Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning, which reflects the standard volume of learning for a unit in a University qualification of this Australian Qualifications Framework type.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Graduates of programs in Spirituality should develop knowledge and skills in this discipline and be able to reflect critically on the ways in which their personal development impacts upon their professional roles. This unit is designed for leaders in the Church or in the business world who wish to make the focus of their work more intentionally apostolic. The word “apostolic” comes from the Greek apostellō which, as it is used in the New Testament, means to be sent on mission to spread the Good News. The apostolic leader focuses on discerning God’s action in the world in new contexts. Students will be helped to develop their theological, collaborative, imaginative and spiritual capacities, and be given practical tools to create entrepreneurial responses to the challenges of apostolic leadership in the 21st Century. The theology of the Reign of God, the discernment of God’s action in the world and participant responses will be examined. The aim of this unit is to enable leaders to innovate and adapt to meet emerging needs in a rapidly changing world.

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 Reflect theologically on key concepts, models, procedures, tools, methods and literature in the innovation and entrepreneurship field (GA5, GA10);

LO2 Describe the apostolic nature of Ignatian spirituality, with particular reference to a specific ministry project, using the Kingdom Meditation and the Contemplatio ad Amorem of the Spiritual Exercises as key conceptual frameworks (GA5, GA10);

Demonstrate the skills necessary to design an apostolic ministry project with a team (GA7);

Formulate and test the assumptions of the model underlying the apostolic ministry project (GA7); 

Apply the reflective principles of theological action research (GA5).

Graduate attributes

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include:

  • Apostolic leadership in the Church;
  • What kind of leader is an ‘apostolic’ leader?
  • Developing collaborative practices;
  • The role of the imagination in spiritual leadership;
  • Discernment and apostolic leadership;
  • Entrepreneurial responses to the challenges of apostolic leadership in the 21st Century;
  • Innovation and Ignatian spirituality.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

THSP600 will be delivered in multi-mode, that is, in various combinations of face to face and mediated learning environments, utilising strategies which may include:

·       Self-directed activities (such as completing scaffolded reading tasks or web-based exercises) which enable each student to build a detailed understanding of a topic;

·       Small-group tasks and activities (such as contributing to discussion forums or undertaking peer review) which enable students to test, critique, expand and evaluate their understandings;

·       Plenary seminars and webinars which enable students to link their understandings with larger frameworks of knowledge and alternative interpretations of ideas;

·       Practical or fieldwork activities which enable students to rehearse skills necessary to the discipline and to be mentored in that practice;

·       Critically reflective activities (such as a guided Examen or private journal-writing) which assist students to learn reflexively, that is, to identify their affective responses to the learning and to integrate their learning with action.

The unit is delivered with the expectation that participants are adult learners, intrinsically motivated and prepared to reflect critically on issues as well as on their own learning and perspectives.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, students are required to complete all assessment tasks and achieve an overall minimum grade of pass. All assessment tasks are designed for students to show their achievement of each learning outcome and graduate attribute. They require students to demonstrate the nexus between their learning, dispositions, and organisational practice, and the evidence on which this demonstration is based.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Engagement with and contribution to online forums (equivalent to 2500 words). This task is designed to enable students to test, critique, expand and evaluate their understandings of concepts used in the unit.


LO1, LO2

GA5, GA10

3500-word project on apostolic innovation. This task is designed to enable students to integrate their understanding of the theological material with the entrepreneurial task.


LO3, LO4, LO5

GA5, GA7

Representative texts and references

* Books recommended for purchase

Blank, Steve, and Bob Dorf. The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company. Pescadero, CA: K & S Ranch Inc. Publishers, 2012.*

Bygrave, William, and Andrew Zacharakis. Entrepreneurship. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

Cameron, Helen, Deborah Bhatti, and Catherine Duce. Talking About God in Practice: Theological Action Research and Practical Theology. London: SCM Press, 2010.

Goosen, Richard J. and R. Paul Stevens, Entrepreneurial Leadership: Finding Your Calling, Making A Difference. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2013.

Hirsch, Alan, and  Tim Catchim. The Permanent Revolution: Apostolic Imagination and Practice for the 21st Century Church. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2012.

Lowney, Christopher. Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World. Chicago, IL: Loyola Press, 2005.*

Moynagh, Michael, and Philip Harrold. A Church in Every Context: An introduction to Theology and Practice. London, United Kingdom: SCM Press, 2012.

Osterwalder, Alexander, and Yves Pigneur. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, 2010.*

Ries, Eric. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. New York, United States: Crown Business, 2011.

Rosenbach, William E., and Robert L. Taylor, eds. Contemporary issues in Leadership. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2012.

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