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The Inner Life of a Disciple of Christ

Second and third level unit for undergraduates
Elective Unit for postgraduates


This unit explores the qualities and dynamics that enliven and sustain the inner life of a Christian disciple in the world today. Based broadly on the ‘Lord’s Prayer’, this unit introduces crucial tools to help Christians follow the Spirit of Jesus in the world today.  More specifically, it examines issues such as: how to notice and discern the movement of God’s Spirit in daily life; the role of desire and vocation in living out God’s will; Christlike responses to temptation, trials and suffering; and fostering the reign of God in one’s personal life, ministry context and in the wider world.  It will also introduce various forms of prayer and resources to aid students in the deepening of their inner or spiritual life.

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

  1. Employ skills in theological reflection on their experiences with God in their current life and ministry context in the light of the Christian tradition;
  2. Analyse their experiences with God using the principles of spiritual discernment;
  3. Discern critical elements of their personal vocation or calling in the world and how this relates to the will of God;
  4. Evaluate specific factors that enhance or inhibit their growth as Christian disciples in their context;
  5. (level 3) Apply at least two prayer exercises to promote awareness and responsiveness in their spiritual life and those of their community;
  6. (postgraduate) Assess their development in discerning and actively responding to the Spirit of Jesus in the world.

: Tim McCowan

Pre-requisite: nil

Offered: online in first semester 2019


Undergraduate level 2:
3 x 500 word reflection papers 30%
Online engagement and participation (1500 words) 20%
One 1500 word essay 50%

Undergraduate level 3:
3 x 500 word reflection papers 30%
Online engagement and participation (1500 words) 20%
One 2000 word essay 50%

3 x 500 word reflection papers 30%
Online engagement and participation (1500 words) 20%
One 3,000 word essay 50%

Select Bibliography

Benner, D. Desiring God’s Will. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2005.
Campolo, A. and M. A. Darling. Connecting Like Jesus. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass, 2010.
Cassidy, S. Sharing the Darkness: The Spirituality of Caring, London: DLT, 1988.
Crossan, J. D. The Greatest Prayer. New York: HarperOne, 2010.
Newell, J. P. Echo of the Soul. Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publ., 2000.
Nouwen, H. Reaching Out. NY: Doubleday, 1975.
Palmer, P. Let Your Life Speak. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.
Palmer, P. The Active Life. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1990.
Silf, M. Taste and See: Adventuring into prayer. London: DLT, 1999.
Wink, W. The Powers that Be. New York: Galilee/ Doubleday, 1998.