University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Social Ministry from a Human Rights Perspective

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Moral Theology

DESCRIPTION The first part of the study unit introduces the students to the organisation of social ministry in Malta on the diocesan and parish levels, it looks at the actors' policies, priorities and concrete agendas and presents social ministry as a work of justice and charity.

The second part investigates three select areas of social ministry: poverty and social inclusion, ministry with refugees and ministry with children.
In the final part students participate in a social ministry project and present their findings in a seminar and then in a written assignment.

Study-unit Aims

1. To introduce students to current theory on social ministry from a human rights perspective: social ministry is not only a work of charity helping those in need, but also a work of justice, trying to respond to the rights of all, especially of those who are excluded from the goods of society.

2. To familiarise students to the way it social ministry is organised in Malta on different levels, its priorities and policies, and to enable them to meet some of the main actors.

3. To enable students to engage in a specific area of social ministry

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

To understand how social ministry is organized on the diocesan and parish level and acquaint themselves with the policy and main activities of the relative secretariats and commissions, including those set up by Religious Orders and Congregations;

2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills): By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

To evaluate the work being done by Church organizations in select fields by
studying (i) how such work is enhancing respect for human dignity and rights, (ii) how it fits within the respective national policies and (iii) what value it is adding in so far as it is part of the Church’s social ministry;

To learn to engage in some specific area of social ministry.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

- ABELA, A., & TABONE,C. Family Poverty and Social Exclusion with a special emphasis on children. Malta: Kummissjoni Nazzjonali Familja, 2008

- HOLLENBACH, DAVID, The Common Good and Christian Ethics, New Studies in Christian Ethics. Cambridge University Press, 2002.

- JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE MALTA, Annual Report 2007, Malta 2008, at

- JOHN XXIII, Pacem in Terris

- JOHN PAUL II, Sollecitudo Rei Socialis

- MINISTRY OF SOCIAL POLICY Joint Inclusion Memorandum 2003, at:

- MINISTRY FOR SOCIAL POLICY, National Report on Strategies for Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2008-2010, at 2008/nap/ malta_en.pdf

- PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE PASTORAL CARE OF MIGRANTS AND ITINERANT PEOPLE, Instruction Erga migrantes caritas Christi (The love of Christ towards migrants) Vatican City, 2004, at

- SEN, AMARTYA, Development as freedom, New York 1999

- UNDP, Human Development Report 2003.Millennium Development Goals: A Compact among Nations to End Human Poverty, at


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S George Grima
Raymond Zammit

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

Augustinian Institute Academic Year 2017-18

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