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DA1/8015S

Children and Families Ministry: Core Issues and Contextualities for Excellence in Practice

This unit examines the theological, developmental and methodological resources for contextual children and families ministries across the spectrum of Australian church based, community based and para-church expressions. Addressing the theology, spirituality and sociology of the child in relation to family, church, faith, culture, technology, history and philosophical discourse, the unit develops critical skills for evaluating and designing robust, contextual processes for discipleship, pastoral care, safe practice, mission and leadership with children and their families. 

Lecturer: Beth Barnett
Offered: Refer to Timetable
Also offered online DA1/8715S

Undergraduate: Level 1
Postgraduate: Level 8

Discipline: Theology: Mission and Ministry 

Prerequisites:
N/A


Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

Undergraduate:

  1. Outline major frameworks of child theology, theologies of children, child spirituality and theology for children in religious education.
  2. Articulate the interaction between child development, theology, social discourse and learning paradigms.
  3. Describe ecclesiological, missional, religious education and discipleship structures and evaluate the place of child within these.
  4. Articulate best practice procedures regarding protective behaviours to safeguard the welfare of children, practitioners and the community.
  5. Articulate different methodologies in ministry with children and their families.

Postgraduate:

  1. Outline major frameworks of child theology, theologies of children, child spirituality and theology for children in religious education.
  2. Articulate the interaction between child development, theology, social discourse and learning paradigms.
  3. Identify ecclesiological, missional, religious education and discipleship structures and evaluate the place of child within these.
  4. Identify and articulate best practice procedures regarding protective behaviours to safeguard the welfare of children, practitioners and the community.
  5. Critically evaluate different methodologies in ministry with children and their families.
  6. Integrate, in reflection and practice, theories of child spirituality, child theology and child development. 

Assessments:

Undergraduate

Literature review (1000 words)  25%
Journal Reflections (2 x 500 words) 25%
Quiz (500 words) (must pass) 10%
Essay (1500 words) 40%

Postgraduate

Literature review (1500 words)  25%
Journal Reflections (3 x 500 words) 25%
Quiz (500 words) (must pass) 10%
Essay (2500 words) 40%


Select Bibliography:

*Recommended reading

Barna, George. Transforming children into spiritual champions. Ventura: Regal, 2003. 
*Beckwith, Ivy. Postmodern children’s ministry: ministry to children in the 21st century. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. 
*Buckland, Ron. Perspectives on children and the Gospel: excellence in Ministry with children and their families. West Gosford, NSW: Scripture Union, 2001. 
Bunge, MJ. The Child in Christian Thought. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001. 
*Cupit, G. Children and Spirituality. Central Coast Business Centre, N.S.W. : Scripture Union Australia, 2005. 
Hay, David & Nye, Rebecca, The Spirit of the Child. London: Fount, 1998. 
Kociumbas, J. Australian Childhood; A History. St Leonards, N.S.W: Allen & Unwin, 1997. 
Medved, Michael and Dianne. Saving Childhood: Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence. Zondervan, 1998. 
Mercer, Joyce. Welcoming children: a practical theology of childhood. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2005. 
Stonehouse, C. Joining Children on the Spiritual Journey. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998.