The needs of children and their families will focus our discussion of church and the Australian context. 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 comprehensive approach to mission and leadership with children and their families today.
In the Liturgy Laboratory you will explore kinaesthetic and other arts employed in liturgical assembly, and reflect on the pastoral, public and representative vocation of the one who presides. The unit will expose you to insights from ecumenical liturgical renewal and liturgical theology as these relate to the missional vocation of the church. Special attention will be given to Anglican and Uniting contexts of worship, and a significant proportion of the unit will be given to embodied and enacted liturgical practice.
Moving across church traditions and drawing on feminist thinkers we will explore the theological dynamics surrounding Mary the mother of Jesus. How has Mary of Nazareth been understood in various Christian communities? What is the significance of devotion to Mary for feminist theologies? And how does feminism refresh or inform an understanding of Mary?
Take your theological reflection on the contemporary world to the next level and join us to explore an area of doctrine in depth through key readings. In 2019 a focus on ‘eschatology and universal reconciliation’ will spend time with major writers who have shaped and are shaping Christian understanding of the last things and the promises of a new creation.
The ‘sayings’ of the desert fathers and mothers are pithy, sometimes quirky and full of practical insight for living the Christian life. The flourishing of desert spirituality in the 3rd and 4th centuries is a focus for this unit, setting it in the context of earlier communities of Christian monastics and exploring its resonances for today. We explore key primary texts in the light of the wider life of the church, offering an introduction to Christian traditions of theological reflection.
In this intensive unit, we seek to develop more informed ministries of protection and respect in pastoral care and religious education. We explore the historical and current interest in the spiritual life and the spiritual development of children. The unit examines links between Scripture, theological thought, spiritual and psychological development, neurobiology and ministry with children.
They say the past is a foreign country. Join this tour of sixteenth-century Europe to discover the ongoing impact of Reformation debates. We will explore the understandings of grace, salvation, creation, sacrament, scripture and church order using key texts and writers with a focus on the relationship between theological, historical and geographical contexts in shaping new forms of Christian identity and practice.
The non-biblical texts of Second Temple Judaism explore themes of theological, cosmological, and political significance and offer fascinating insights into the ways that Old Testament ideas were developed within Judaism. Studying these texts also helps us understand the context of the New Testament. In this unit, you will get a chance to study the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Maccabean literature, apocalyptic texts, and the writings of Philo and Josephus in detail and gain an understanding of the issues, personalities and communities that belong to this important period in Jewish history.
How has the Christian community remembered and told its story? Eusebius thought everything was solved by Constantine, Augustine thought he could not have been more wrong, Dorothy Day looked for Christ in the streets. Distinct approaches of the writers, as well as the music, architecture, and art across 2000 years open up discussion of connections between memory and history and the place of both in theological understanding.
What is a context? What does it mean to ‘have a context’? This course examines this concept, especially in terms of the relationship of Christian faith to culture(s). What might it mean for the Christian gospel to be “local” while also “continuous” with the tradition? You will gain a better understanding of concepts like indigenisation, acculturation, enculturation, inculturation and contextualisation.
Liturgy involves several juxtapositions: between scripture and sacrament, space and symbol, worship by and for the people. This unit explores the issues raised by these juxtapositions drawing on the resources of ecumenical liturgical theology.
The pastoral care unit explores the theological nature of pastoral care and the relationship between theology and pastoral skills. We aim to help students develop a reflective basis for pastoral practice that is grounded in Christian theology and Biblical studies. Consideration will be given to the uniqueness of ‘pastoral’ care, to some of the challenging questions raised in situations of crisis, and to the appropriate use of prayer and Scripture in pastoral situations. Scope will be given for students to explore a range of contextual issues and questions in pastoral ministry.
Can my experience of myself be trusted as what is finally real? Or is this experience just another obstacle to knowing things as they are? This unit explores the modern project, beginning with Descartes, and continuing through Hume and Kant, to place the knowing self at the centre of existence.
