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THEO563, THCT500 Foundations of Christian Faith /THEO558

Teaching organisation

The unit involves 150 hours of focused learning. The total includes formally structured learning activities such as lectures, tutorials, online learning, video-conferencing, or supervision. The remaining hours typically involve reading, research, and the preparation of tasks for assessment.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The unit introduces students to the major beliefs of the Christian faith, particularly as those beliefs have been articulated in the Catholic tradition. Students will be required to bring this knowledge and understanding into critical dialogue with their own belief stance, to assess its implications for their work in Catholic schools and to demonstrate skills to communicate it to a variety of audiences. 

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 - Give a critical and nuanced account of the major beliefs of Catholic faith, particularly with regard to the person, work and significance of Jesus Christ (GA4, GA8);

LO2 - Explain the nature and role of theological reflection, and bring the principal beliefs of the Catholic tradition into critical dialogue with their own belief stance and contemporary cultural contexts (GA4);

LO3 - Demonstrate skills in communicating the major beliefs of Catholic faith to a variety of audiences, including thinking adults as well as children or adolescents (GA9).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

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


Topics will include: 


  • The nature and role of faith, belief, revelation and theology 
  • Sources of theological reflection—Scripture, Tradition, and human experience 
  • Catholic beliefs in regard to: 
  • The reality of God; the Christian God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit 
  • The person, work and significance of Jesus Christ as fully human, fully divine and saviour; his life, death, and resurrection 
  • The implications of the Incarnation for understanding the nature of the human person, and the transformation and destiny of the person and the world in Christ 
  • Christian faith in dialogue with contemporary culture 
  • Implications for teaching and being part of a Catholic school community 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning, or the equivalent of 10 hours per week for 15 weeks. The total includes formally structured learning activities such as lectures, tutorials, online learning, video-conferencing, or supervision. The remaining hours typically involve reading, research, and the preparation of tasks for assessment. 

The unit is offered in two modes, online and mixed. In both modes, students learn through formally structured and sequenced learning activities that support the achievement of the learning outcomes. Students are asked to reflect critically, analyse, and integrate new information with existing knowledge, draw meaningful new connections, and then apply what they have learned to their professional contexts.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements.  These assessments are appropriate for the online and mixed mode of student engagement. The learning activities listed below are organised to support a progressive developmental sequence of learning / scaffold learning progressively. They take a social constructivist approach which recognises the particular relevance, value and need for peer to peer engagement in learning within theology. 

Assessment Task 1: A Critical Reflection on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ that present a contemporary understanding of who Jesus is and what he does for us. This task will address Learning Outcome 2 and develop Graduate Attribute 4

Assessment Task 2: A Written Task that seeks to articulate some of the key principles of Catholic theology. This task will address Learning Outcome 1 and develop Graduate Attributes 4 and 8.  

Assessment Task 3: A Communication Task on practical theology. This task will address Learning Outcomes 1, 2 and 3 and develop Graduate Attribute 9. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Critical Reflection on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ present a contemporary understanding of who Jesus is and what he does for us.



GA4, GA8

Assessment Task 2: Written Task that seeks to articulate some of the key principles of Catholic theology. 




Assessment Task 3: Communication Task on Practical Theology 

Sample presentation of a single belief to two separate audiences (adults and children) 


LO1, LO2, LO3


Representative texts and references

Bauerschmidt, F. C. and Buckley, J J. Catholic Theology: An Introduction. Malden, MA : Wiley Blackwell, 2017 

Bevans, S. B. An Introduction to Theology in Global Perspective. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2009. 

Cunningham, L. S. An Introduction to Catholicism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.. 

Hession, A. and P. Kieran, eds. Exploring Theology: Making Sense of the Catholic Tradition. Dublin: Veritas, 2007. 

Kelly, A. God is Love: The Heart of the Christian Faith. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2012. 

McGrath, A. E. Christian Theology: An Introduction, 6th Edition. Chichester, Wiley Blackwell, 2017 


Mansini, G. Fundamental Theology. Washington, D.C.: CUA Press, 2018. 

O'Collins, G. and E. G. Farrugia. Catholicism: The Story of Catholic Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. 

Rausch, T.P. Systematic Theology: A Roman Catholic Approach. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2016 

Rowland, Tracey. Catholic Theology. London: Bloomsbury, T & T Clarke, 2017 

Towey, A. An Introduction to Christian Theology, London: Bloomsbury, T & T Clarke, 2018 

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