Living Faiths


When faced with the religious diversity around us, it is tempting for Christians to run to extremes – an all-embracing religious relativism, fearful withdrawal, or loveless judgment. This subject explores how Christians can engage with people from different faiths in a sympathetic and missiological way.

It challenges Christians to respect and understand different religions on their own terms, with the aim of being better able to engage with people of other faiths.

With the help of guest speakers who will share their experience and knowledge with the class, students will take a close look at Animism, Australian Aboriginal religions, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism. As part of the assessment, students will personally interview someone from another religion.

Living Faiths equips students for the challenges of evangelism among adherents of other faiths as well as the complexities of discipleship among Christian converts from different religious backgrounds.

In a globalized world where different religions increasingly rub shoulders, Christians need to know about faiths other than their own and be able to communicate the gospel winsomely and effectively in the context of religious pluralism. Living Faiths helps students meet this missionary challenge.

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

Subject Details

Mode Online  On-campus 
Workload  One semester, 12 credit points Extensive, 12 credit points
Status  Elective Elective
Subject code EM021 EM021
Prerequisites  48 credit points of core foundation subjects 48 credit points of core foundation subjects
Teacher  Charlie Fletcher David Williams and Louise Simon


Section A

  • Key issues in the study of religions: the nature and function of religion; methodological issues in the study of religions
  • Christian approaches to other religions

Section B

  • The historical roots, beliefs and practices, variant traditions, and contemporary changes and responses to global culture of at least two of the following living faiths: Animism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Australian Aboriginal religions, traditional Chinese religions, Sikhism, Shintoism

Section C

  • Points of contact and conflict between Christianity and the other faiths studied
  • Missiological issues for gospel ministry among both adherents of the other faiths studied and Christians from those religious backgrounds

Study Expectations
In this subject, you can expect to be guided through a variety of weekly learning activities which are designed to develop your understanding of and skills in the topics covered in the syllabus. For online students, these usually include watching videos, reading, completing set learning tasks and contributing to online seminars and interacting with your peers. Students should allow 10 hours of study time per week for this subject.


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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