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PAST215 Christianity, Society and Ministry in New Zealand

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Using the lens of Christendom and post-Christendom, this paper examines the history of Christianity in New Zealand, its place and voice in society, and the contemporary challenges for ministry.

This paper offers an introduction to three areas of theology in their New Zealand context. Students will gain an overview of the history of Christianity in New Zealand and then consider how global issues in public theology and in church leadership and ministry play out in the New Zealand setting.

Paper title Christianity, Society and Ministry in New Zealand
Paper code PAST215
Subject Pastoral Studies
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2020 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $904.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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36 100-level points
PAST 315
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
Any student can study Theology, whether they are of the Christian faith, another faith or of no religious faith at all. Theology is an examination of the scriptures, history, content and relevance of the Christian faith, but it presupposes or requires no Christian commitment from students. All it requires is an inquiring mind and an interest in those skills that can be gained through the study of any subject in the Humanities.
Dr Lynne Taylor
Teaching staff

Course co-ordinator: Dr Lynne Taylor
Lecturers: Dr Brett Knowles, Dr Derek Woodard-Lehman, Dr Lynne Taylor

Paper Structure
  1. History - Christianity in NZ (1)
  2. History - Christianity in NZ (2)
  3. Public Theology - Poverty
  4. Public Theology - The Environment
  5. Pastoral Theology - Postmodernism and Secularisation
  6. Pastoral Theology - Migration and New Communications Technologies
Teaching Arrangements
Campus: The paper is taught on campus in 13 two-hour lectures.

Distance: 1 one-hour videoconference followed by 6 two-hour videoconferences.
Textbooks are not required for this paper.
Course outline
View the course outline for PAST 215 (on campus)
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to
  • Apply the concepts of Christendom and post-Christendom to the contemporary ministry settings in New Zealand
  • Articulate the historical development of Christianity in New Zealand, with a particular focus on changes brought about since the 1960s
  • Demonstrate an understanding of what public theology is and what the voice of the church has been and can be in the public square in New Zealand
  • Demonstrate an understanding of four areas in pastoral theology and think theologically about personal and societal needs in New Zealand that affect ministry in our context
  • Identify significant issues facing congregations and ministry organisations in New Zealand and offer a personal understanding of potential ways of addressing those issues

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Not offered in 2020

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system