Postgraduate Unit Descriptions

For more information about where these units fit into our postgraduate courses, see the postgraduate courses page here.
Click on individual units for a description

The Gospel, Cultural Anthropology and Ethnographic Methods, EM 7** – 4

This unit serves to provide up-to-date, specialised knowledge and understanding of the core frameworks of cultural anthropology, its place in practical theological reflection and the methods by which cultural data may be collected, sifted and interpreted for the sake of cross-cultural ministry effectiveness. Topics include: the dimensions and scope of cultural anthropology as a missiological discipline, how an anthropological lens may be employed as a grid to interpret ministry situations and practices, the notion of worldview and its implication for the communication of the gospel and Christian mission. A range of approaches to ethnographic data collection and analysis and the ethical and emancipatory dimensions of ethnographic research are explored.

Effective Christian Education across Cultures, EM 7**- 4

This unit will enable candidates to research the local mindsets, plan responses, and develop curriculum materials to empathically serve the educational needs of various receptor cultures in which they are situated. The unit introduces postgraduate students to the current attitudes and approaches to education across boundaries of culture and worldview difference. Students will critically reflect upon various approaches and devise strategies that are appropriate to the design and delivery of educational materials allied to their ministry specialisation in cross-cultural contexts. The aim is to also enable these candidates to resolve problems that arise in an educational context with sensitivity to the cultural values and perspectives of the learner. Pedagogically this will be achieved through providing guidelines regarding pre-testing and other forms of data collection as well as diagnostic grids that enable the discernment of the contextual particulars of the learning style and educational values of the community of learners being served.

Applied Linguistics for Mission, EM 7** – 4

Drawing upon prior study and grounding in mission experience, students will gain an understanding of what it means to ‘do linguistics’ in their own context of service in cross-cultural mission. This level of unit extends beyond foundational concepts to cover the practices and specialised knowledge required for accreditation as a ‘Linguistic specialist’; or for persons who could add value to their current role within mission teams whose ministry focus relates to, or depends upon, language development of a particular people group. Specific content will vary according to the focus of the particular cohort, whether language development, linguistic research, translation, literacy or other mission activity. The typical offering of this unit will survey recent applied linguistic theorists and implications for doing linguistics in a mission context, recent theoretical shifts as they affect the work of Scripture translation, language acquisition, Scripture engagement or literacy education, and address social and political realities and the practice of applied linguistic vocations in situ.

Academic Writing for Ministry or Mission, EM 7** – 4

This unit aims to foster and normalise the vocational connection between the focal interests of the mission practitioner or ministry person, and the scholarly world of research publication. While the topic chosen should enhance the postgraduate student’s knowledge of the subject area and should encourage initiative and develop the student’s powers of independent inquiry and argumentation, these skills serve the purpose of developing the student’s written or visual communication skills at a scholarly and popular-peer level. This unit apprentices the postgraduate student into the disciplines involved in producing articles worthy of scholarly and popular publishing. To this end, the candidate will produce an acceptable article, critical literature review, or meta-survey of literature pertinent to their vocation, and their research interests within that field.

Leadership Development in a Cross-Cultural Context, EM 761

At the end of the unit, candidates should be able to evaluate the models demonstrated and teaching given on leadership in the Old and New Testaments, including the concept of servant leadership. They should also be able to distinguish the cultural factors that impact on the development of effective Christian leaders in a specific culture, whether western or non-western. In addition, they should be able to compare and contrast different cultural leadership styles and leadership development processes in light of a biblical concept of servant leadership so as to design a Christian leadership development process appropriate to a specific culture and based upon an effective needs assessment.

Contextualisation of Theology and Ministry Practice, EM780 – 4

This unit is an alternative or sequel to the study of cultural anthropology. While many of the frameworks in these units overlap, this unit is more concerned for those who have to develop a reasoned Christian response to theological or ethical phenomena; maintaining a high view of biblical authority, while being sensitive to the potential for cultural misinterpretation of the concepts. Topics covered include biblical basis for contextualisation, the history of contextualisation, communication and anthropological models and the issue of worldview and redemptive analogies. Candidates will be introduced to a range of models of contextual approaches to theological thinking and actually dealing with critical ecclesiological and missiological issues in a distinct cultural context.

Evangelism and Missiology Conference Participation, EM 702 – 4

This unit will prepare the candidate for a conference in areas relevant to their mission practice or ministry by reflecting on the relevant scholarship and practice. Usually candidates will present a paper or artefact at an actual conference during semester time and later critically evaluate the conference theologically, professionally and personally. This unit will involve the candidate attending at least 12 hours of presentations or workshops at an approved conference after which they will reflect both theologically and personally upon their experience at the conference in which they participated. Four units (16 cps) at 700 level must first be completed to provide grounding for the requirements of this unit.

Minor Project EM 795

This project is a piece of supervised research that is within 10% of 14,000 words excluding footnotes and bibliography. Guidelines are found in the ACT handbooks. The candidate will be assigned a supervisor with expertise in either the methodology or the content area chosen. The topic is first approved by the EM moderator in the field of linguistics and then the candidate has one semester to complete. Usually the prior work in Research methods RM795 and Academic Writing for Ministry and Mission has already prepared the candidate for this work and the candidate may use some aspect of the project in their Conference Participation Unit EM 702. The project is to include a 300-word abstract and will usually be marked internally within the SILA or MST academic community. It would be normal even for part-time candidates to enrol in the Conference Participation Unit at the same time as the Minor Project unit so that their ideas may be shaped by feedback from their peers. Ethics approval may also be required from the MST or ACT ethics committee if the topic chosen involves data gained from living human participants.