Details for Personal and Public Ethics.

This paper is designed to explore theological and philosophical bases of ethical decision making, and to facilitate guided reflection on personal morality and societal ethical issues. 

Quick Info

  • Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
  • Unit code: THE205
  • Credit points: 15
  • Total workload hours per week: 9
  • Number of timetabled hours per week: 4 *

* Note: Units with reduced contact hours (such as those taught in Intensive format) will have an increased assessment component.↩


THE101 –Understanding the Faith

The following courses are prerequisites:

Awards offering Personal and Public Ethics.

This unit is offered as a part of the following awards:

Unit Content

Curriculum Objective


This paper is designed to explore theological and philosophical bases of ethical decision making, and to facilitate guided reflection on personal morality and societal ethical issues.



Students should be able to:

  1. Explain the various historical traditions of theological ethics. This includes consideration of other Christian perspectives and understandings
  2. Discuss the integration of biblical and philosophical approaches to ethics
  3. Apply current ethical questions in the light of various biblical, historical and theological approaches in the contemporary context
  4. Explain and employ tools for making ethical determinations based on a Christian worldview
  5. Discuss the importance of an articulate Christian response to a range of ethical issues facing society 

Subject Content

  1. Foundations of the study of public and personal ethics
  2. Using the biblical model for public and personal ethics
  3. Ethical theories: including utilitarianism, absolutism, situationalism and virtue ethics
  4. The impact of ethical theory on individual and corporate decision-making
  5. Facing a range of contemporary ethical issues
  6. Exploring Maori ethical frameworks and ways of knowing
  7. Public and personal ethics in Christian ministry 

This course may be offered in the following formats


Lectures, guided reading, web-based interaction, and seminar presentations on key ethical issues


Please consult your course prospectus or enquire about how and when this course will be offered next at Alphacrucis College.

Assessment Methods


Forum Postings (20%, 2500 words); Group Project (30%, 10-20 minutes + 1500 words); Essay (50%, 2500 words)


Prescribed Text


  •   Grenz, S. The Moral Quest: Foundations of Christian Ethics. London: Apollos, 2000.

Representative References

De la Torre, M.A. Doing Christian Ethics From The Margins. Maryknoll NY:  Orbis, 2004.

Gill, R. (ed). The Cambridge Companion to Christian Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Graham, M.E. “Rethinking Morality’s Relationship to Salvation: Josef Fuchs, S.J., on Moral Goodness.” Theological Studies 64:4 (2003): 750-772.

Grenz, S. The Moral Quest: Foundations of Christian Ethics.Downers Grove:  InterVarsity Press, 2000.

Hauerwas, S. A Better Hope. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2000.

Jones, G. Bioethics: When the Challenges of Life Become Too Difficult. Adelaide: ATF Press, 2007.

Kilner, J., Hook, C. and Uustal, D (eds.). Cutting-Edge Bioethics. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 2002.

Lovin, R. Christian Ethics.  Nashville: Abingdon, 2000.

Macarthur, J. The Vanishing Conscience. Milton Keynes: Nelson, 2005.

Mackay, H. Right and Wrong: How to Decide for Yourself.  Sydney: Hodder Headline, 2004.

Pihlström, S. “Transcendental Guilt: On an Emotional Condition of Moral; Experience.” Journal of Religious Ethics 35:1 (2007): 87-111.

Rogers, E. (ed). Theology and Sexuality.  Oxford: Blackwell, 2002.

Shaw, W. Social and Personal Ethics.  5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2004.

Stanglin, K. “The Historical Connection Between the Golden Rule and the Second Greatest Love Command.” Journal of Religious Ethics 33:2 (2005): 357-371. 



Studies in Christian Ethics

Journal of Applied Philosophy

Journal of Religious Ethics

Theological Studies


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