Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Bishops, diocesan education offices, religious institutes and the NCEC (National Catholic Education Commission) have identified the formation of Catholic school teachers, RE teachers and leaders as their highest priority and a critical pastoral strategy in ensuring the Catholic identity and mission of schools. This unit will provide a systematic and contemporary formation and ministry opportunity for pre-service teachers and youth ministry leaders, equipping them for evangelisation in Catholic schools.

This unit begins with an exploration of Church documents and contemporary literature about the mission of Catholic schools as centres of evangelisation. A particular goal of evangelisation is to provide opportunities for faith formation for staff and students as missionary disciples. To facilitate this, students participate in an extended formation experience, including the ‘Porta Fidei’ retreat. Students will critically analyse how schools are providing faith formation for their staff and students. Students will research, observe, implement, and evaluate the impact of contemporary models or approaches in developing Catholic schools and church communities as centres of evangelisation. Specific skills in planning and leading student faith formation experiences are explored and developed through student ministry experiences. This unit satisfies the requirements of the Signum Fidei Program, including Modules 1, 2 and 3.

This unit aims to equip pre-service teachers and youth ministry Church leaders with the knowledge, skills, and expertise to develop Catholic schools and Church communities as dynamic expressions of evangelisation.

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.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome Description
LO1Explain the Church’s vision for the Catholic school as a centre of evangelisation and investigate contemporary frameworks and programs in Catholic schools, parishes, and other church ministries. (APST 2.1, 2.2)
LO2Analyse how formation experiences assist teachers and ministry leaders to grow in their Catholic faith and commitment to teaching and leadership as a vocation and ministry within the Church (APST 2.1, 6.3, 7.4)
LO3Apply knowledge and skills of planning, leading, and evaluating student ministry experiences within Catholic schools and other Church communities. (APST 2.2, 3.3, 6.3, 7.4)


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

6.3 Seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices.

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.


Topics will include:

  • The nature and aims of the evangelising mission of the Catholic Church including a comprehensive and practical process for achieving this vision.
  • Fostering the spiritual journey of faith that will enable participants to experience a range of relevant Catholic spiritual traditions and practices
  • The ‘Porta Fidei’ retreat experience
  • The Catholic Church and schools as centres of Evangelisation as described in Church documents
  • Contemporary models and frameworks, including the interrelated components of evangelisation in a Catholic school.
  • Knowledge, skills and key concepts related to evangelisation and ministry in Catholic schools and parishes with reference to Church documents and other sources
  • Ministry skills utilised in planning and leading student faith formation experiences, including prayer with students, personal testimony and sharing the kerygma in small faith communities
  • Religious education curriculum formation models (CSYMA Secondary and Primary Four Phase Model)
  • Evangelisation pathways from Catholic schools to local church, ecclesial movements and ministries.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit integrates two formative experiences. Firstly, an intensive training and formation experience that equips participants for evangelisation in a Catholic school context. In addition to the appointed LIC, experienced leaders in formation and ministry will be invited to assist in these programs. A retreat experience forms part of this intensive formation experience. This is named after the apostolic letter by Pope Benedict, Porta Fidei (2011). In addition, ongoing formation will be achieved through participation in small formation groups completing the ‘Called’ Program and interactive online seminars.

Secondly, an intensive ministry experience is provided through a Ministry Placement. Students will visit a local school(s) to learn how to successfully implement various ministry skills. Supported by a school leader ministry companion, the intensive ministry experience is designed to allow participants to minister in a way that is informed by the church’s teaching on evangelisation, new in its ardour, methods and means of expression. The design of the placements is responsive to the diversity of students, including their capacity and confidence, as well as the needs and diversity of communities that enable these ministry placements.

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, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies work together in an integrated way by using various approaches to support student learning, such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, videos, workshops, and assignments. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

To successfully complete this unit, undergraduate students need to complete and submit two graded assessment tasks (task one is divided into two parts to facilitate the progressive synthesis of interrelated outcomes: LO1, LO2 and LO3.Task two comprises one part).

