Associate Degree in Theological Studies

Course Code4872
CRICOS Code059849G
International students must be at least 18 years of age before they arrive at Avondale ahead of the relevant teaching period commencing to be eligible for enrolment at Avondale University.
Course duration /
Study mode

Course duration: Two years full-time (or part-time equivalent) 
Study mode: On-campus with distance education available for all units except chaplaincy units

LocationAvondale Campus - Lake Macquarie
Fee Support


*for eligible students, see


If you are interested in studying theology, the Bible and improving practical ministry skills, Avondale's Associate Degree in Theological Studies (AssocDegTheolStud) would help you achieve your goals. This two-year, flexible degree covers topics on basic theology, the Bible, and church ministry. You will learn through a range of units, and practical field work where you are mentored in a local church. The units you complete as part of this degree may be credited towards a Bachelor of Theology or a Bachelor of Ministry and Theology, if further study is desired. 

Learning Outcomes

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.

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).

Admission Criteria


To qualify for admission, you must meet one of the following criteria:

Applicants with higher education study
  • Completion or partial completion^ of an Australian Qualifications Framework AQF Level 7 qualification at an accredited university or higher education provider; or
  • Successful completion of bridging or enabling course, or another recognised tertiary preparation course; or
  • Successful completion of an Avondale pathway program
^You must pass at least two units/subjects. Show Cause is required if you failed 50% or more overall.

Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study
  • An Australian Qualifications Framework AQF Level 4 qualification or higher; or
  • A New Zealand Qualifications Framework NZQF Level 4 qualification or higher

Applicants with work and life experience
Applicants with recent secondary education (within the past two years)

Applicants with overseas qualifications
  • An overseas qualification comparable to an Australian Qualifications Framework AQF Level 4 or higher


The following are the specific criteria for admission:

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

  • Satisfactory Pastoral Recommendation Form, which may entail an interview with the pastor; and
  • A National Police Check (issued within the last six months). Applicants with offences or pending charges may be required to undertake a further assessment; and
  • A current Working with Children Check for the state/territory you are located while undergoing your study


The post-admission requirement for this degree is:
  • An AdSafe certificate of completion for Safer Churches Training

For more information, refer to the post-admission requirements for Ministry & Theology.


Applicants with an Australian Qualifications Framework AQF Level 5 qualification (or higher) in a cognate area may be eligible for advanced standing (credit recognition). Refer to the Advanced Standing Policy for more information.


International applicants must meet the Australian Government's visa requirements to reside in Australia while studying at Avondale University.

For more information, visit


International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency in one of the ways outlined in Appendix 2 of the Admission to Higher Education Undergraduate Courses Policy.

Course Structure

Course duration: Two years full-time (or part-time equivalent) 
Study mode: On-campus or distance education available for all units units offered by the Seminary. Some chaplaincy units may only be available on campus.
Maximum time to complete: Six years

16 units of 6 credit points spread over 2 years of full-time study, or the equivalent part-time.
With the exception of WHPE10101 Foundation of Well being, all units are to be taken from the following areas: Biblical studies & Biblical languages; Theology & Christian History; Christian Ministry /Chaplaincy
At least 4 units must be taken from each of two of these streams.
At least 4 units must be taken at 200 level or above.

There is no required structure for this degree but students are encouraged to follow the first two years of the BMinTh to allow maximum flexibility and the option to articulate to the BMinTh at a later date.

Possible Structure (First two years of the BMinTh which requires language units)

 Year 1 Semester 1

  • WHPE10101 Foundations of Well being
  • THEO16110 Theology and Faith
  • CHMN16110 Biblical Spirituality and Ministry
  • THEO16120 Introduction to Adventist Heritage

Year 1 Semester 2

  • BBNT16120 New Testament Epistles 1
  • THEO16130 Survey of Ethics and Philosophy
  • CHMN16140 Introduction to Psychology for Ministry
  • BBOT16110 Hebrew 1A

Year 2 Semester 1

  • BBOT26120 Torah
  • THEO26110 Revelation, Inspiration & Hermeneutics
  • CHMN26110 Ministry and Church Leadership 1
  • BBNT26110 Greek 1

Year 2 Semester 2

  • BBNT36110 Exegesis in John
  • THEO26130 Religion & Belief in Australasia
  • CHMN26140 Preaching
  • BBOT26110 Hebrew Prophets

Other available 100 and 200 level units include:

  • CHMN26160 Small Group Ministry
  • BBNT16110 Mark and Luke
  • BBOT16120 Hebrew 1B
  • THEO26130 Religion and Belief in Australasia
  • THEO24110 Contemporary Issues in Science and Theology
  • CHPL21100  Principles and Practice of Chaplaincy
  • BBBI26100  Daniel and Revelation

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

Practical Experience

Students who elect to take CHMN coded units will be required to complete a church placement after submitting the required police check, working with children number, sign a code of professional ethics and evidence of completion of Safe Places training.  For each CHMN coded unit students should expect to spend approximately 40 hours in supervised church placements.


This course is accredited under Avondale’s self-accrediting authority, within the terms of the Australian Qualifications Framework, and is nationally registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). In 2014 Avondale was granted self-accrediting status by TEQSA.

The course is recognised by the Board of Ministerial and Theological Education of the South Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Avondale is also a member of the Australia/New Zealand Association of Theological Schools.

Registration and Self-Disclosure

Due to the access that students have to minors and at risk individuals in the church context, Associate Degree In Theological Studies students who plan to undertake CHMN coded units are required to undergo a National Police Check prior and have a valid Working With Children Check prior to admission. In addition they must sign a code of professional ethics and undergo Safe Places Training.

Where to get further information

Course Enquiries

Student Administration Services

Phone: +61 2 4980 2377
Email: [email protected]
Monday-Thursday, 9.00am-5pm
Friday, 9.00am-12.00noon


FEE-HELP is available for eligible students, see

View current information on tuition fees


Scholarships are available for Avondale students. View all scholarship information.


"I chose Avondale because it has the best course for theology, has a supportive and intimate community, and is situated in a beautiful place. 
- Daniel Petersen, Bachelor of Ministry and Theology.