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The Triune God and Community Building

Foundational unit for postgraduates

Content: This unit will explore the nature of God as Triune and how this specific Christian testimony can shape a community, particularly in cities. This includes ways that the Triune God enables a sense of community where conflicts can be resolved and people can learn to live with others in healthy relationships.
The unit will also identify and discuss practices which help nurture such a community along with the unique role Christian leadership can play in various stages and phases of community building.

Learning outcomes: Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. Identify a number of ways the Triune God is understood in Christian tradition.
  2. Describe a number of metaphors and understandings about the Triune God which can inform and inspire Christian community.
  3. Articulate Christian presuppositions for community grounded in grace and generosity, and the way that such community is distinctive, yet applicable, to all humanity.
  4. Couple ideas about the Triune God to ways that Christians can live in healthy relationship with others.
  5. (Level 2) Evaluate different understandings of the distinct role Christian leaders can play in helping build a sense of community with others.
  6. (postgraduate) Critically reflect, theologically and personally, on the practice of community building.

 Pre-requisites: level one – nil; level two – 15 points in field C; postgraduate – nil.

Faculty: Brian Edgar

Offered: as an extensive 27 Sept (10.30am-8.00pm) 28 Sept (9.30am-5.30pm) then 30 Sept – 2 Oct (9.30am-5.30pm).

Venue: at UNOH Centre for Urban Mission: Factory 2/6-12 Airlie Ave, Dandenong.


Level 1 undergraduate Weighting Learning Outcomes  Assessed
One 1,500 word Tutorial Paper 40% 1-2
One 2,500 word Thematic Essay 60% 1-4
Level 2 undergraduate Weighting Learning Outcomes  Assessed
One 2,000 word Tutorial Paper 40% 1-2
One 2,500 word Thematic Essay 60% 1-5
postgraduate Weighting Learning Outcomes  Assessed
One 2,500 word Tutorial Paper 40% 1-2
One 3,500 word Thematic Essay 60% 1-6


Andrews, Dave. Compassionate Community Work: An Introductory Course for Christians. Carlisle: Piquant, 2006.
Barker, Ash. Slum Life Rising: How to Enflesh Hope Within a New Urban World. Melbourne, UNOH Publishing, 2012.
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Volume 5. Edited by Wayne Whitson Floyd, Jr. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005.
Edgar, Brian. The Message of the Trinity. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2005.
Franke, John R. Manifold Witness: The Plurality of Truth. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2009.
Halter, Hugh, and Matt Smay. The Tangible Kingdom: Creating Incarnational Community—the Posture and Practices of the Ancient Church Now. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008.
Moltmann, Jürgen. The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993
Pohl, Christine. Living Into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012
Sobrino, Jon. The Principle of Mercy: Taking the Crucified People from the Cross. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1992.
Sofield, Loughlan, Rosine Hammett, and Carroll Juliano. Building Community: Christian, Caring, Vital. Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 1998.
Tennent, Timothy. Theology in the Context of World Christianity: How the Global Church Is Influencing the Way We Think About and Discuss Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007.
Vanier, Jean. Community and Growth. London: St Pauls Publications, 1989.
Volf, Miroslav. Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996.
Wilson-Hartgrove, The Awakening of Hope: Why We Practice a Common Faith. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.