The assessment strategy employed in this unit allows students to progressively develop their knowledge, understanding and analytical skills to a level of sophistication where they are able to evaluate theological methods and approaches that assist them in communicating aspects of the topic “Formation for Ministry in Catholic Schools” to primary school students, secondary school students and those in parishes.

To develop these skills, the first assessment task is designed to demonstrate knowledge of the role that Catholic schools have in the evangelising mission of the church and strategies for achieving this and an understanding of the personal qualities, and frameworks that inform professional practice. It asks students to analyse contemporary models of evangelisation with reference to Church documents. 

The second assessment task invites students to draw on their ‘Porta Fidei’ retreat experience by means of a personal, reflective journal. It asks them to identify how a teacher’s growing faith can influence their approach to teaching as a ministry and vocation. Task 1 and task 2 are linked to practical teaching in a religious education classroom (or parish) and to insights from their previous experience with each intended to reference Church documents and examples of spiritual formation.

The third assessment task asks students to apply their knowledge and understanding in practice by planning and conducting an interactive evangelisation ministry activity that can be utilised in a Catholic school context OR in another approved context. The task must include a rationale on how the resource could be used in that context and an evaluation on how it contributes to evangelisation in Catholic schools. Once again, this assessment task is oriented towards both practical teaching of religious education in the classroom or involvement in the parish and incorporating wisdom gained from their previous experience.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1: Extended Writing Task

Extended writing task on the role that Catholic schools have in the evangelising mission of the church, including analysis and evaluation of contemporary models, with reference to key Church documents.



Assessment Task 2: Formation Experience and Journal

Drawing on the ‘Porta Fidei’ retreat and the Flame Called experiences, students are to develop a personal reflective journal in which they identify how a teacher’s growing faith can ground and shape their commitment to teaching as a ministry and vocation.



Assessment Task 3: Ministry Activity

As part of a team, plan and implement an interactive evangelisation ministry experience suitable for a Catholic school. Include an evaluation and rationale on how the ministry activity contributes to the evangelisation of Catholic schools.



Representative texts and references

Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life (2014), Anointed and sent: An Australian vision for Catholic youth ministry. Australian Catholic Relief Publishing. LO1

Barker, K. MGL (2001). Becoming Fire. North Melbourne, VIC: Freedom Publishing Company.

Barker, K. MGL (2018). Go set the world on fire. Redland Bay, QLD: Modotti Press.

Engebretson, K (2014). Catholic Schools and the future of the Church. New York and London: Bloomsbury Publishing Inc. LO1

Gowdie, J. (2017). Stirring the soul of Catholic education: Formation for mission. Mulgrave, Vic.: Vaughan Publishing.

Hahn, S. (2014). Evangelising Catholics: A mission manual for the new evangelisation. Huntington IN: Our Sunday Visitor. LO3

Mudge, P. (2019). Living spirituality: Spiritual traditions, narratives, disciplines and virtues for teachers, parishioners and adult educators. Baulkham Hills, NSW: Independently published by ‘Designing Bridging Networks.’ LO4

National Catholic Education Commission. (2016). A Framework for Formation for Mission in Catholic Education. Sydney: NCEC. LO3

Palmer, P. J. (2000). Let your life speak: Listening for the voice of vocation. New York: Jossey-Bass. LO2

Porteous, J. (2014). New evangelisation: pastoral strategy for the church at the beginning of the Third Millennium. Ballarat, Vic.: Connor Court Publishing. LO1

Ryan, C., & Fini, C. (Eds). (2014). Australian Catholic youth ministry: Theological and pastoral foundations for faithful ministry. Mulgrave, Vic: Garratt Publishing. LO4

Rymarz, R. & Franchi, L. (2017). The Education and Formation of Teachers for Catholic Schools: Responding to Changed Cultural Contexts. International Studies in Catholic Education, 9(1), 2-16. LO2

Uhl, T. & Zelenka, M. (2018). Formation model for Catholic school leaders: Results from a national survey. Momentum, 49(3), 23-25.

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