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The Practice of Supervision: Practicum

Through the practice of supervision itself, students will develop an understanding of the dynamics and process of supervision. The requirements and content of this unit are aligned with the requirements of the Australasian Association Of Supervision (AAOS) – 60 hours of supervision practice. A specific context of supervision ministry will provide the focus for examination of how theology, scripture, faith and spiritual identity impact on the student’s formation and training as a supervisor. Students will engage in critical reflection in individual supervision and peer groups through case study presentations, verbatim and journals. Regular meetings with a supervisor are complemented by reflective writing assessments.

Lecturer: Refer to Timetable
Offered: Refer to Timetable

Postgraduate: Level 9 elective

Discipline: DP Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies  

This is a ‘double’ unit (48 points) and is delivered over two semesters.
Students are required to be engaged in at least 60 hours of individual supervision with at least 2 supervisees. Admission is by interview and referees.

Prerequisites: Students should have completed at least two years of full time theological studies, plus at least five years in pastoral practice.  The Graduate Certificate in Supervision (or equivalent) is the required entry qualification.

Learning Outcomes: 

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

  1. Identify and illustrate the modes of learning behind the presentation of cases from their supervision practice.
  2. Apply case study methodology in theological reflection and pastoral response.
  3. Apply an understanding of the dynamics of supervision, parallel process, transference and counter-transference as they apply to ministry supervision.
  4. Critically evaluate a range of theological, personal, spiritual and cultural issues that shape their ongoing formation and supervision practice.
  5. Demonstrate accountability, referral, supervision and self-evaluation.
  6. Integrate current research with themes explored in case studies, lecture input and peer discussion.


4 x 1500 word case reflections 50%
2 x 1500 word reflective essays  30%
Completion of evaluation protocols, effective engagement and critical reflection with supervisors (equivalent 3000 words) 20%

Teaching Methods: Supervision sessions, verbatim and case studies. Students are required to engage with a number of supervision protocols and evaluation tasks outside of class. These protocols and tasks align with AAOS requirements and provide a framework for reflection, input and learning in their supervision which is the focus of this unit. Meetings with a supervisor and peers also provide for theological reflection on their ministry of supervision.

Select Bibliography:

*Recommended reading

Carroll, Michael & Gilbert, Maria. On being a supervisee: Creating learning partnerships. (2nd ed.). London: Vukani, 2011.

Carroll, M. & Shaw, Elisabeth.  Ethical maturity in the helping professions: Making difficult life and work decisions. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2013.

Cooper-White, Pamela. Shared Wisdom: Use of self in pastoral care and counselling. Minneapolis: Augsberg Fortress, 2004.

Gardner, Fiona. Critical spirituality. A holistic approach to contemporary practice. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2011.

Fitchett, George, & Nolan, Steve.  Spiritual care in practice: Case studies in healthcare chaplaincy. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2015.

Garrido, Ann. A concise guide to supervising a ministry student. Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Maria Press, 2008.

Hawkins, Peter & Shohet, Robin. Supervision in the helping professions. 4th ed. Open University Press, 2012.

Kinast, Robert. Making faith-sense: Theological reflection in everyday life. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1999.

Leach, Jane & Paterson, Michael. Pastoral supervision: A handbook. 2nd ed. London: SCM, 2015.

McAlpin, Kathleen. Ministry that transforms. A contemplative process of theological reflection, Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press 2009.

Paver, John Theological reflection and education for ministry: The search for integration in theology. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2006.

Pohly, Kenneth. Transforming the rough places: The ministry of supervision. 2nd ed. Franklin, Tennessee: Providence House Publishers, 2001.

Proctor, Brigid, Group supervision: A guide to creative practice, 2nd edn, Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications, 2008.

Pye, Jonathan, Sedgwick, Peter & Todd, Andrew. Critical care: Delivering spiritual care in healthcare settings. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2015

Schipani, Daniel, Ed. Multifaith views in spiritual care. Kitchener, Ontario, Pandora Press, 2013.

Shohet, Robin, Ed.  Supervision as transformation: A passion for learning. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2011.

Ward, Frances. Lifelong learning: Theological education and supervision. London: SCM, 2005.