PT 439: Theological Reflection on Practice

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Module Level


Module Aims

This module provides students with the opportunity to engage in Theological Reflection within peer groups as a concomitant process with their pastoral practice. Students analyse and reflect on encounters, events, and experiences from the pastoral placement. In the case of this module, placement entails 240Hrs of independent practice in an approved clinical setting (average 10 Hrs PW for 24 weeks, across two semesters). The candidate should be working in post as a healthcare chaplain or have independently arranged a chaplaincy placement for the duration of Year Two. The student should arrange to be supervised and mentored by an experienced, accredited Healthcare Chaplain within this placement setting. Placement site to be approved by PU prior to progression to Year Two.

Indicative Syllabus

Students of this module are integrated with the Theological Reflection Groups (TRG) from PT430. This TRG consists of the following:

  • Small peer support groups guided by experienced TRG facilitators.
  • Students present a Teaching Placement Profile within their group, to provide peers with suitable context for understanding one another’s placement experiences.
  • In each week of classes, one student prepares a written reflection on an experience from his/her placement and presents it within his/her group for the purpose of peer reflection.
  • Each student presents a minimum of three reflections, using each of the following methods of reflection at least once: critical incident, verbatim, and case study.
  • As MTh level, students are tasked with facilitating at least one of these TRG sessions, supervised by the experienced TRG Facilitator.

Learning Outcomes

  • • Gained further professional competency and refined pastoral skills, ministerial theology, and vocational ministerial identity.
  • • Cultivate effective leadership qualities while inspiring and enabling others to fulfil their baptismal callings and ministerial responsibilities.
  • • Become competent as reflective theologians in pastoral practice.
  • • Develop a reflective process for personal and group reflection.
  • • Gain further proficiency with the practice of reflecting theologically.
  • • Further develop an ability to give and receive constructive feedback on ministry practice, and theological values and beliefs.
  • • Further develop an ability to integrate their human and spiritual formation with their academic study and pastoral experience.
  • • Enhance the ability to discern God’s activity in the midst of experience, informing, shaping, judging, directing, affirming and inspiring ministry.
  • • Develop the ability to facilitate a group process of theological reflection.


  • Coll, Regina. Supervision of Ministry Students. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1992.
  • Collins, Raymond F. Models of Theological Reflection. Lanham: University Press of America, 1984.
  • Graham, Elaine, Heather Walton, and Frances Ward. Theological Reflection: Methods. London: SCM Press, 2005.
  • ---. Theological Reflection: Sources. London: SCM Press, 2005.
  • Killen, Patricia O’Connell and John De Beer. The Art of Theological Reflection. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2006.
  • Kinast, Robert L. Let Ministry Teach. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1996.
  • ---. What Are They Saying About Theological Reflection? New York: Paulist Press, 2000.