Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module THMN45330: Consultancy for Mission and Ministry

Department: Theology, Ministry and Mission

THMN45330: Consultancy for Mission and Ministry

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2020/21


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • to introduce students to the language, concepts and methods employed in the professional practice of consultancy
  • to develop students as effective consultants through the development of high level skills in contextual analysis and the application of in depth knowledge
  • to enable students to critically evaluate a number of competing consultancy models and develop their personal model of consultancy praxis


  • Introduction to the language, concepts and methods used in consultancy praxis
  • Critical examination of constitutive elements of consultancy practice, underlying bodies of knowledge and key skills, including the interdisciplinary approach of Congregational Studies; the module may, as appropriate, engage with other relevant ministerial fields of study such as Missiology, Christian Education and Discipleship, Pastoral Care, and others
  • Evaluation and application of a range of consultancy models, methods, and tools appropriate to the design of consultancy offered for a range of problems, cases, and situations
  • Contextual examination of the issues for consultancy in Christian settings in support of more effective ministry and mission
  • Analytical frameworks for reading and evaluating consultancy modes and models
  • Organisational theories, methods and tools from a range of sources and a detailed examination of their suitability for use in church contexts
  • Preparation for, execution and critique of consultations in a variety of roles

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module the student will have:
  • Gained a conceptual understanding of the methods and tools applied in consultancy practice.
  • Explored and critically evaluated the contextual issues for consultancy in Christian settings, and the suitability of organisational theories, methods and tools for application in church contexts.
  • Evaluated the diverse responses required in different consultancy situations showing a critical awareness of key concepts and models necessary for the development of consultancy praxis.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module the student will have:
  • Critically related research, theory and practice from theology, organisational studies and consultancy in a creative and reflective way, according to professional/vocational context where appropriate.
  • Integrated and applied these disciplines in consultations in a productive and safe manner, paying particular attention to theological reflection, context and tradition in the development of reflective practice.
  • Made significant progress in developing their own professional, rigorous, theory based consultancy model, particularly in terms of understanding the different roles in consultations.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of the module the student will be able to:
  • Critically engage with and synthesise information through reading and research, and to present this clearly and effectively both orally and in writing
  • Demonstrate their ability to analyse their practice and develop as reflective practitioners.
  • Effectively communicate complex ideas orally and in written format
  • Determine appropriate advanced techniques of analysis and enquiry within their applied specialist field.

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

  • The module will be taught by the Revd David Dadswell. Other experienced practitioners will be involved in introducing students to working consultancy models and key issues arising from a variety of Christian contexts. Learning will be delivered through staff led seminars, supervised, experiential consultancy sessions with other students and external guests, guest lectures and distance learning material.
  • The co-consultancy groups enable students to work in pairs and trios as consultants, consultors and observers on a number of exercises which focus on consultancy practice. After the group sessions, students all engage in reflection, learning and implications for practice.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Staff-led seminars 5 2 hours 10
Student co-consultancy groups* 14 45 minutes – 1hour 30 minutes 18
Tutorials 2 1 hour 2
Independent study including e-learning 270
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Reflective Portfolio Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Reflective portfolio comprising: • Evidence from co-consultancy groups, including an analysis which is focussed by an emphasis on particular consultancy topics such as consultancy process, understanding of and operation in the roles of consultor, consultant and observer, or attempts at analysis or design. • An essay describing of the model of consultancy developed from the student’s praxis with a critical evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the model and how it might be developed with particular reference to its contextual application. 5,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

A critical outline of the process of developing a consultancy contract for a consultation in a church setting including an analysis of the differing contexts in operation in the setting and a justification for the contents of the contract, 2000 words.

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