University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Child and Adolescent Catechesis

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Pastoral Theology, Liturgy and Canon Law

DESCRIPTION The study-unit explores the implications of the belief that spirituality is a core human dimension. It will explore the current definitions of children’s spirituality (0-18). Students will be invited to examine the biblical and theological foundations of children’s spirituality. After reviewing the history of children and adolescents in western society, students will also be invited to synthesize and critically engage with various current theories and research on spirituality during early childhood, childhood and adolescence.

Study-Unit Aims:

The main aim of this study-unit is to help prospective spiritual companions to understand the centrality of spirituality in the holistic development of children. Furthermore it aims to clarify and equip students with the necessary skills to research and critique beliefs, rituals and practices that may nurture or hinder children and adolescent's spirituality. It also aims at equipping spiritual companions with those skills necessary to enhance children's spiritual, religious and moral dimension.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- research and appraise current literature on children’s spirituality and spiritual nurture;
- outline a theological and philosophical framework for understanding Child and Adolescent Spirituality;
- articulate an understanding of children's spirituality based on a biblical and Christian understanding of childhood and the human person;
- examine and discuss the role of symbols as a means for children ad adolescents to access and express their spiritual dimension.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- plan and develop suitable interventions to enhance the spiritual, religious and moral dimensions of the child;
- acquire skills that foster symbol literacy;
- analyze the spiritual requirements of children and adolescents they will be in charge of;
- respond to the needs of children and adolescents in the context of parishes and/or schools.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- de Souza, M, Watson J. & Bone J. (eds.) (2015). Spirituality across disciplines: Research and Practice. Netherlands: Springer.
- Gellel, A. “Nurturing spirituality through symbol literacy in religious education”. Journal of Religious Education, 58(3), 44-51 (2010).

Supplementary Readings:

- Adams, K., Hyde, B., & Woolley, R. (2008). The spiritual dimension of childhood. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- Benson, P.L., Roehlkepartain E. C., and Rude, S.P. "Spiritual development in childhood and adolescence: Toward a field of inquiry." Applied Developmental Science 7, no. 3 (2003): 205-213.
- Borriello, L. (2002). Anche i bambini possono essere santi. Rivista di Vita Spirituale 56:443–68.
- Cavaletti, S., and Coulter, P. (2007). The Religious Potential of the Child: Experiencing Scripture and Liturgy with Young Children, Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications.
- Hay, D., & Nye, R. (2006). The spirit of the child. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- Roehlkepartain, E., Ebstyne King P., Wagener, L. and Benson P. (eds.). (2005). The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence, USA: Sage.
- Yust K., Johnson, A., Eisenberg Sasso, S. and Roehlkepartain, E.C. (2006). Nurturing Child and Adolescent spirituality, USA: Rowman & Littlefield.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment 100%

LECTURER/S Adrian Mario Gellel

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.
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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
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Augustinian Institute Academic Year 2017-18

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