University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Foundations of Pastoral Theology and Ministry

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Pastoral Theology, Liturgy and Canon Law

DESCRIPTION This study-unit deals with the basic concepts of Pastoral Theology. It explores the contemporary understanding of Pastoral Theology and to the challenges it faces today as a theological reflection on ecclesial action, understood not in a restrictive inward-looking sense, but in the sense of the Church in action in the contemporary world, in the complex context in which the Christian community lives and acts. The study-unit also explores the basic attitudes linked to a caring community of faith, and identifies different paradigms of pastoral care as well as major areas to which pastoral care is addressed. A vision of pastoral ministry is discussed, in particular lay ecclesial ministry, based on a theological reflection on the ministerial nature of the whole Church.

Study-unit Aims:

(i) to understand the basic concepts of pastoral theology, as a theology of ecclesial action;
(ii) to grasp the fundamental attitudes linked to a caring community of faith;
(iii) to have a vision of lay ecclesial ministry in the context of the ministerial nature of the whole Church.

Learning Outcomes:

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

(i) to engage in theological reflection on ecclesial action, and interpret the context in which ecclesial action takes place;
(ii) to recognize the correct attitudes which express pastoral care;
(iii) to understand the ministerial context of family ministry and youth ministry.

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

(i) to help those involved in pastoral ministry to reflect on their experience;
(ii) to empower pastoral workers to offer a caring ministry;
(iii) to formulate the basic steps of a pastoral plan which promotes collaborative ministry.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

GERKINS CH. V, An Introduction to Pastoral Care, Nashville 1997

GAILLARDETZ, R.R., Ecclesiology for a Global Church. A People Called and Sent, New York 2008

GARLAND D.R., Family Ministry. A Comprehensive Guide, Downers Grove 1999

MIDALI M., Practical Theology. Historical development of its foundational and scientific character, Roma 2000

UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS, Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord. A Resource for Guiding the Development of Lay Ecclesial Ministry, Washington D.C. 2005

WIERSBE D.W., The Dynamics of Pastoral Care, Grand Rapids 2000

WOODWARD J. – PATTISON S., The Blackwell Reader in Pastoral and Practical Theology, Oxford 2000

Various other books and articles will be suggested


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 50%
Examination (1 Hour) Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Charlo Camilleri
Joe Galea Curmi
Hector Scerri

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.
Measuring Divinity - Inter Faculty Colloquium
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21st Annual Augustinian Lecture 2017
The 21st Annual Augustinian Lecture 2017 will be celebrated on the 5th and 6th December 2017 with two lectures delivered by Rev. Prof. Theodore Dieter.

Closing Date Dissertation Proposals
Deadline to present dissertation proposals for next Faculty Board is Wednesday 29th November 2017 at 1700hrs

Augustinian Institute Academic Year 2017-18

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