This level 9 programme ideally forms part of a minister's continuing journey of growth and development, strengthening his/her capacity for ministry leadership in the Church.
At this level, ministers are enabled to take significant responsibility for the work of individuals and groups, and for leading and initiating mission-focused activity in a wide (and sometimes unpredictable) variety of professional levels and contexts. Students develop new skills to a high level, including novel and emerging approaches in professional ministry, especially within the areas of leadership in public prayer, pastoral care and spiritual accompaniment, and building and strengthening community. Students learn complex and advanced skills to teach in diverse settings, provide effective catechetical and faith formation, and exercise responsible stewardship of parish personnel and resources.
This level allows students to develop a critical awareness of current issues of pastoral concern informed by scholarship from the forefront of pertinent fields of theological learning, and a systematic understanding of theological knowledge as it relates to his/her experiences in life and ministry practice. Each student completes an MTh dissertation that presents a rigorous, in-depth, and critical examination of a particular pastoral area or issue situated at the interface of academic theology and contemporary ministry. In doing so, the student acquires a mastery in specialised techniques of reflection and enquiry, and methods of research, forming an ability to scrutinise and reflect on the changing ministerial landscape, articulate an informed pastoral response, while seeking to contribute to transforming ministerial practice leading to growth or change.
This MTh programme further enables students to:
• examine existing procedural approaches and exercise appropriate judgment in complex planning, leading groups, and managing resources;
• learn to self-evaluate and take responsibility for forming a habit of reflective practice for ministry and for continuing academic and professional development;
• express a comprehensive, internalised, personal worldview, achieving self-awareness and critical reflection as these relate to pastoral ministry;
• engage in critical dialogue and face the demands of making collaborative ministry work;
• exercise initiative and independent thought, to interact intelligently, empathically, ethically, and professionally within their ministerial context;
• differentiate appropriate ministerial approaches to formulate pastoral responses to complex situations in pastoral contexts, and act to change them.