Discernment and Authority in Christian Tradition

Discernment and Authority in Christian Tradition
Starts from:Wed, August 1, 2018 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Campus Location

29 College Crescent,Parkville,Victoria,Australia

Course Feature
  • Cross-listing This unit is cross-listed Church History to Spirituality.
Class Description

DS9341J / CH9341J are the face-to-face classes

This subject explores the nature and processes of discernment in the Christian tradition, and the relationship of discernment to authority in the Christian community. Taking examples of Christian leadership from within and beyond the church, students will develop definitions of authentic leadership and identify strategies for building the capacity of groups and individuals to make good choices (discernment) and the foundations required for their implementation (authority).


Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. Describe and evaluate the principles and processes of discernment described in six key texts of the Christian tradition;
  2. Describe and evaluate the understanding of authority and the style of leadership advocated by six key authors in the Christian tradition;
  3. Analyse a contemporary example of decision making in the public realm in light of these traditions of authority and processes of discernment.
  4. Develop strategies for building capacity for leadership in Christian communities, in light of these traditions of authority and processes of discernment.


Associate Professor Katharine Massam


Every Wednesday in Semester 2

First class commences on 1st August 2018


2:00pm to 5:00pm, Wednesday during Semester 2


Centre for Theology and Ministry, 29 College Crescent, Parkville VIC 3052

Room G2


For academic credit                       $2,400

Not for academic credit                $1,200


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Democopoulos, George E. Five Models of Spiritual Direction in the Early Church.  Notre Dame, Ind: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007.

Benedict, and Timothy Fry. RB 1980: the Rule of St Benedict in Latin and English with notes. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1981.

Brackley, Dean. The Call to Discernment in Troubled Times: New Perspectives on the Transformative Wisdom of Ignatius of Loyola. New York: Crossroad, 2004.

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McIntosh, Mark Allen. Discernment and Truth: The Spirituality and Theology of Knowledge, New York: Crossroad, 2004.

Teresa of Avila, and Kieran Kavanaugh. The Collected Letters of St Teresa of Avila. Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications, 2001.

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Wright, T. Scripture and the Authority of God, London: SPCK, 2013.