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 Ignatian Spirituality should be able to articulate the interrelationships between their spiritual development and their personal and professional roles, as well as developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes appropriate to the discipline. In this unit, students will explore how the three interconnected elements of Ignatian spirituality — identity, vocation and mission — play out in their lives. They will be guided to address such fundamental questions as: Who am I before God? What are my deepest desires? With whom am I called to be? Where do I belong? What am I called to do? How am I generative in my life? What is my name of Grace? Answers to these questions will be informed by the Christian vision of the world rooted in the experience of the sixteenth-century Basque saint, Ignatius of Loyola. He documents his encounter with God in his writings, particularly in the Spiritual Exercises. The dynamic of the Spiritual Exercises will be used as a guide for spiritual growth. The aim of this unit is to give students a framework for understanding the relationship between the Spiritual Exercises and their own identity, vocation and mission in the 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 - Analyse the role of the graces prayed for in the Spiritual Exercises as a guiding matrix (GA5); 

LO2 - Explain the Ignatian understanding of the interplay between imagination, desire and mission (GA5);

LO3 - Outline the development of a discerned sense of missional identity as informed by prayer and spiritual conversation (GA3); 

LO4  - Synthesise their lived experience with the identity, vocation, mission dynamic of the Spiritual Exercises (GA6).

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account


Topics will include:

·       Introduction to the Interior Life of Ignatius and the Spiritual Exercises;

·       Principle and Foundation;

·       Redemption & and love of God as Creator;

·       Jesus Christ and patterns of Light and Darkness;

·       Discipleship and Ignatian Values;

·       Confirmation of Discipleship;

·       My Name of Grace, My Mission;

·       Gratitude and Joy of Service.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

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.

THSP603 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 spiritual practice, and the evidence on which this demonstration is based.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

1. Timely and considered contributions to each online forum (equivalent to 1000 words). This task is designed to enable students to test and review the quality of their learning in the context of peer discussion.


LO1, LO3

GA3, GA5

2. Verbal presentation (15 minutes) with submitted notes. This task is designed to enable students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the graces in Weeks One and Two of the Spiritual Exercises.




3. Integrative essay (4000-words). This task is designed to enable students to consolidate their learning by reflecting critically on their understanding of identity, vocation and mission in reference to the Spiritual Exercises.


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA3, GA5, GA6

Representative texts and references

* recommended for purchase

Alphonso, Herbert. The Personal Vocation, 9th ed. Rome: Editrice Pontificia Universita Gregoriana, 2006.

Decrees of General Congregation 35.

Eakin, Paul John. How Our Lives Become Stories: Making Selves. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999.

Erikson, Erik H. Identity and the Life Cycle. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 1994.

Grondin, Christian. “Ignatian Identity in Transition.” The Way 42, No.4, (2003): 32-45.

Linn, Denis, Matthew Linn, and Sheila Fabricant. Healing the Eight Stages of Life. New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1988.

Modras, Ronald. Ignatian Humanism: A Dynamic Spirituality for the 21st Century. Chicago, IL: Loyola Press, 2004.

Munitiz, Joseph, and Philip Endean. Saint Ignatius of Loyola: Personal Writings. London, UK: Penguin Classics, 1996.

Palmer, Parker J. A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009.*

Traub, George W. An Ignatian Spirituality Reader: Contemporary Writings on St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Spiritual Exercises, Discernment, and More. Chicago, IL: Loyola Press, 2008.*

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