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Winter Intensive: The Nurture and Spiritual Guidance of Children

July 8 @ 9:00 am - July 12 @ 5:00 pm

The Nurture and Spiritual Guidance of Children - Winter Intensive: The Nurture and Spiritual Guidance of Children

Five Day Intensive

Elizabeth Waldron-Anstice

Contemporary cultures may idealise, sentimentalise, dramatise, catastrophise and marginalise children, but in what ways do we spiritualise children? How do we speak of children’s spirituality, and how may we form and inhabit communities that enable the spiritual lives of children to thrive and contribute? This unit calls and resources participants to explore historical, trans-cultural and contemporary issues in the spiritual life and the spiritual development of children, cognizant of this complex ethical and economic global landscape. It examines links between Scripture, theological thought, spiritual and psychological development, and ministry with children. The unit seeks to develop greater awareness and sensitivity to the spiritual lives of children in theological reflection, informing ministry practices of protection and respect in pastoral care and faith formation, and attend to the often neglected childhood spiritual experiences of the adult practitioner theologian which underlie pastoral and ministry responses to children.

DELIVERY NOTES This unit provides immersive multi-sensory learning, meeting face to face at the CTM (or online synchronously by prior arrangement), Parkville from 9am-5pm each day of the intensive. This unit is also available in the External-Online Synchronous mode and will meet at the same time as the intensive. Learning is interactive, collaborative, and combines academic investigation with grounded age-sensitive ministry practices. There is no required pre-reading.

PREREQUISITES Students taking this unit for credit are required to have completed one unit in field D (Practical Theology).


To see more details about our Winter Intensives for 2024, click here.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment Details

Undergraduate (DP2030Z)

  1. Describe diverse theologies and age-sensitive theories of faith formation, within and beyond Australian western Christian traditions.
  2. Reflect theologically on childhood spiritual experiences, identifying aspects of ministry which aim to value, respect and protect children through pastoral care and faith formation support.
  3. Interpret the significance of Nye’s framework of spirituality (love for the self, the other, the environment and the Divine) in cultural and age-sensitive pastoral practice.
  4. Recognise and reflect on spiritual experiences from childhood to the present.


Task 1 – Seminar or Tutorial

Tutorial report and presentation (1100 words)

Task 2 – Integrative exegesis

Integrative exegesis (1100 words)

Task 3 – Essay

Essay (2300 words)


Undergraduate (DP3030Z)

  1. Articulate the key critical issues in theological debates about the nature, purpose and practices of Christianity communities
  2. Explain the emergence of Christian communities as the consequence of Jesus’ messianic ministry
  3. Describe the diversity of the ecclesiologies indicated in the New Testament
  4. Explain the significance of the Reformation, the modern ecumenical movement, and the polycentric ‘global church’ for contemporary discussions of ministry and mission
  5. Intergrate the themes of polycentricity and experimentation into an understanding of the church’s witness in contemporary Australia, with particular reference to the vocation of the Uniting Church in Australia.


Task 1 – Seminar or Tutorial 

Tutorial report and presentation (1250 words)

Task 2 – Essay

Integrative exegesis (1250 words)

Task 3 – Essay

Essay (2500 words)


Postgraduate (DP9030Z)

  1. Demonstrate an awareness of and informed critique of a range of views relating to the nurture and development of spirituality in children
  2. Reflect theologically on aspects of ministry in protection, respect and valuing of children through pastoral care and religious education
  3. Recognize, articulate and integrate within a practice framework the pastoral significance of love for the self, the other, the environment and the Divine as part of spirituality in the life of the child
  4. Reflect on and demonstrate an ability to integrate spiritual experiences in life from childhood to the present
  5. Critique and integrate, in reflection and practice, sound educational theory and theories of faith development


Task 1 – Essay

3000 word essay (3000 words)

Task 2 – Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper

1500 word tutorial report and oral presentation (1500 words)

Task 3 – Essay

1500 word response to scripture (1500 words)



July 8 @ 9:00 am
July 12 @ 5:00 pm