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THCP519 Mission Imperative: Engaging with Organisational Purpose

Teaching organisation

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning, or the equivalent of 10 hours per week for 15 weeks. The total includes formally structured learning activities such as lectures, tutorials, online learning, video-conferencing, or supervision. The remaining hours typically involve reading, research, and the preparation of tasks for assessment.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The ability to effectively engage with the cultural context of your mission is essential to its success. Therefore, this unit seeks to enable you to address the connection between mission and culture in your organisation through critical reflection. To do this, this unit will support you as you learn to invites you to address the complex and vital connection between mission and culture. It will first focus on continuing to deepen and further your knowledge regarding mission. Then you will consider the way mission is enacted within your organisation's cultural approach to its operations by locating it in its time, place, and context.

The unit will facilitate further engagement with your organisation's mission and will conclude by assisting you to develop the ability to propose further ways of addressing your organisation's mission implementation strategy in light of the cultural complexity and diversity of its context. This unit aims to guide you in effectively approaching the alignment between your organisation's mission and cultural context.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1.Describe and define the connections between mission and culture (GA 5). 

LO2.Analyse the key features of the Christian culture of your organisation, and how they shape your organisation’s mission (GA 3). 

LO3.Formulate a proposal on how to more effectively implement the mission of your organisation in light of both its Christian context and the complexity of its broader surrounding cultural context (GA 2, 5). 

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 


Topics will include: 

  • The alignment between culture and mission; 
  • Key aspects of Christian and Catholic culture as they pertain to organizational structures with the wider Church; 
  • Guided investigation of the cultural context of specific faith-based organisations and the impact of cultural contexts on  faith-based mission; 
  • Evaluations of mission effectiveness of specific faith-based organisations in light of cultural context. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is intentionally designed to be undertaken in the mixed-mode. It consists of four online modules accompanied by two adobe classrooms and two full day, face-to-face workshops. The purpose of this learning and teaching approach is to optimise your participation, engagement and reflection with unit stimulus materials, including readings, activities and assessment tasks. Each online module supports you to define, analyse and reflect upon the concept of mission in the context of faith-based organisations. Adobe classrooms support a tutorial format for reviewing readings and comprehension. Workshops allow for a deeper and directed interaction (collaborative and interactional learning) with unit materials and concepts, peers and the lecturer drawing upon the learning already achieved via online modules and adobe classrooms. 


As such, this unit focuses on encouraging and supporting you to undertake critical reflection on and engagement with the fundamental concepts that underlie the reciprocal relationship connections between mission and culture. This will require you to draw upon your specific organizational context, personal background, and experience. The unit uses active learning principles, based on the socially collaborative learning paradigm of individual reading and reflection, coupled with lecture input and group discussions. This approach recognises the socially collaborative and constructivist nature of knowledge in which learners actively discover and synthesise through processes of input, self-reflection and discussion. To this end, one  of the key teaching and learning strategies approaches of this unit is the ongoing use of a Reflective Journal as a major resource in which you can both track your own learning as well as possess a resource for the assessment tasks. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to: a reflective journal, booklet, reports and essay. 


The assessment strategy of this unit has been designed to constructively align with the unit’s Learning Outcomes and teaching and learning strategy. There are two linked assessment tasks. Both tasks require you to explore, analyse and extrapolate on what you have written in your on-going Reflective Journal. The Reflective Journal is a key learning aid and component of this unit as it supports you both to reflect on how well you are engaging with the content of the unit and to further develop your theoretical and practical awareness of the mission of your organization including how it relates both to your role and organizational culture. This is key to integrating theory and practice. Your entries in the reflective journal will thus be a platform from which you can develop both assessment tasks. 


Task 1 aligns with LO 1 and 2, and requires you to describe and analyse the essential recipropcal connections between mission and culture through analysing an organisational mission statement in relation to the culture of that organisation. This will support you to describe the multi-faceted cultural dimensions of Christian mission in your organization. The essay format has been selected to maximize learning integration with regard to concepts related to mission and cultural alignment as well as personal reflection on the role you play in this alignment. 

Assessment task 2 aligns with LO 1, 2 and 3. It requires you to further describe, explore and analyse the relationships between mission and culture, particularly analyzing the challenges of realising mission in faith- based organisations and evaluating personally and critically how to engage mission more effectively in the role you play in your organisation. The report format has been selected to extend your learning from Assessment 1, now focusing on the application of what you learned to your organisation and personal and professional context. Given that the format of the second assignment builds on the previous assessment task and requires extensive reflection of your learning and your professional practice, the assessment is weighted at 60%. 


Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes


Assessment Task 1: Critical Analysis of the Mission Statement 

The kind of assessment task required is one that aims to maximize learning integration with regard to concepts related to mission and cultural alignment as well as personal reflection on the role you play in this alignment.  The purpose of this assignment to provide the student with the opportunity to reflect on where their organisation’s mission stems from, its history and values. 

The student will need to explain the key features of the Christian culture of their organisation and articulate how this context has shaped their organisation’s mission statement and the performance of their role in implementing that mission. 


For example, an essay that describes and analyses the essential reciprocal connections between mission and culture through analysing an organisational mission statement in relation to the culture of that organisation. 


GA 5 

Assessment Task 2: Report on Mission Effectiveness in Cultural Context 

The kind of assessment task required is one that aims to extend student learning from Assessment 1, now focusing on the application of what the student learned to their organisation and personal and professional context. The purpose of this task is to provide students with the opportunity to analyse the interaction between mission and culture so as to identify clearly the ways in which the mission of an organisation can more effectively be brought to bear on its organisational culture. 



For example, a report that describes, explores and analyses the relationships between mission and culture, particularly analyzing the challenges of realising mission in faith-based organisations and evaluating personally and critically how to engage mission more effectively in the role you play in your organisation. 


1, 2, 3 

GA 2, 3, 5 

Representative texts and references

Boeve, Lieven. Theology at the Crossroads of University, Church and Society: Dialogue, Difference and Catholic Identity. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2016. (Available Online). 

Bolger, Ryan K. ed. The Gospel after Christendom: New Voices, New Cultures, New Expressions. Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2012 (Available Online). 

Corrie, John and Cathy Ross, eds. Mission in Context: Explorations Inspired by J. Andrew Kirk. Surrey: Ashgate, 2012. (Available Online). 

Farhadian, Charles E. ed. Introducing World Christianity. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012 (Available Online). 

Gallagher, Michael Paul. Clashing Symbols: An Introduction to Faith and Culture. Rev. ed. New York: Paulist Press, 2003. 

Gittens, Anthony J. Living Mission Interculturally: Faith, Culture, and the Renewal of Praxis. Collegeville, MI: Liturgical Press, 2015 (Available Online). 

Grace, Gerald and Joseph O’Keefe eds. International Handbook of Catholic Education. Vol. 2. International Handbooks of Religion and Education. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2007. (Available Online). 

Greeley, Andrew. The Catholic Imagination. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000 (Available Online). 

Jeavons, Thomas H. When the Bottom Line is Faithfulness: Management of Christian Service Organisations

Indiana University Press, 1994 (Available Online). 

Ormerod, Neil. “Mission Driven and Identity Shaped: Ex Corde Ecclesiae Revisited.” Irish Theological Quarterly 78, no. 4 (2013): 325-337. 

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