Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module THMN40330: Mission and Ministry in the Acts of the Apostles

Department: Theology and Ministry

THMN40330: Mission and Ministry in the Acts of the Apostles

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • a systematic and critical study of the Book of Acts and of the ways in which the text has informed and continues to inform the mission and ministry of the church.


  • The major themes and issues to be explored will include:
  • A general introduction to Acts: its genre; origins and purpose.
  • The influence of Acts upon contemporary mission and ministry
  • Issues in contemporary interpretation
  • The apostolic preaching: lessons of content and method
  • Christian initiation in Acts
  • The role and gift of the Spirit in mission
  • Patterns of ministry in the early church
  • Questions of vision and strategy
  • Acts as an early Christian apologetic
  • Role models for ministers: the study of character in Acts
  • Acts and models of the Church

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module students will have gained or developed:
  • A systematic knowledge of the Book of Acts with the tradition of interpretation within the Christian church including contemporary scholarship which will act as a foundation for teaching and further study.
  • A critical appreciation of models of mission and ministry demonstrated in Acts both in respect of their historical and social contexts and their place within the Christian tradition.
  • A comprehensive understanding of hermeneutical questions involved in seeking to apply lessons from Acts to the contemporary church.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Upon successful completion of the module students should be able to:
  • Reflect on mission and ministry in complex and unpredictable contexts in a way which demonstrates critical awareness of the biblical tradition.
  • Plan for the development of mission and ministry in complex and unpredictable contexts.
  • Engage with the hermeneutical questions necessary in the application of scripture to the contemporary church.
Key Skills:
  • Upon successful completion of the module students should have:
  • Developed their ability to communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively both orally and in written format.
  • Developed research based skills
  • Demonstrated their ability as reflective practitioners

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

  • The course will be a combination of 30 hours of research based lectures and student led seminars and discussions, based on extensive primary and secondary reading, included in two periods of residence in Durham. In preparation for the seminars students will be expected to examine in detail a section of Acts and undertake secondary reading, research and reflection around the text or a related theme. Study of the text in the original Greek will be encouraged but not required. The contact hours outlined in the grid below give an indication of the split between lectures and seminars. This may vary depending on the size of the cohort.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 18 Block 1 and 2 1.5 hours 27
Presentations 6 Block 2 0.5 hours 3
Preparation and Reading 270
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Two formative assessments: a 2,500-word exegesis and a student-led seminar preparatory to the summative essay. Feedback to students will comprise dialogue in seminars, and written feedback on formative work. Staff will also be available for individual consultation.

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