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Supervised Ministry Immersion

Second or third level unit for undergraduates
Elective unit for postgraduates

Through a two-week supervised field trip in a cross-cultural context, participants will engage with the art and challenges of Christian mission and ministry in the globalised twenty-first century.  Students will explore ways of expressing Christian faith through ministry and mission by living in a contemporary missional context. Through a combination of readings and filed notes students will critically reflect upon issues such as: contextualisation and incarnation; cross-cultural communication; wholistic mission; justice; poverty and systemic evil; globalisation; pluralism and inter-religious engagement.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate sensitivity towards and a willingness to learn from and dialogue with those of other cultures, traditions, faiths and backgrounds.
  2. Articulate key critical issues that impact on cross-cultural ministry.
  3. Describe, illustrate and critically review a variety of ministry responses to those key issues
  4. Demonstrate the capacity for self-evaluation and spiritual growth through theological reflection upon their practice of ministry.
  5. (and at third level) Evaluate theologically and pastorally the missional approach of a chosen cross-cultural ministry context.
  6. (and for postgraduates) Articulate and evaluate their developing theology of ministry in the light of their field experience

 A foundational (level 8) unit in Biblical Studies.
Although lecturers may vary pre-requisites – see special note (1) below.

Special note (1) regarding admission: the lecturers’ approval is required for admission to this unit. Before giving their approval, the lecturers may ask for an interview or a written application and the nomination of two referees. Lecturers can only grant admission to the unit if they believe the applicant will be sensitive to the people and the environment encountered during the field trip and, further, that the applicant is willing to participate appropriately in the Christian mission that will be experienced during the field trip.

Special note (2) regarding admission: The number of students able to be reasonably facilitated by the mission visited during the field trip will be limited. Hence, the number of students admitted to this unit will be capped.

Special note (3) regarding cost: the cost of the field trip is separate to, and above the normal cost of a University of Divinity 15 point unit of study. Payment of a $200.00 deposit for the two-week field trip is required when enrolling.

Mode of Teaching:

  • Intensive days preparation prior to the field trip.
  • 3 hours orientation and introduction to field work during the trip
  • 2 x 1.5 hours peer supervision sessions during the trip
  • Intensive days debrief and reflection after the trip

Offered: 2019 for Catalyst students

Faculty: Brian Macallan & Penny Martin


Level 2

2 x 500 Reader Responses (prior to trip) 25%
1x 1000 Reflective summary of Journal 25%
1 x 2000 word Essay 50%

Level 3

2 x 500 Reader Responses (prior to trip) 25%
1x 1000 Reflective summary of Journal 25%
1 x 2500 word essay 50%


1 x 1000 Reader Responses (prior to trip) 20%
1x 2000 Reflective summary of Journal 30%
1 x 3000 word essay 50%

Recommended reading:

* = set texts recommended for purchase

Ballard, P. and Pritchard, J. Practical Theology in Action: Christian Thinking in the Service of Church and Society. London: SPCK, 1996, 2006.

Barker, A. Slum Life Rising: How to Enflesh Hope in a New Urban World. Springvale, UNOH, 2012.

Bevans, S. B., & Schroeder, R.  Prophetic Dialogue: Reflections on Christian Mission Today. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2011.

Gittins, A. J. Ministry at the Margins: Strategy and Spirituality for Mission. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2002.

Jones, T. The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008.

Knitter, Paul F. Theologies of Religions. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2002.

Lingenfelter, S. G. Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1986, 2003.

Luzbetak, L.J. The Church and Cultures: New Perspectives in Missiological Anthropology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1989.

Myers, B. L. Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development. Revised edition. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1999, 2011.

Neuliep, J. W. Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publ., 2011.

Taylor, C. A Secular Age. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007.

Wink, W. The Powers That Be: Theology for a New Millennium. New York: Doubleday, 1998.

Wright, D.R. & Kuentzel, J.D. Eds. Redemptive Transformation in Practical Theology. Grand Rapids MI: WB Eerdmans, 2004.