Credit points


Campus offering

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THSP614 Ministry Supervision - Peer and Group

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 Supervision should develop knowledge and skills in this discipline and demonstrate a capacity to critically analyse, synthesise and evaluate the various ways in which their personal development impacts upon and contributes to their professional roles. In this unit, participants will be provided with the opportunity to consolidate their supervision competencies, in order to be able to identify and respond to the various challenges and scenarios that supervisors face in contemporary practice. Through an Ignatian discernment framework and the application of contemporary theories, participants will acquire skills to guide supervisees in addressing the challenging situations that arise in professional practice. The aim of this unit is to deepen participants’ understanding of the practice and purpose of Supervision within the modern workplace. 

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 - Apply contemporary theories of supervision and leadership to supervisory practice (GA1; GA5; GA10); 

LO2 - Analyse current models of supervision and its leadership in contemporary literature and research (GA5; GA8); 

LO3 - Demonstrate contemplative approaches to supervision practices (GA5); 

LO4 - Evaluate and articulate their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth in supervising others in a range of contexts (GA5; GA9; GA10). 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

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

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

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


Topics include: 

  • The Practice of Supervision, impacts of context, foundational values and purposes; 
  • The Supervision-leadership interface: models, styles and principles of leadership; connections with a range of supervisory contexts and practice; 
  • Dynamics in Supervision: evaluating and working with intra- and interpersonal issues; 
  • Reflective Practice and Theory application: addressing assumptions; the importance of reflection in leadership and supervisory processes; the place of language, learning and meaning in supervision; 
  • Discernment, decision-making, and self-management in Supervision, including Ignatian dimensions in supervisory leadership and discernment; 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

THSP626 will be delivered in multi-mode, that is, in various combinations of face to face and mediated learning environments, utilising strategies which may include:

  1. 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; 
  2. 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; 
  3. Plenary seminars and webinars which enable students to link their understandings with larger frameworks of knowledge and alternative interpretations of ideas; 
  4. Practical or fieldwork activities which enable students to rehearse skills necessary to the discipline and to be mentored in that practice; 
  5. 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 the practice of supervision, and the evidence on which this demonstration is based. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

1. Individual in-class role play or video presentation and reflective review (equivalent to 1500 words). This task is designed to provide students with the opportunity to share and reflect on their experience of supervision. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA1, GA5, GA9, GA10 

2. Group in-class role play or video presentation and reflective review (equivalent to 1500 words). This task is designed to provide students with the opportunity to share and reflect on their experience of supervision in a group setting. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA1, GA5, GA9, GA10 

3. 3000-word essay on Supervision Theory and Practice. This task is designed to enable students to consolidate their learning by reflecting critically on their Supervision practice in narrative form. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA1, GA5, GA9

Representative texts and references

Carroll, M. & Tholstrup, M. (eds). Integrative Approaches to Supervision. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2001. 

Conroy, M. Looking into the Well: Supervision of Spiritual Directors. Chicago, Loyola University Press, 1995. 

DeLong, W.R. (ed). Courageous Conversations: The Teaching and Learning of Pastoral Supervision. Lanham: University Press of America, 2010 

Dorr, D. Spirituality of Leadership. Blackrock, Co. Dublin: Columba Press, 2006. 

Dunne, T. Spiritual Mentoring: Guiding People Through Spiritual Exercises to Life Decisions. New York: Harper Collins, 1991. 

Gilbert, M. & E. Kenneth. Psychotherapy Supervision: An Integrative Relational Approach to Psychotherapy Supervision. Buckingham: Open University Press, 2000. 

Lonsdale, D. Listening to the Music of the Spirit: The Art of Discernment. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1993. 

Lowney, C. Heroic leadership. Chicago: Loyola Press, 2003. 

Martin, J. The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. 

Toner, J. A Commentary on Saint Ignatius' Rules for the Discernment of Spirits. St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1982. 

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