Credit points


Campus offering

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THSP521 Psychological Foundations for Supervision and Spiritual Direction AND THSP522 Ethics and Professional Practice in Supervision and Spiritual Direction AND THSP523 Individual Supervision AND THSP524 Critically Reflective Supervision


THSP614 Ministry Supervision - Peer and Group

Teaching organisation

Students should anticipate undertaking 150 hours of focused learning in this unit. This may include online activities, reading, webinars, preparation of assessment tasks and so on. Webinars may be offered either weekly over a twelve week semester, or in intensive blocks.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Graduates of programs in Supervision need to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in this discipline and demonstrate a capacity to evaluate critically the various ways in which their personal and professional development impacts upon and contributes to their professional roles. This unit introduces students to the principles and practice of peer and group supervision which complement individual supervision. Students will learn how peer and group supervision can: (i) optimise learning processes during initial formation; (ii) provide supervisors with opportunities for ongoing professional development in their professional practice; and (iii) enhance the appreciation of the value and importance of a peer support network. The aim of this unit is to assist students to develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to facilitate peer and group supervision within contemporary professional contexts.

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 - Demonstrate self-reflection in relation to supervision experiences, group and leadership dynamics, and practical and ethical issues (GA4, GA6)

LO2 - Analyse current and divergent theories and models of individual, peer and group supervision within various professional and ministerial contexts (GA4)

LO3 - Develop a personal approach to peer and group supervision as a key component of a practice framework, supported by current literature and research, evaluated in light of feedback from lecturers and fellow participants (GA4, GA6)

Graduate attributes

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively

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


Topics include: 

  • Peer and group supervision: principles and practice;
  • Models of Peer and Group Supervision;
  • Integration with personal and professional practice frameworks;
  • Professional, practical and ethical issues in peer & group supervision particularly as those relate to Safeguarding requirements as set out by the Royal Commission;
  • Self-care;
  • Managing pitfalls in peer & group supervision.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

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.

The unit is normally offered in scheduled online mode, a way that blends the use of online delivery of learning materials and activities that can be undertaken synchronously and asynchronously. This means that students can undertake some learning activities on their own at times that do not depend on the availability of others, and other learning activities that are undertaken interactively with other students and teaching staff at the same time. Using scheduled online delivery means that students do not have to be at the same place as each other, but can interact remotely.

In order to benefit from this mode of learning, students need to be independently motivated. Units offered in the course normally follow a cycle: students complete preparatory activities before meeting together; in webinars, students work collaboratively with each other and the lecturer to clarify, extend and apply what they have learned; and after each collaborative session, students reflect critically on their personal experience and observations in light of materials covered in the unit. As the cycle is repeated, students bring new understandings to bear on further issues and ideas, so that each cycle of learning deepens the one before. Students co-construct a supportive and encouraging learning community through their active participation in classes as well as through offline engagement, such as through discussion boards.

As this unit involves rehearsing helping skills that will be utilised professionally in one-on-one engagement with future clients, attendance at all webinars is mandated to ensure practice is supervised.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment for this unit has been designed to provide students with opportunities to immerse themselves in the literature on peer and group supervision as well as to obtain and reflectively process feedback on leading group supervision.

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

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Hurdle Task - Attendance Students are required to attend all classes unless absence is appropriately justified. Students whose absence is unjustified may be required to repeat the unit.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA6

Review of Literature (1000 words). This task is designed to ground students’ understanding of Peer and Group Supervision in current ‘best practice’ literature. 




Critical reflection (2000 words). This task is designed to provide students with the opportunity to undertake a critical reflection on leading a group supervision session using feedback from the group. 



GA4, GA6

Essay on an chosen approved topic (3000 words). This task is designed to enable students to appropriate critically the aims and content of the unit. 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA6

Representative texts and references

Beddoe, Liz. “Surveillance or Reflection: Professional Supervision in the ‘Risk’ Society.” The British Journal of Social Work 40, Vol.4 (2010):1279-96.

Borders, L. DiAnne and Lori L. Brown. The New Handbook of Counseling Supervision. London: Routledge, 2022.

Copeland, Phillipe, Ruth Dean and Stephanie Wladkowski. “The Power Dynamics of Supervision: Ethical Dilemmas.” Smith College Studies in Social Work 81:1 (2011): 26-40.

Hawkins, Peter, and Robin Shoet. Supervision in the Helping Professions. London: Open University Press, 2012.

Hewson, Daphne and Michael Carroll. Reflective Practice in Supervision. Hazelbrook, NSW: Moshpit Publishing, 2016.

Newman, Daniel, Allison Nebbergall and Diane Salmon. “Structured Peer Group Supervision for Novice Consultants: Procedures, Pitfalls, and Potential.” Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation 23:3 (2013): 200-216. 

O’Keefe, Mick. “Facilitated Group Supervision: Harnessing the Power of Peers,” Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 50 (2014): 944-48.

Patterson, Michael. “Bringing the Work Alive: A Generic Model for Pastoral Supervision?” Enriching Ministry: Pastoral Supervision in Practice. London: SCM, 2014.

Turner, Tammy, and Michelle Lucas. Peer Supervision in Coaching & Mentoring. New York: Routledge, 2018.

Viney, Linda and Deborah Truneckova. “Personal Construct Models of Group Supervision: Peer and Led.” Personal Construct Theory and Practice 5 (2005):131-138. 

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