Can a better understanding of Greek language enhance your understanding of the New Testament? Even if you don’t know any Greek, this unit develops your understanding of New Testament Greek syntax, grammar and vocabulary. About a third of the unit will be devoted to the translation of extended portions of the Greek New Testament (e.g. chapters from 1 John), prepared in advance by the students. By engaging with a biblical text in its original language you will see how studying Greek can assist in its interpretation.
This unit will address theological, liturgical, ethical and pastoral care issues associated with ministry with people with disabilities. Scripture will be examined as a means of reflection on contemporary theological-pastoral issues. The relationship between faith and healing, from both a personal and social perspective, and theologies about disability will also be explored. A site visit will be part of the unit.
In this unit, you will be introduced to the field of mission studies. It will be divided into three main sections: the biblical foundations of mission; the ground and practice of mission through Christian history; key themes shaping the theology and practice of mission today.
Immerse yourself in an introduction to New Testament history, texts and theology. Beginning with the letters of Paul as the earliest extant Christian literature, and surveying the development of gospel literature as well as other forms of early Christian writing, you will be introduced to the rise of the early Christian movement and explore the range of developing theological beliefs that characterised the first two generations of early Christianity.
How can we still speak meaningfully of God or religious faith in today’s world? This unit explores the relationship between postmodernism and religious faith. Does the notion of God as foundation amount to limitation of the divine, or even idolatry? Discover how postmodern thinking bids to rework some traditional connections between faith and philosophy.
Curious to explore a theological degree or enrol for a specific unit? Keen to pursue post graduate theological research?
Welcome to Pilgrim Theological College, a community of learning and formation for people exploring the journey of faith, or wanting to deepen reflection and respond to new challenges. We are currently taking enrolments for Semester 2 2019 which runs from July 29 to November 1 2019. Start a degree or choose from a wide range of units relevant to anyone interested in interpreting world topics through a theological lens.
For advice regarding courses please contact our Registrar.
Looking for study options online or on campus? Interested in an intensive block or a weekly class?
Pilgrim Theological College one of the colleges that form the University of Divinity in the Australian cities of Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. Our courses offer a community of learning, formation and discipleship. We are inspired by the richness and strength of theological education across the traditions of the Uniting Church and the commitment to ecumenical theology and formation that characterised our predecessor institution, the United Faculty of Theology.
We offer evening, day and online classes, through the semester and intensive subjects structured for shorter periods. Students and faculty enjoy the resources of the Dalton McCaughey Library – a rich and broad collection of rare and up-to-the-moment material that together make one of the greatest theological libraries in the southern hemisphere. We encourage you to continue conversations between lectures over a coffee in our light-filled main building. Together we are pursuing the highest standards of scholarship in theology, philosophy and ministry so as to engage deeply with contemporary questions and respond to them well.
Come join us today.
What sort of students study at Pilgrim?
A strength of Pilgrim is the diversity of students across a wide range of ages, professional and personal experiences. Some students want to explore theology as part of enhancing their understanding of literature, art and film or as a unit in a more general degree. Others, particularly in the health field, are keen to look at faith aspects of pastoral care. Many wish to deepen their personal experience of faith or have been called to lay or ordained ministry. In a world where social media and blogging has changed the meaning of truth, some students are keen to delve into the meaning of leadership and authenticity. Lots just love the opportunity to learn and debate complex issues. And of course, our units qualify you towards your degree.
What sort of people teach at Pilgrim?
Pilgrim’s academic staff are keen teachers who enjoy learning from the interaction of the classroom. They are a strong and vibrant team whose expertise is recognised internationally as well as locally. They publish scholarly books and articles on the material they are exploring, and speak regularly at conferences, professional workshops and community gatherings.
Their focus is on making sure students feel comfortable in their learning environment and confident to ask for assistance about aspects of their study. Whether online or on campus, the emphasis is on interaction that advances each student’s successful outcome. Our staff are committed to making theology accessible to the world they live in, and are active on social media and their own blogs.