Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

In a religiously diverse world where people of deep faith and of no faith interact on a daily basis spirituality is understood as a dimension of the human person. An understanding of the nature of spirituality and an appreciation of the relationship between spirituality and religion have implications for the religious educator and for the development and implementation of classroom religious education programs in Catholic schools.

This unit addresses these considerations paying particular attention to the articulation of spirituality in an Australian context. It provides opportunities for postgraduate students to reflect critically on the relationship between spirituality, religion and religious education curriculum development and teaching, and explores a variety of ways to nurture spirituality in contemporary educational settings.

The aim of this unit is to explore ideas of spirituality and simultaneously nurture the spirituality of religious educators in a variety of educational settings.  

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 the nature of spirituality as a dimension of the human person (GA1; APST 1.1 Lead)

LO2 - Appraise the relationship between spirituality and religion (GA4; APST 1.5 Lead)

LO3 - Evaluate feature of spirituality in some contemporary Australian cultural contexts (GA1; APST 1.4 Lead, APST 2.1 Lead)

LO4 - Justify the significance of nurturing the spirituality of the religious educator in religious education learning and teaching (GA4; APST 2.3 Lead)

LO5 - Evaluate ways to draw on foundational and contemporary expressions of Christian spirituality to nurture spirituality in contemporary educational settings (GA8; APST 3.3 Lead, APST3.6 Lead).

Graduate attributes

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

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Lead

On successful completion of this unit, students should have gained experience towards the following standards.

1.1 Lead colleagues to select and develop teaching strategies to improve student learning using knowledge of the physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students.

1.4 Develop teaching programs that support equitable and ongoing participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students by engaging in collaborative relationships with community representatives and parents/ carers.

1.5 Lead colleagues to evaluate the effectiveness of learning and teaching programs differentiated for the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.

2.1 Lead initiatives within the school to evaluate and improve knowledge of content and teaching strategies and demonstrate exemplary teaching of subjects using effective, research-based learning and teaching programs.

2.3 Lead colleagues to develop learning and teaching programs using comprehensive knowledge of curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements.

3.3 Work with colleagues to review, modify and expand their repertoire of teaching strategies to enable students to use knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking.

3.6 Conduct regular reviews of teaching and learning programs using multiple sources of evidence including: student assessment data, curriculum documents, teaching practices and feedback from parents/ carers, students and colleagues.


Topics will include:

  • the various ways spirituality is understood in contemporary literature with particular focus on Australian society and culture as the context for exploring and articulating spirituality
  • foundational and contemporary expressions of spirituality with particular focus on the Christian tradition
  • exploring the significance of nurturing the spirituality of the religious educator
  • spirituality and its relationship to education, religious education and teaching with reference to traditions of Christian spirituality and their use in educational settings. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered in multi-mode (i.e. delivered online and in face-to-face contexts) and uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of the essential knowledge associated with educating people about spirituality and religious education. Students are able to explore the essential knowledge related to spirituality and religious education through a series of online asynchronous interactive sessions. Students also have the opportunity to attend synchronous online tutorials to participate in the construction and synthesis of this knowledge. This approach allows flexibility for students who are largely engaged in full-time work.

Where required by cohorts, part or all of the unit could be delivered face-to-face with students engaging in lectures and workshops as well as students accessing digital resources and activities available through the LEO site.

This learning and teaching strategy will facilitate active participation in pedagogical approaches that demonstrate alignment of teaching, learning and assessment and the strategy is responsive to the diverse contexts of individual students and cohorts.

This is a 10 credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video, workshops, and assignments etc. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to successfully complete this unit, postgraduate students need to complete and submit two graded assessment tasks.

The assessment strategy used allows students to progressively develop their knowledge, understanding and analytical skills to the level of sophistication where they are able to evaluate ways to draw on foundational and contemporary expressions of Christian spirituality and, with a focus on religious education, to nurture spirituality in contemporary educational settings.

In order to develop this level of creativity the first assessment task consolidates key theoretical and contextual understandings through synthesising this factual and conceptual knowledge in an extended written response. In the second assessment task, postgraduate students will apply their understanding through the design, development and demonstration of a professional learning resource related to developing spirituality of religious educators.   

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Extended Written Response:

Requires postgraduate students to demonstrate their ability in creating an original written critical response.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA4

Assessment Task 2

Professional Learning Resource

Requires students to demonstrate their ability to develop a resource for professional learning in their particular context as a religious educator.


LO4, LO5

GA4, GA8

Representative texts and references

Buchanan, M.T & Gellel, A. (Eds.) (2019). Global perspectives on Catholic religious education in schools. Volume II: Learning and leading in a pluralist world. Singapore: Springer.

De Souza, M. (2016). Spirituality in education in a global, pluralised world. London; New York: Taylor and Francis.

Ikonen, E., & Ubani, M. (2014). Spiritual sensitivity in the classroom: a teaching experiment in Finnish upper secondary religious education, International Journal of Children's Spirituality, 19(2), 69-82.

Kourie, C & Ruthenberg, T. (2016). Contemporary Christian spirituality: An encompassing field. Acta Theologica 23 (1). 76-93.

Lazaridou, A., & Pentaris, P. (2016). Mindfulness and spirituality: Therapeutic perspectives, Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies, 15(3), 235-244.

Lut, J.M., Dowden, T., Norsworthy, E. (Eds.) (2018). Reimagining Christian education: Cultivating transformative approaches. Singapore: Springer.

Madden, R. (2017). Spirituality and religious education: Reflecting on teacher practice. Pacifica, 30(3), 268-283.

Osewska, E. (2016). Religious Education as accompanying: from superficiality to spirituality to personal acquaintance with God Incarnate: The person and the challenges. The Journal of Theology, Education, Canon Law and Social Studies Inspired by Pope John Paul II, [S.l.], 6(2), 21-34

Roebben, B. (2014). Spiritual learning communities: Historical, systematic, and practical observations. Religious Education, 109(3), 301-317.

Schneiders, S. (2016). Biblical spirituality. Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, 70(4), 417-430.

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