THL461 Being the Church (8)

This subject studies the origins of the Christian church and biblical models for being the people of God. It examines the theological basis for the life, mission and ministry of the church, and ways in which the church sustains its mission in the twenty-first century. Traditional marks of the church as 'one, holy, catholic and apostolic' are discussed. Contemporary critiques of the church are considered, as are challenges to being church in a pluralist society. The unity and diversity of the church in an ecumenical context is explored.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Canberra Campus
United Theological College
Online *
Canberra Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL461. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Theology

Subject Relationships

THL113 Paired Subject

Incompatible Subjects

THL113, THL212

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate knowledge of the origins of the Christian church in scripture and history
  • be able to discuss the theology of the church, its life, mission and ministry
  • be able to reflect critically on contemporary ecclesiology
  • be able to give an account of the identity and marks of the church
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of contemporary critiques of the church, and challenges to the church in a pluralist society
  • be able to discuss the value and limits of unity in diversity within the church
  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including research, writing and communication skills


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Israel as the people of God
  • the church according to the New Testament
  • the relation between Israel, Jesus and the church
  • types of church in history, belief and practice
  • the church and the kingdom of God
  • the church in the power of the Spirit
  • the mission of the church
  • the ministry of the church, lay and ordained
  • sustaining the life of the church through worship, prayer and sacraments and other Christian practices
  • the nature and exercise of authority; gifts and charisms in the church
  • contemporary critiques and challenges to the church in a pluralist society
  • ecclesial identity in an ecumenical context; unity in diversity

Residential School

This subject contains a 2 day Optional Residential School.

The residential school for this introductory subject provides an orientation to the subject matter, methodology, library resources, and research tools pertaining to the study of the Christian Church.

Activities include lectures, library orientation and group work.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.