Action and Contemplation


2024 Action and Contemplation: The Art of Christian Engagement

(DS/DP3205W or DS/DP9205W)

Overview and duration

This unit explores the art of engaging in Christian life and ministry with a contemplative awareness. It will examine the Biblical, theological and practical foundations for a Christian contemplative spirituality, and the implications of this posture of union with God (or the Divine) for one’s personal life, relationships, ministry and involvement in wider society.

Particular focus will be given to:

  • the Biblical, theological and practical issues of reconciling one’s active and contemplative life with the personal and social dimensions of ministry;
  • a theological understanding and critical engagement with the dynamics of forgiveness and reconciliation in ministry from a contemplative awareness;
  • spiritual and practical exercises to increase one's awareness of being present to themselves, the Holy Spirit, and to others.


Duration: one semester

Course requirements / recommendations


  • none

Course dates

Semester 2, 2024. 

Hybrid - 2 sessions - In person or Online

  • 8-10 Aug 2024
  • 5-7 Sep 2024
  • Dates are inclusive
  • In-person participants attend at WellSpring Centre, Ashburton, Melbourne


Next intake: 2026

Course details, learning outcomes, assessments, structure & recommended reading

Additional course information

Lecturer: Rev Dr Tim McCowan

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • articulate the Biblical and theological foundations for a contemplative spirituality in Christian life and ministry
  • identify the challenges and resources to live with a contemplative awareness in daily life
  • evaluate the effect of a contemplative practice and vision on their engagement in ministry
  • analyse their theological and practical understanding of forgiveness, reconciliation and non-violent social action for a particular context
  • critically self-evaluate their growth through personal and peer supervision
  • articulate a theological synthesis of theory and practice for a contemplative approach to ministry and social action

Cost (per unit)

This course is offered through Whitley College. Government fee help is available to qualifying Australian citizens.

For academic credit, costs are as per the University of Divinity fees schedule.

There is a reduced cost for Audit participants**. Please apply here: 2024 Application for Audit - WellSpring

Useful links for additional information:

**NB: If you choose to complete the unit as an Audit participant, no academic credit can be claimed for the unit, either at the time of enrolling, or retrospectively.

Enrolment process

Please enrol directly with Whitley College

Registrar, Whitley College
Email: | Ph: (03) 9340 8000

How to Apply - Whitley College

For more information

Please contact us at WellSpring

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