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Theology & Practice - 20 credits (RT7104)

Module Tutor: Rev Dr Peter Stevenson

Summary of course content

Practical theology is a complex subject and this module examines some of its significant features. At the heart of practical theology lies the need to explore the connections between the Christian theological tradition and the everyday realities of actual pastoral practice. This module identifies ways in which these connections can be made, integrating insights from theology and other disciplines in a creative way.

Within a modular course in theology it is possible to study many different topics without exploring connections between them. This module addresses such compartmentalisation by demonstrating ways of integrating insights from biblical, doctrinal, historical, and other disciplines which enrich the process of reflecting theologically upon on issues arising from the ministry and mission of the church.


Credits: 20

Availability of module: Every year


• To introduce students to critical reflective practice in the context of Christian ministry
• To develop skills that enable engagement with and reflection upon aspects of church and society
• To introduce students to practical theological methods and models as a foundation for further specialist academic study and skills training

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, the student will demonstrate:

• Knowledge and understanding of main features of contemporary practical theology and how it relates to ministry and life.
• An ability to read and interpret biblical texts and evaluate their value in reflection upon pastoral situations.
• An ability to use appropriate methods to interpret and reflect upon experience.
• An ability to represent their own views and those of others sensitively, with understanding, fairness and integrity.
• An ability to engage in critical theological reflection and to present the results of such reflection clearly and coherently.

Teaching methods

20 lectures


One formative assignment (1500 words) and one summative assignment (5,000 words).

Suggested book purchases

L. Green, Let’s Do Theology: Resources for Contextual Theology (London: Mowbrays, 20092).

Suggested preparatory reading

Roger Walton, The Reflective Disciple, (London: Epworth Press, 2009).

Primary sources

Paul H. Ballard and John Pritchard, Practical theology in action: Christian thinking in the service of church and society (London: SPCK, 20062).
E. Lartey, Pastoral Theology in an Intercultural World (Peterborough: Epworth, 2006).
David Lyall, Integrity of Pastoral Care (London: SPCK, 2001).
Sally Nash and Paul Nash, Tools for Reflective Ministry (SPCK, 2009).
Richard R. Osmer, Practical Theology: An Introduction (Grand Rapids/Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2008).
Judith Thompson with Stephen Pattison and Ross Thompson, SCM Studyguide to Theological Reflection (London: SCM Press, 2008).
John Weaver, Outside-In: Theological Reflections on Life Regent’s Study Guides 13, (Oxford: Regent’s Park College, 2006).
James Woodward & Stephen Pattison (eds.), The Blackwell Reader in Pastoral and Practical Theology (Blackwell, 2000)