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Reflective Practice

This unit will encourage students to reflect theologically upon their practice of ministry. The actual ministry undertaken may be a student’s everyday employment, voluntary work, or a placement negotiated for the duration of the unit with an approved church or agency.
Through experiential methodology, students will identify issues, explore a variety of responses, and engage in critical reflection on the theological and pastoral dimensions of case studies from the diverse ministry settings of a peer group.
Key congregational and pastoral issues will be explored, e.g. leadership and character, addressing conflict, self-care, power dynamics, mentoring, vocational calling and mission.

Lecturer: Refer to Timetable
Offered: Refer to Timetable

Undergraduate: Level 2 & 3
Postgraduate: Level 9

Discipline: DP Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies  

Stirling Director of Supervised Field Education must approve all enrolments into this subject.

Learning Outcomes: 

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

  1. Exercise intentionality in ministry through goal setting, personal supervision and peer accountability
  2. Identify core aspects of their operational theology and ministry identity through case studies and reflection
  3. Critically evaluate a range of personal and institutional issues in ministry formation and practice.
  4. Articulate a reflective pastoral response to selected case studies.
  5. (postgraduates) Demonstrate an understanding of theological reflection as an individual and group task.


2 x 1000 word case study 60%
1 x 2000 word essay 40%

2 x 2000 word case studies 60%
1 x 2000 word essay 40%

Students will be expected to negotiate their own ministry placement and the content of their ministry practice. Guidelines for placements and protocols for maintaining logs, preparing serving-learning covenants, field reports, case-studies and essays are available from the co-ordinator.

Select Bibliography:

*Recommended reading

Kinast, R L Making faith-sense: Theological Reflection in everyday life. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1999
Kincaid, W B Finding Voice. How Theological Field Education Shapes Pastoral Identity. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2012
McAlpin, Kathleen Ministry That Transforms. A Contemplative Process of Theological Reflection. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2009.
Palmer, Parker J Let your life speak: Listening to the voice of Vocation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000
Paver, John E Theological Reflection and education for ministry: The search for integration in theology. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2006
Swetland, K L Facing messy stuff in the church: Case studies for pastors and congregations. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel, 2005