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. In this unit, students become more critically aware of the structures and processes at work in the collaborative ministry teams in which they minister. The guiding matrix for this unit is the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the spiritual pedagogy and dynamism of which provides deep insights into groups as well as individuals, although the Spiritual Exercises for groups uses a different framework. Students must be currently working in a collaborative ministry team. The aim of this unit is to provide students with a framework for the critical evaluation of structures and processes at work in their collaborative ministry teams and to engage decision-making processes towards the further development of cohesive teams.

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 theoretical and practical understanding of the structures and processes which help collaborative ministry teams work effectively and justly (GA2; GA3);

LO2 - Analyse how destructive forces can operate in a collaborative ministry team using the models presented in the unit (GA2);

LO3  - Demonstrate an appropriated understanding of the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises (GA2; GA3); 

LO4 - Apply leadership theory to assist a collaborative ministry team to focus the energy of individual members around shared goals and objectives (GA2; GA3);

LO5 - Evaluate a decision-making process that is aligned with the myth, goals, objectives and values of the organisation (GA2).

Graduate attributes

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

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making


Topics will include:

  • The nature and purpose of collaborative ministry teams;
  • The structures and processes at work in collaborative ministry teams;
  • The pedagogy of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola;
  •  Evaluative processes and decision-making;
  • Decision-making processes within organisations;
  • Decision-making processes in the Spiritual Exercises.

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.

THSP621 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 direction, and the evidence on which this demonstration is based.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

1. Critical reflection (1500 words). This task is designed to enable students to demonstrate their appropriation of current ideas relating to the content of this unit.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA2, GA3

2. Critical reflection (1500 words). This task is designed to enable students to engage critically and reflectively with the unit content and consider its implications for their professional practice.


LO1, LO2

GA2, GA3

3. Integrative essay (3000 words). This task is designed to enable students to demonstrate the integration and application of leadership theory and its implications for the development of collaborative ministry teams.


LO3, LO4, LO5

GA2, GA3

Representative texts and references

* set texts recommended for purchase

Borbely, James, et al. Focusing Group Energies. Scranton, PN: Private Printing, 1992.*

Borbely, James, et al. Understanding Group Spiritual Life. Scranton, PN: Private Printing, 1999.*

Fleming, David L. Draw Me into your Friendship: The Spiritual Exercises. St. Louis, MO: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1996.

Greenleaf, Robert K. Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power & Greatness. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2002.

Lowney, Chris. Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads: Lessons from the First Jesuit Pope. Chicago: Loyola Press, 2013.

Lowney, Chris. Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World. Chicago: Loyola Press, 2003.

Sofield, Loughlan, and Caroll Juliano. Collaborative Ministry: Skills and Guidelines. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1992.

Sofield, Loughlan, and Donald H. Kuhn. The Collaborative Leader: Listening to the Wisdom of God’s People. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1995.

Tyson, Trevor, Working with Groups. Melbourne: MacMillan, 1989.

Wenger, Etienne. Communities of Practice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

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