Theories Of Formation: Living Through The Stages Of Life


Winter 2019
Tues 11:00AM to 12:50PM

This course explores the relationship of developmental psychology to the work of counselling and ministry. Students will study some of the major developmental theorists and consider how these theories shape our view of physical, social, intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual development across the lifespan. While this course focuses on the development and life cycle of the individual, it will also consider the experience of the individual as shaped by and contextualized within social systems. Two fundamental questions shape this course. First, “How are the intellect, personality, morality and belief systems shaped and how are these related to personal identity and behaviour?” Secondly, “What is the relationship between the way intellect, personality, morality and belief systems develop and faith formation and learning?” Students will critique the theories presented and consider the implications of a developmental perspective both for the task of counselling as well as other forms of ministry.



  • To understand human development through a bio-psycho-social-spiritual lens.


  • To gain self-awareness as a ministering person through self-reflection on and self-evaluation of one’s personal developmental journey.


  • To read research articles on human development that are pertinent to one’s area of ministry practice.
  • To develop a theologically informed perspective on human development across the lifespan.
  • To communicate with people in a manner that is appropriate to their developmental level and socio-cultural identity.
  • To reflect on the use of developmental perspectives to understand faith formation, faith
    structure and faith content.