Aid and Development


This subject will enable you to engage with issues of poverty and inequality from a Christian perspective. You will explore in-depth how inequalities can arise from a variety of sources including conflict, failed governments, climate change, disability, gender and indigenous issues. You will develop a biblical-theological framework for responding to poverty and inequality.

Filmed on location in India, Africa and Australia, this subject was developed in partnership with World Vision Australia. You will be led through an exploration of the complexity of the challenges of poverty and injustice by Tim Costello (former CEO World Vision Australia and current Executive Director of Micah Australia) and David Williams (Church Missionary Society). You will also hear many other voices and perspectives: indigenous Australians, religious leaders, experts and practitioners working to alleviate inequality in a wide range of contexts.

By the end of the subject, you can expect to be able to analyse biblical and theological perspectives on aid and development, discuss a range of contemporary aid and development approaches and begin to analyse the issues involved in responding to these. You will gain a deep biblical understanding of God’s redemptive and transformational purposes for the world.

This subject will be helpful for people aspiring to or already engaged in working to alleviate injustice and poverty.

Please visit the timetable by clicking here for current information on subject availability.

Subject Details 

Workload One semester, 12 credit points
Status  Elective
Subject Code  EM010
Teacher  Tim Costello, David Williams and Bill Walker


  • Introduction to the issues, background, context and big questions around aid and development.
  • Role of worldview, culture and religion in aid and development
  • Exploring development approaches:
    1. Economic models, wealth transfer
    2. Community participation and empowerment
    3. Politics, governance and institution building
    4. Human rights and duties
  • Towards a theological framework: transformational change in a fallen world
    • Exploring development issues and challenges
    • Inequalities: gender, children and disability
    • Refugees, conflict, fragile settings and failed states
    • Impact of climate change
    • Health and sanitation
    • Indigenous poverty
  • Re-visiting our theological framework: bringing transformational change in a fallen world.

Study Expectations
In this online subject you can expect to work through a variety of weekly learning activities which include watching videos, reading, completing set learning and assessment tasks and contributing to online forums and interacting with your peers. Allow 8–10 hours study time per week.

Professional Development/Audit option
This subject is also available to audit. The audit option is suitable for people who may want to engage with the material for personal interest or professional development but do not want to complete the assignments or gain credit towards an accredited course of study. There is a $395 fee to audit this subject.

To find out more about the audit option please contact the Registrar’s office at 03 9207 4800 or 


We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Ridley College campus is built.
Ridley College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS Provider Code 02650E.
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