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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

THMN41230: Psychology and Christian Ministry

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2021/22


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • to explore the contribution academic psychology can make to our understanding of human nature, Christian Ministry and the Church.


  • Structure of Teaching/seminars:
  • Psychological concepts of human nature and behaviour: theological and pastoral implications.
  • Personality and Religion/ religious experience
  • Spirituality and selfhood
  • Psychology and Worship
  • Religion and Mental Health
  • Religious Development
  • Social Psychology of Church
  • The psychology of emotions and pastoral care.
  • Managing Church and the psychology of organisations
  • Psychology and Christian Ministry: The merits of an interdisciplinary approach.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module the student will:
  • have explored different psychological models of human behaviour and human nature and reflected upon how they influence pastoral ministry.
  • be familiar with the range of academic psychology today and its research paradigms.
  • have examined research work in a number of the sub disciplines of academic psychology and applied the findings to ministry and the church.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • be able to critically engage with the contribution that academic psychology makes to the theology of Christian ministry and its practice.
Key Skills:
  • be able to identify leading research areas & research questions in this multidisciplinary approach to theology and ministry.

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

  • The course will be a combination of 30 hours of research based lectures and student led seminars and discussions, based on extensive primary and secondary reading. This will involve students in building the knowledge base and appropriate skills for research study in the field.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Two formative assignments: i) A 2500 word critical evaluation of a paper from the psychological literature which is related to the topic of the chosen summative essay. This should include the following: 1) An overview of the paper outlining its key points 2) A critique of the interpretations and conclusion 3) Identification of any theological questions the paper raises 4) Identification and discussion of implications for ministry 5) Identification of further research suggested by the paper ii) Feedback on contribution to in class discussion and online discussion board.

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