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DA1/8015S.15

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

foundational unit for postgraduates

Content:
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.

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

  1. Outline major frameworks of child theology, theologies of child, 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 behaviors 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 (postgraduates)

Pre-requisites: none

Assessment:

for level 1 undergraduate
Theology of Child literature review (1000 words)  25%
‘World of the Child’ Observation Journal Reflections (2 x 500 words) 25%
20 question short-answer quiz on duty of care issues and safe practice (500 words) (must pass) 10%
Core Issues Essay (1500 words) 40%

for postgraduates
Theology of Child literature review (1500 words)  25%
‘World of the Child’ Observation Journal Reflections (3 x 500 words) 25%
20 question short-answer quiz on duty of care issues and safe practice (500 words) (must pass) 10%
Core Issues Essay (2500 words) 40%

Faculty: Beth Barnett

Offered: as an intensive in February 2016

Conference: Attendance at a Ministry with Children conference (e.g. the Generations Conference in Victoria) is required to meet the contact hours specified for this unit. For interstate students, attendance at an approved equivalent local conference can be substituted and the coursework reflection tasks undertaken  in that context. Approval for alternative conference attendance can be arranged through the lecturer (Beth Barnett)

Select bibliography:

* = recommended for purchase (depending on availability)

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.