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Associate Degree in Theological Studies

Why study with us?

The Associate Degree in Theological Studies (AssDegTheolStud) provides a platform to study theology, the Bible, and church ministry.

Students may undertake supervised field education where they are mentored in a local church which provides opportunities to gain practical ministry skills. Units successfully completed can be credited as advanced standing towards a Bachelor of Theology or a Bachelor of Ministry and Theology if further study is desired.

Avondale is an institutional member of the Australia/New Zealand Association of Theological Studies Limited (ANZATS) and the Australian and New Zealand Association of Theological Field Educators (ANZATFE).

Key Information

Study Mode:
On campus, Off campus
Avondale Campus - Lake Macquarie
Full-time: 2 years, Part-time: Equivalent years
Course Code:

Course Details

Upon successful completion of the Associate Degree in Theological Studies, graduates will be able to:
  • demonstrate a broad theoretical and technical knowledge in two of the disciplines of biblical studies, theology, and ministry and their underlying methodologies;
  • identify, analyse, and evaluate Biblical and theological concepts and demonstrate how they are related to a Seventh-day Adventist world view;
  • communicate and apply acquired Biblical or theological knowledge, or ministry skills in a contextualised manner to a diverse range of audiences;
  • exibit the skills and capacities expected of a growing reflective Christian.

There are many options for satisfying the entry requirements for our courses. An applicant needs to meet at least one of the following entry requirements to be given an offer to study at Avondale.

I have completed my secondary education in Australia or New Zealand and achieved:

*Applicants must not be a current year 12 (or equivalent) student and must be 18 years or older at the time of commencing their course.

I have completed a Vocational education and training (VET) course in Australia or New Zealand and achieved:

  • an Australian Certificate III, or
  • an equivalent New Zealand certificate, as approved by the Director, Student Administration Services.

I have already attended university in Australia or New Zealand and:

  • successfully completed at least 2 units of a Bachelor’s degree or
  • completed a bridging or enabling course, or another recognised tertiary preparation course;or
  • successfully completed at least three units of Avondale’s Undergraduate Certificate in University Preparation.

I have completed my secondary education or higher education qualification overseas:

  • refer to the Admission Policy (HE) for specific information regarding both the minimum academic entry standards (Appendix 1) and the English language proficiency requirements (Appendix 2).

I have other work and life experience:

If a Senior Secondary Certificate has not been completed, an eligible applicant may sit an admission test (uniTEST and TOWA or the Skills for Tertiary Admission Test).

In exceptional circumstances, an applicant may be admitted based on equivalent qualifications or work and life experience as assessed by the Course Convenor or delegate and/or the DVC Academic.

This course has additional entry requirements which are listed below.

Applicants planning to enrol in a CHMN or CHPL coded unit must also meet the following entry requirements:

  • Satisfactory recommendation to be completed by the applicant’s church pastor ~ Pastoral Recommendation Form; and
  • A National Police Check (issued within the last six months); and
  • A current Working with Children Check (or equivalent) for the state/territory where students are living while studying (students may need to discuss interstate or international circumstances with the Field Education Director); and
  • Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) applicants must have been baptised for two years and provide evidence of their commitment to, and active involvement in their local church; or
  • Applicants from other denominations must provide evidence of their commitment to, and active involvement in their local church.

International Students

This course is available to international students who meet the Australian government requirements for a student visa to reside in Australia for the duration of the course. It is also available online for international students residing outside Australia. For information regarding visas refer to

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency through one of the following:

  1. achieving an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no sub-band less than 6.0, or
  2. one of the other ways outlined in Appendix 2 of the Admission Policy (HE).

Advanced Standing

Applicants who have completed prior study may be eligible for advanced standing (credit recognition). Applicants should discuss their eligibility for advanced standing with the Admissions Team or the Course Convenor.

The Associate Degree in Theological Studies (AssDegTheolStud) consists of 16 units and requires 96 credit points for completion. All units are worth six credit points unless otherwise stated.

  • Students complete four units in each of four semesters in a full-time program or part-time equivalent.
  • Some units are offered on a rotational calendar basis. Course Convenor guidance around units and unit availability is highly recommended.
  • Students are encouraged to follow the first two years of the BMinTh schedule to allow the option to articulate to the BMinTh at a later date.

The 16 units required to complete the course are:

  • 4 units selected from each of two of the disciplines listed below; PLUS
  • 8 units selected from any undergraduate units offered by the Seminary and approved by the Course Convenor

A minimum of 4 units must be at 200 level or above.

DisciplinesUnit Prefix
Biblical StudiesBBOT, BBNT, BBBI
Church Ministry/ChaplaincyCHMN, CHPL

Biblical Studies
Unit CodeUnit TitleSemester Offered
BBBI26100Daniel & Revelation2 - Odd years
BBNT16110Mark & Luke1
BBNT16150New Testament Epistles 12
BBNT26110NT Greek 1A1
BBNT36110Exegesis in John2
BBNT36120Exegesis in Matthew1 - Odd years
BBNT36140Revelation2 - Even years
BBNT36150New Testament Epistles 22 - Odd years
BBOT16110Hebrew 1A2
BBOT26110Hebrew Prophets2
BBOT26111Old Testament Meta-narrative1 - Even years
BBOT36110Daniel1 - Even years
ENGL21100Literary Studies of the Bible1

Church Ministry
Unit CodeUnit TitleSemester Offered
CHMN16110Biblical Spirituality & Ministry1
CHMN16140Introduction to Psychology for Ministry1
CHMN26110Ministry & Church Leadership 11
CHMN26130Discipleship Evangelism1 - Odd years
CHMN26170Contemporary Youth Ministry1 - Even years
CHMN26180Digital Ministry2 - Even years
CHMN36110Ministry & Church Leadership 22 - Odd years
CHMN36120Contemporary Ministry to Families2 - Even years
CHMN36130Evangelism & Church Planting1 - Even years
CHPL21100Principles & Practice of Chaplaincy2 - Even years
CHPL31100Clinical Pastoral Experience I1 - Odd years
CHPL31110Clinical Pastoral Experience II2 - Odd years

Unit CodeUnit TitleSemester offered
THEO16110Theology & Faith1
THEO16120Introduction to Adventist Heritage1
THEO16130Survey of Ethics & Philosophy2
THEO24110Contemporary Issues in Science & Theology2 - even years
THEO26110Revelation, Inspiration & Hermeneutics1
THEO26150History of Christianity2
THEO26130Religion & Belief in Australasia1 - odd years
THEO36110Salvation & Eschatology2 - odd years
THEO36120The Doctrine of God & the Work of Christ2 - even years
THEO36130Ecclesiology & Sabbath1 - even years

To find out more about any of the units listed here, copy the unit code and then search for that unit here.

To view unit information, note the unit code and search for the unit in  Unit Outlines.

Work Integrated Learning is not a core part of this degree. However, electives in Church Ministry (CHMN) and Chaplaincy (CHPL) include a form of work integrated learning. For more information, contact the Course Convenor.

Post Admission Requirements

Applicants planning to enrol in a CHMN or CHPL coded unit must meet the following post-admission requirement:

An AdSafe Certificate of Completion for Safe Churches must be obtained prior to Church Placement. Students will complete the training for this certificate online. Additional in-person AdSafe training is provided as part of the course.

Career Opportunities

The Associate Degree in Theological Studies provides the foundations for a career as:

  • A lay ministry supporter
  • A church pastor (with further study).

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