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Missional Discipleship after Christendom Seminar

Third level or capstone for undergraduates
Elective or capstone for postgraduates

Content: The missional church failed to make a significant impact in terms of:

  1. recovering the vitality of Christianity in post-secular Western contexts; and,
  2. reversing the numerical decline of church attendance in the post-Christian era.

A response to this: it has forgotten that mission is not a program; mission is what disciples generate within community, in response to Christ’s call to impact the world with good news. Dan Yarnell and Andrew Hardy (seminar presenters and authors of Missional Discipleship after Christendom, 2018) bring into clear focus the fruits of their practice, research and writing around:

  1.  missional church, and
  2. the centrality of discipleship in classical Christianity and contemporary Christian church.

The seminar will be coordinated by Stephen Curkpatrick and Andrew Menzies and can be taken as a unit of study for academic credit in the disciplines of Systematic Theology or Missiology in first semester 2019. Masters students may elect to use the seminar to meet the ‘Capstone’ requirement of their course structure. The assessment will be the same as described for a Supervised Reading Unit. Supervised research will be undertaken in order to identify and evaluate articulation of Christian presence by reference to scriptural and theological sources relating to Christian meaning, hope, responsibility, ethics and freedom expressed within Christian mission. This research will critically analyse criteria for evaluating Christian presence in relation to contemporary articulation of Christian meaning, hope, responsibility, ethics and freedom within human existence. Research will seek to demonstrate an understanding of hermeneutical issues arising in the communication interface between Christian faith and contemporary human experience and to demonstrate creative interpretation for understanding and articulating Christian presence within our time.

Learning objectives:

  • Demonstrate an informed, critical perspective on Missional Discipleship after Christendom
  • Engage with substantial recent and classical literature on this focus
  • Compose an extended argument relating to the field of conversation informing this focus
  • Describe how you could apply your conclusions in contemporary contexts
  • Integrate key aspects of your research essay with theological reflection in addressing a particular issue or theme
  • Use primary and secondary resources (print, electronic) accurately and in keeping with academic practice
  • Plan and produce a major essay demonstrating high levels of academic practice, integrative insight and pastoral application
  • Engage in informed theological reflection on issues arising from research
  • Demonstrate advanced skills in historical and exegetical analysis, in critical thinking and clear presentation, and in the use of primary and secondary (including electronic) sources


  • If taken as a Supervised Reading unit at least 54 points in second and third level units (for undergraduates) or 72 points in elective units (for postgraduates)
  • If taken as a Capstone 70% of the student’s course must be completed.


Primary* and further readings (Selected and supplemented according to the chosen discipline)

*Dan Yarnell & Andrew Hardy, Missional Discipleship after Christendom, Cascade, 2018.

Eagleton, T. Culture. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2016.

Jüngel, E. God as the Mystery of the World: On the Foundation of the Theology of the Crucified One in the Dispute Between Theism and Atheism, trans. Darrell L. Guder. Grand Rapids and Edinburgh: Eerdmans and T&T Clark, 1983.

Marsh, C. Christ in Focus: Radical Christocentrism in Christian Theology, London: SCM, 2005.

Martin, D. On Secularization: Towards a Revised General Theory. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005.

McGrath, A. Christianity’s Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution. New York: HarperOne, 2007.

Menzies, A. & Phelan, D. Kingdom Communities: Shining the light of Christ through faith, hope and love. Melbourne: Morning Star Press, 2018.

Scruton, R. Modern Culture, London: Bloomsbury, 2007.

Sensing, T. Qualitative Research: A Multi-Methods Approach to Projects for Doctor of Ministry Theses, Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2011.

Taylor, C. A Secular Age. Cambridge MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2007.

Taylor, C. Dilemmas and Connections: Selected Essays, Cambridge et. al.: Belknap Press, 2011.

Taylor, C. Modern Social Imaginaries, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2004.

Von Balthasar HU. Epilogue, trans. E.T. Oakes, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004.

Williams, R. The Edge of Words: God and the Habits of Language, London: Bloomsbury, 2014.