MIN440 Public Theology for Ministry (8)

This subject examines how theological perspectives may inform contemporary public discourse. It enables students to creatively develop appropriate, coherent and meaningful expressions of theologically derived insights in contexts often characterized by conflict and disagreement over such contributions. In addition, students will practise theological discussion of common public and political issues beyond the Christian community, and will critically assess various modes of engagement between Christian theology and contemporary social life. This subject will focus on the practical application of theoretical theological perspectives to address issues arising from specific ministry contexts.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2022.

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

Enrolment Restrictions

Only available to student enrolled in Master of Ministry Articulated Set

Subject Relationships

THL540 This subject is a ministry oriented 8 point iteration of THL540 Public Theology

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in the critical analysis of contemporary public theology;
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of social and contextual issues which might be regarded as properly 'theological';
  • be able demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in critical analysis and sound and informed investigation in the professional practice of faith-based organisations;
  • be able to demonstrate communication and technical research skills related to public theological discourses and the various issues in public and social discussion;
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the various applications of public theological discourse in different ministry contexts, and capacity to investigate and analyze critically these contexts; and
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the social and contextual factors that relegate theological discourse to the private sphere.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • What is 'public theology'? Identifying 'publics'; describing 'theologies'; evaluating proposals, developing an account.
  • Public theology in the early church: protection of Christian community and promotion of public good; comparisons to modern public theological discourse.
  • Contested notions of 'secularity'; the rise of 'public atheology'; the deployments of public theology and their various terms of engagement.
  • Analyzing and evaluating competing claims and complex negotiations over shared cultural space (often conducted under the heading 'Church and State'); understanding the liberal demand for 'public reasons'; creating a theological account of 'goods in common'; responding to the regulation(s) of forms of religious expression.
  • 'Retrieval' and 'Cobelligerence': The political task of 'retrieval'; evaluating alliances for common good.
  • Creative uses of media for public theology.
  • Applications of theological concepts of grace, repentance/forgiveness and social justice, to indigenous, criminal justice and/or immigration issues.
  • Critically evaluating public ideologies in economics and their overspill into domains of e.g.: care; family life; body dysmorphias; and/or human services delivery; injecting persuasive discourses in social justice into this cultural space.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of MIN440 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Opinion piece(s)

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: June 2022. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.