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 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. By means of a careful reading of the key texts of the Autobiography, the Spiritual Exercises, the Spiritual Diary and the Letters of Ignatius, and with the help of commentaries, students will explore the frameworks, context and practice of Ignatian spirituality. While these foundational texts will be the basis of the unit, some aspects of contemporary interpretations of the Ignatian tradition will also be explored. This unit aims to help students explore Ignatian spirituality through the study of primary sources, and to consider the implications and applications of their learning for their personal and professional practice. 

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 - Articulate a critical understanding of the life of Ignatius Loyola and his particular contribution to the Christian spiritual tradition (GA5);

LO2 - Reflect critically on key texts in the Ignatian tradition (GA4); 

LO3 - Assess the Ignatian tradition and its subsequent interpretation, use and development by others (GA4; GA6);

LO4 - Compare and evaluate contemporary interpretations of the Ignatian tradition (GA4);

LO5 - Analyse and evaluate the theological frameworks and components of Ignatian spirituality (GA4);  

LO6 - Demonstrate a personal integration of the key themes for contemporary practice (GA5).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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:

  • An introduction to the Ignatian tradition;
  • A close reading of the Autobiography of Ignatius Loyola;
  • Study of other key Ignatian texts: Spiritual Exercises, Spiritual Diary, Letters and Constitutions;
  • Study of other early Jesuit Sources relating to Ignatius and his life

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

THSP613 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

Response to Ignatius’ Autobiography (1000 words). This task is designed to offer students the opportunity to express a personal response to this work from a contemporary perspective. 




Critical reflection (2000 words). This task is designed to assist students to reflect critically on the key texts of the Ignatian tradition and to consider their personal and professional implications. 


LO2, LO3, LO6

GA4, GA5

Integrative essay (4000 words). This task is designed to enable students to consolidate and integrate their learning in the unit, through a critical analysis and evaluation of the theological and spiritual frameworks.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA6

Representative texts and references

Endean, Philip. “Ignatius and Church Authority.” Way Supplement 70 (1991): 76–90.

Endean, Philip. “Who do you say Ignatius is? Jesuit Fundamentalism and Beyond.” Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 19, No.5 (1987).

García de Castro, José. “Ignatius of Loyola and His First Companions.” A Companion to Ignatius of Loyola. Boston, MA, Leiden: Brill, 2014, 66-83.*

García de Castro, José. “Companionship in the Spirit. A History of the Spirituality of the Society of Jesus.” Ecclesiastical Studies 91, No.356 (2016).

Grogan, Brian. Alone and on Foot: Ignatius of Loyola. Dublin: Veritas Publications, 2008.

Hewett, William. “St Ignatius's Autobiography and the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Annotations.” Way Supplement 49 (1984): 74–87.

Munitiz, Joseph A. “Communicating Channels: Letters to Reveal and to Govern.” Way Supplement 70 (1991) 64- 75.

Munitiz, Joseph & Philip Endean. Saint Ignatius of Loyola: Personal Writings. New York: Penguin Classics, 1996.* 

Rahner, Hugo. Ignatius’ Letters to Women. New York: Crossroad Publishing Company, 2007. 

Reites, James. “Ignatius and Ministry with Women.” Way Supplement 74 (1992): 7–19.

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