancing Catholic School Identity: Research Methodology and Research Results in Catholic Schools in Victoria, Australia. Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2014.
  • Rausch, Thomas P. This is Our Faith: An Introduction to Catholicism. New York: Paulist Press, 2014. 
  • Sharkey, Paul. Educators Guide to Catholic Identity. Mulgrave: Vaughan Publishing, 2015.