Master's Capstone Unit: Pastoral Ministry Today


Mr Christopher Morris (coordinator)
Semesters 1 or 2, 2020
days and times to be negotiated
This capstone learning experience requires students to undertake self-directed learning to address an issue (or issues) of pastoral ministry relating to today’s context. Students are required to choose a theme (or themes) specifically related to the contemporary practice of ministry in consultation with the lecturer and develop an appropriate methodology for investigation. The student will conduct a theological reflection on this theme (or themes) through engagement with methodologies and concepts from across different fields such as theology, biblical studies, spirituality, and also other non-theological fields where appropriate. The research will culminate with a presentation of key findings in a peer-engaged forum on how the issue (or issues) studied influences our understanding of the practice of pastoral ministry today.

Census Date

  • Semester 1: Tuesday 17 March 
  • Semester 2: Tuesday 18 August


may only be taken in the final two semesters of the Master of Pastoral Care.


individual and guided research. Students may take lectures and seminars from relevant units on offer including those from other colleges of the university.


  • one 6,000-word essay 80%
  • one 20-minute presentation (1,300 words) 20%


  • Cameron, Helen, et al. Talking About God in Practice: Theological Action Research and Practical Theology. Norfolk: SCM, 2010.
  • Egan, Gerard, and Robert Reese. The Skilled Helper: A Problem-Management and Opportunity-Development Approach to Helping. 11th ed. Belmont: Cengage, 2019.
  • Graham, Elaine L. Transforming Practice: Pastoral Theology in an Age of Uncertainty. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2002.
  • Graham, Elaine L., Heather Walton and Frances Ward. Theological Reflection: Methods. 2nd ed. London: SCM, 2019.
  • Miller-McLemore, Bonnie J., ed. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Practical Theology. Wiley-Blackwell Companions to Religion. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.
  • ‒‒‒. Christian Theology in Practice: Discovering a Discipline. Grand Rapids, MN: W. B. Eerdmans, 2012.
  • O’Connell-Killen, Patricia., and John de Beer. The Art of Theological Reflection. New York: Crossroad, 1994.
  • Rulla, Luigi M., Joyce Ridick, and Franco Imoda. Existential Confirmation. Vol. 2, Anthropology of the Christian Vocation. Rome: Gregorian University Press, 1989.
  • Sperry, Len. Transforming Self and Community: Revisioning Pastoral Counselling and Spiritual Direction. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2002.