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 Pedagogy should develop knowledge and skills in this field of study and be able to reflect critically on the ways in which their personal development impacts upon their role as educators. This unit will examine and analyse the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm: self-knowledge and self-discipline; attentiveness; respect for intellect and reason as tools for discovering truth; discerning the right course of action; flexibility in problem solving; large-hearted ambition; and a desire ‘to find God in all things’. It will explore the way the core concepts of Ignatian spirituality impact on the leadership and pedagogical practices within Jesuit educational institutions. The unit will also examine the close relationship between Ignatius’ vision for education and the Spiritual Exercises. The aim of the unit is to immerse students in the Jesuit approach to education.

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 - Observe, describe and evaluate critically the core concepts and underpinning values of Jesuit education (GA5);

LO2 - Apply knowledge of the core characteristics of Jesuit education to specific ministry and vocational contexts (GA5);

LO3 - Suggest ways in which a thorough appropriation of the Jesuit vision for education impacts on leadership, supervision and pedagogical practices (GA9);

LO4 - Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively the Jesuit vision for education to other members of the community (GA9; GA10);

LO5 - Synthesise and evaluate the implications of the close connection that exists between Jesuit pedagogy and the Spiritual Exercises (GA5).

Graduate attributes

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

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

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


Topics will include:

  • Early history and spirituality of the Jesuit Order;
  • How Jesuits got into education;
  • The Ratio Studiorum;
  • Characteristics of Jesuit Education;
  • The Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm;
  • Ignatian pedagogy and leadership/administration;
  • Core Ignatian concepts such as: ‘Magis’, ‘Cura Personalis’, ‘Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam,’ ‘Forming Women & Men for others’ and ‘Becoming Agents of Change’.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

THSP510 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 educational practice, and the evidence on which this demonstration is based.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Curriculum document & Presentation (equivalent to 1500 words). This task is designed to enable students to demonstrate their understanding of the historical, spiritual and theoretical background to Jesuit education and pedagogy.


LO1, LO2


15-minute presentation (equivalent to 1500 words), with powerpoint slides. This task is designed to enable students to demonstrate their application of Ignatian pedagogy to their particular role in ministry.


LO3, LO4

GA9, GA10

Essay (3000 words). Students are required to choose an essay from a range of suggested topics. This task is designed to provide students with the opportunity to reflect critically on the Ignatian approach to pedagogy.


LO3, LO4, LO5

GA5, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Duminuco, Vincent, Ed. The Jesuit Ratio Studiorum of 1599: 400th Anniversary Perspectives. New York: Fordham University Press, 2000.

Groome, Thomas H. Educating for Life: A Spiritual Vision for Every Teacher and Parent. Allen, TX: Thomas More, 1998.

Ignatian Pedagogy – Letter from Father General Kovenbach SJ. (Jesuit Institute)

Ignatian Pedagogy: A Practical Approach. The International Centre for Jesuit Education in Rome, 1993.

Jesuits. The Ratio studiorum: The Official Plan for Jesuit education (translated and annotated by Claude Pavur). St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2005.

Kolvenbach, Peter-Hans. The Characteristics of Jesuit Education. Anand, Gujarat: Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 1987.

Mesa, José, ed. Ignatian Pedagogy: Classic and Contemporary Texts on Jesuit Education from St. Ignatius to Today. Chicago Ill: Loyola Press, 2017.

O'Malley, John W. The First Jesuits. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1993.

Palmer, Parker J. The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life. 1st ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1998.

Traub, George, Ed. A Jesuit Education Reader: contemporary Writings on the Jesuit Mission in Education, Principles, the Issue of Catholic Identity, Practical Applications of the Ignatian Way, and More. Chicago Ill: Loyola Press, 2017.

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