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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Theology, Ministry and Mission

THMN40130: Theological and Practical Reflection on Ministry and Mission

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2021/22


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • to enable the building of the skill and habit of theological reflection (including familiarity with a range of methodologies) and the integration of theology and the practice of ministry.


  • A series of introductory sessions at the beginning of the module will cover an introduction to the methodology of theological and practical reflection. This will be delivered in different ways according to whether students are on the term-time or block route. Sample student-led seminars by previous students are also included in this methodology teaching. The outline content for the methodology section is as follows:
  • 1) The history of applied and practical theology
  • 2) The pastoral cycle and other methodologies in British practical theology
  • 3) Practical Theology and Pastoral Care
  • 4) The use of the Bible in Practical Theology
  • 5) Practical Theology and other disciplines: the Social Sciences, Education, Psychology.
  • 6) Practical Theology and empirical research

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Upon completion of the module students should have knowledge of:
  • The history of applied and practical theology
  • The pastoral cycle and other methodologies in British Practical Theology
  • The use of the Bible and Tradition in Practical Theology
  • The use of other disciplines in Practical Theology
  • The research methods used in Practical Theology
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Upon completion of the module students should have:
  • A developed, systematic and critical understanding of and ability to deploy a variety of methodologies in the discipline of practical theology
  • Experience both of engaging in theological reflection individually and facilitating that reflection as part of a peer group using the full range of theological resources
  • The ability both to critique existing practice and plan for the development of ministry in complex and unpredictable contexts.
Key Skills:
  • Upon completion of the module students should have:
  • The capacity to communicate research findings (in a clear and orderly way) and interdisciplinary ideas, both orally and in written form that includes complex information and detailed argument to specialists and non-specialists
  • Developed research based skills
  • Demonstrated their ability as reflective and critically aware practitioners
  • Skills in using critically a variety of disciplines, particularly the human sciences, to understand and describe a range of situations

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The core module will be taught by an ecumenical team of staff working with the whole group of students which will be co-led by Dr Jocelyn Bryan and Revd Professor Chris Cook. Others will be involved in the Theological and Practical Reflection Seminars. Where a member of staff has a specialism or research interest they will normally be drawn in for the seminar and will act as second marker, thus exposing the group to a wider range of teaching styles. The Programme Directors for the MA Programme will be involved in the initial induction days and will share in some teaching of the TPR Seminars.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Induction 1 Start of academic year 3 hours 3
Staff-led seminars 9 Weekly, Term 1 (or in blocks 1 & 2) 2 hours 18
Student-led seminars 5-10 Weekly, Term 2 (or in block 3) 2 hours 20
Tutorials 1-2 1-2 hours 2
e-learning on-line discussion work between periods of residence
Preparation & Reading 257
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Seminar Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Student-led Seminar 75 minutes 100%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay: a critical evaluation of the seminar as a piece of practical theology which includes an identification of the key learning for further research and development 2,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Seminar proposal

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University