Credit points


Campus offering

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THSP626 Ministry Supervision - Leadership and Reflective Practice

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 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, students will explore, demonstrate and integrate the professional skills necessary for practitioners in professional supervision. They will learn to maintain confidentiality in mandatory disclosure issues or other critical situations, as well as to navigate cultural, religious and political differences along with language difficulties. They will also learn to identify and engage constructively with the additional challenges to the supervisory process that emerge from an engagement with information and other technologies. The unit aims to assist already-practising supervisors from a range of multidisciplinary fields, including spiritual direction, ministry (religious and lay), counselling, psychotherapy, allied health and leadership, to develop their skills and expertise in professional supervision.

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 Describe and critically analyse the professional skills necessary to implement a supervisory process with a supervisee (GA4; GA8);

LO2 Evaluate and engage critically with feedback in professional practice (GA4);

LO3 Analyse the skills necessary to identify and respond to a range of complex situations (GA6; GA8, GA10);

LO4 Outline the skills necessary to develop and maintain effective professional practice within ethical and legal standards (GA3; GA8, GA10);

LO5 Critically review supervision sessions and engage in reflective practice (GA7).

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

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


Topics will include:

·       The parameters of supervision: roles, context and accountabilities;

·       The learning partnership: role clarity, collaboration, impacts of core beliefs, and resilience;

·       Ethical, legal and professional matters within a range of contexts;

·       Supervisory leadership and organisational dimensions: noticing patterns and addressing contextual issues;

·       Supervisory models, methods and approaches: evaluation and critique;

·       Working with complexity: challenging situations, dynamics, feedback and boundaries;

·       Evaluation, planning and discernment of supervisory stances and interventions;

·       Supervisory application: presentations of practice; reflective review integrating theoretical perspectives; drawing together current supervisory practice, learning opportunities, theoretical and professional resources;

·       Mapping a supervisory process.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

THSP629 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. Live (video) demonstration and critical reflection of the demonstration (equivalent to 3000 words). This task is designed to provide students with the opportunity to practise and demonstrate the professional skills necessary to implement a supervisory process with a supervisee.


LO1, LO2

GA3, GA4, GA10

2. 3000-word written report. This task is designed to provide students with the opportunity to analyse and reflect critically on the skills necessary for supervision, particularly in identifying and responding to a range of complex situations.


LO2, LO4, LO5

GA3, GA6, GA7, GA8

Representative texts and references

Bernard, Janine, and Rodney K. Goodyear. Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision, 5th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2014.

Bumpus, Mary Rose and Rebecca Langer. Supervision of Spiritual Directors: Engaging in Holy Mystery. Harrisberg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 2005.

Campbell, Jane M. Essentials of Clinical Supervision. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2006.

Carroll, Michael and Maria C. Gilbert. On Being a Supervisee: Creating Learning Partnerships. London, UK: Vukani Publishing, 2005.

Frawley-O’Dea, Mary Gail and Mary E. Sarnat. The Supervisory Relationship: A Contemporary Psychodynamic Approach. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 2001.

Hawkins, Peter and Robin Shohet. Supervision in the Helping Professions, 4th ed. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press, 2012.

Page, Steve, and Val Wosket. Supervising the Counsellor and Psychotherapist: A Cyclical Model, 3rd ed. Hove: Routledge, 2015.

Paterson, Michael, and Jessica Rose. Enriching Ministry: Pastoral Supervision in Practice. London, UK: SCM, 2014.

Scaife, Joyce. Supervision in Clinical Practice: A Practitioner’s Guide, 2nd ed. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group, 2009.

Shohet, Robin. Passionate Supervision. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008. 

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