Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module THEO55730: Christian Formation, Faith Development and Critical Education

Department: Theology and Religion

THEO55730: Christian Formation, Faith Development and Critical Education

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • to analyse the concept of Christian education and the range of approaches to its practice
  • to introduce some psychological research of relevance to Christian education
  • to explore a number of theological and philosophical issues associated with the theory and practice of Christian education


  • The notion of 'Christian education' is susceptible of many different interpretations. Some of these are reviewed in this module, with the major focus being on the 'formative' and 'critical' styles of education into Christianity, together with their theological and philosophical implications.
  • The empirical dimensions of Christian religiosity, and of more general notions of faith, will also be explored, and a critical study made of the literature on faith development and cognate areas.
  • While the practical context of faith development, formation and criticism will also be kept in view, it is the intention of this module to provide a deeper, multi-disciplinary study of the theoretical issues that arise in such contexts, rather than any simplistic set of practical aids-for-teachers-and-pastors.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • demonstrate an understanding of the formative and critical dimensions of Christian education
  • show a critical understanding of faith development theory
  • demonstrate the ability to explore the nature of Scripture and doctrine from a Christian learning perspective
Subject-specific Skills:
  • outline and evaluate one major approach to Christian education
  • show a critical understanding of the development of the Attitude to Christianity instrument and the data it provides
  • critically assess a range of theological and educational arguments pertinent to the idea of the church as a learning community
Key Skills:
  • demonstrate the ability to apply theological reflection to Christian education aims and approaches
  • critically apply the claims of psychological research to the practice of Christian education
  • evaluate the competing interpretations of Christian education as an aspect of practical theology and as a field within the social sciences

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • enter text as appropriate for the module

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 20 weekly 1 hour 20
Preparation and reading 280
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

One 5000 word essay

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University