Graduate Diploma of Ministry and Theology

Course Code 4887
Course duration /
Study mode

Course duration: Two years full-time (or part-time equivalent) 
Study mode: On-campus or distance education

Location Lake Macquarie


The Graduate Diploma of Ministry & Theology (GradDipMinTheol) is for those who have a degree in another discipline and are interested in preparation for ministry. Avondale's GradDipMinTheol is a graduate-entry degree designed specifically to prepare you for employed ministry in Seventh-day Adventist churches and organisations, and other Christian denominational churches.

Career Opportunities

The Graduate Diploma of Ministry and Theology provides the foundations for a career as a:

  • Church Pastor
  • Youth Minister
  • Evangelist
  • Church Administrator
  • School Chaplain
  • Hospital Chaplain
  • Pastoral Educator
  • Lecturer

Admission Criteria


1. Bachelor’s degree of AQF level 7 or equivalent

2. A satisfactory Pastoral Recommendation form, which may require an interview with the pastor

3 a. Seventh-day Adventist applicants - baptized for two years or more, and evidence of being actively involved in a local SDA church

   b. Other applicants - baptized for two years or more, and evidence of being actively involved in a local church of their own denomination

4. A National Police Check (issued within the last six months)

5. A current Working with Children Check (for the state in which the student will be located while they undergo study)

6. A signed Acceptance of the Code of Professional Ethics for Avondale Seminary

Students who enrol in this course will also be expected to obtain an AdSafe certificate of completion for Safer Churches Training in order to meet the requirements for Church Ministry units.


Overseas applicants will have their qualifications assessed by Avondale Admissions in line with the Admission Policy for Undergraduate Higher Education Courses found at  Overseas applicants are also required to satisfy Australian Government visa requirements


Applicants must have completed a Bachelor degree or equivalent and demonstrated proficiency in the English language (eg IELTS 6.5 with no band less than 6.0, or equivalent) for students whose first language is not English.

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in English as per the Admission to the Higher Education undergraduate course

Course Structure

Course Duration: Two years full time (or part time equivalent)

Study mode: On-campus or distance education

Maximum time to complete: Six years

Course consists of 16 units of 6 credit points spread over two years of full time study with

  • 5 units in Theology and Church History
  • 5 units in Biblical Studies
  • 6 units in Church Ministry

There course structure details are below for commencing on an even and odd numbered year.

Structure for a Course Commencing in an Even Numbered Year
Year one

Semester 1

BBNT46110 Greek
THEO46110 Theology & Belief
CHNM46150 Evangelism & World Mission
THEO46150 Doctrine of the Church & Sabbath

Semester 2

BBNT46130 Thesis in Matthew & John
THEO46140 Sabbath & Last Things
CHMN46160 Family System in Ministry
THEO46130 Christian History A

Year two

Semester 1

BBOT46110 Pentateuch in Church
THEO46120 SDA Heritage
CHMN46110 Church & Ministry
CHMN46130 Personal Evangelism & Disciple

Semester 2

BBBI46110 Biblical Apocalypses
BBNT46120 Pauline Studies
CHMN46140 Contemporary Preaching
CHMN46180 Church Leadership & Management

Structure for Course Commencing in an Odd Numbered Year

Year one

Semester 1

BBNT46110 Greek
THEO46110 Theology & Belief
THEO46120 SDA Heritage
CHMN46130 Personal Evangelism & Discipleship

Semester 2

BBNT46110 Themes in Mattew & John
BBBI46110 Biblical Apocalypses
CHMN46180 Church Leadership & Management
THEO46130 Christian History A

Year two

Semester 1

BBOT46110 Pentateuch in Context
THEO46150 Doctrine of the Church & Sabbath
CHMN46150 Evangelism & World Mission
CHMN46110 Church & Ministry

Semester 2

BBNT46120 Pauline Studies
THEO46140 Salvation & Last Things
CHMN46160 Family Systems in Ministry
CHMN46140 Contemporary Preaching

Practical Experience


All six Church Ministry units are associated with either a church placement, or a ministry practicum externship, which is worth 30% or more of the grade for the unit.

Church placements are central to ministry formation. They involve the placement of students in a local church as a trainee pastor under the guidance of a mentor who meets regularly with the student. The attachment allows students to integrate theological content with practical ministry, and provides students the opportunity to experience and experiment with ministry in a variety of different circumstances. Reflection on their experience helps students to develop knowledge of their own gifting, strengths, and weaknesses.
Church placements are associated with the following units:

CHMN46110 Church & Ministry
CHMN46140 Contemporary Preaching
CHMN46180 Church Leadership & Management
CHMN46160 Family Systems in Ministry
CHMN46130 Personal Evangelism & Discipleship (Externship)

Ministry Practicum externships are designed to allow students to observe, participate and experience “full-on” ministry in the pastoral context of a local church for a minimum period of ten consecutive days inclusive of two weekends. These immersion experiences allow students to experience ministry in a greater depth than is normally possible during a regular church placement. While one externship is compulsory, an optional second externship that includes an intercultural experience may be taken.

The Ministry Practicum Externship is associated with the following unit: CHMN 46130 Personal Evangelism & Discipleship

Management of Placements

Suitable mentors are chosen in dialogue between the Church Ministry lecturers and Conference Presidents. Chosen mentors are then trained on an annual basis, and are in regular email communication with the Church Ministry lecturers.

All students must have completed Safe Places training and Working with Children Police Check prior to any placement.

To secure a church placement, students undertake an interview with a Ministry Practicum Director in order to match the student’s individual development and needs with a suitable church and pastoral mentor. The Ministry Practicum Director approaches the chosen pastor to arrange an introductory interview in which the student will discuss the terms of a contractual arrangement which will permit them to function as a student pastor under their mentorship.

Students meet with their mentor at least monthly during their placement and conduct ministry in line with the expectations outlined in their contract.

Assessment includes a ministry report form signed by the mentor, a ministry reflection paper, and a 20-30 minute interview with the practicum director.

Management of externships occur in a similar manner with students indicating their preferred experience (e.g. pastoral ministry, church planting, youth ministry, cross cultural ministry, or school chaplaincy) and the ministry practicum director communicating with the chosen mentor, and their line manager to set up the experience.

Students keep a log of their experience which must be co-signed by the mentor. The ministry practicum director receives a report from the mentor, and an externship reflection paper from the student upon completion of the externship.

Full details of the management of placements and externship, including relevant forms s can be found in the Ministry Practicum Handbook:


The Graduate Diploma of Ministry and Theology course is accredited under Avondale's self-accrediting authority and is nationally registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

Registration and Self-Disclosure

Due to the access that students have to minors and at risk individuals in the church context, all Graduate Diploma of Ministry and Theology students are required to undergo a national police check prior to admission.  In addition they must have a current Working with Children Check and undergo Safe Places Training.

Where to get further information

Course Enquiries


Phone: +61 2 4980 2377
Monday-Thursday, 9.00am-5pm
Friday, 9.00am-12.00noon

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The course has equipped me and inspired me... I feel ready to go out and minister to people. 
- Ministry & Theology graduate