Associate Degree in Theological Studies

Course Code4872
CRICOS Code059849G
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


For those interested in studying theology, the Bible and improving practical ministry skills, Avondale's Associate Degree in Theological Studies (AssocDegTheolStud) is a two year course covering topics on basic theology, the Bible, and church ministry.
The degree will provide you with a flexible program, which includes a range of units, and practical field work where you are mentored in a local church. The units undertaken in 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 course, graduates will be able to:
  • demonstrate a broad understanding of foundational principles and key concepts in selected areas of theological and biblical study;
  • use appropriate academic skills to identify and evaluate knowledge, and to communicate it;
  • apply the cognitive and technical skills necessary for some understanding of Scripture;
  • exhibit cognitive and creative skills to communicate concepts and ideas, and demonstrate an understanding of how they relate to an Adventist world view;
  • communicate their knowledge a biblical and theological knowledge, and pastoral understandings in a clear and coherent manner with some intellectual independence;
  • write and edit in a manner appropriate to an AQF level 6 qualification;
  • show initiative and judgment in planning, problem solving, and decision making in paraprofessional practice;
  • adapt knowledge and skills in a range of contexts for further studies in one or two fields of biblical studies, theology, and church ministry;
  • apply fundamental biblical principles in a responsible manner to the variety of contexts encountered in daily living and paraprofessional practice;
  • demonstrate a developing personal spirituality that is authentic;
  • demonstrate a responsibility and accountability for self-directed learning;
  • demonstrate the interpersonal and teamwork skills necessary for working with others.

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 be eligible for entry into the Associate Degree in Theological Studies, you must qualify for admission. General admission is based on your academic background. There are also specific admissions requirements for this course.


General admission requirements are met by any of the following:
  1. Applicants with higher education study
    • Successful completion of at least one (1) semester (typically four (4) subjects) of a higher education degree/diploma; or
    • Successful completion of a bridging or enabling course, or other recognised tertiary preparation course; or
    • Successful completion of the first one (1) or two (2) semesters of the Diploma of General Studies
  2. Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study
    • Successful completion of a national qualification at Certificate III in a cognate area; or
    • Successful completion of a national qualification at Certificate IV level or higher.
  3. Applicants with work and life experience
  4. Applicants with recent secondary education (within the past two years)
    • ATAR of 63.00*; or
    • OP of 15 or less; or
    • Satisfactory completion of Year 13 with NCEA Level 3 results, identifying University Entrance attainment; or
    • Successful completion of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma with a minimum of 24 points; or
    • Overseas secondary qualifications considered equivalent to Australian studies, as stated in the Admission to Higher Education Undergraduate Courses Policy

    *After adjustment factors have been applied


Applicants planning to enrol in CHMN or CHPL coded units must also meet the following criteria:
  • National Police Check (issued within the last six (6) months). Applicants with offences or pending charges may be required to undertake further assessment.
  • Current Working with Children Check for the state in which the student will be located while they undergo study.

For more information, refer to the Ministry Practicum Handbook


  • AdSafe certificate of completion for Safer Churches Training.

For more information, visit the post-admission requirements for theology students.


Overseas applicants will have their entry qualifications assessed in accordance with the Admission to Higher Education Undergraduate Courses Policy as well as the International Students Policy


Applicants may be required to demonstrate proficiency in English as stated in the Admission to Higher Education Undergraduate Courses Policy

Course Structure

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

  • CHMN16140 Introduction to Psychology for Ministry
  • THEO16110 Theology and Faith
  • CHMN16110 Biblical Spirituality and Ministry
  • THEO16120 Introduction to Adventist Heritage

Year 1 Semester 2

  • BBNT16120 Pauline Studies 1
  • THEO16130 Survey of Ethics and Philosophy
  • CHMN16120 Worship and Communication
  • 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
  • THEO26120 Early and Medieval Christianity
  • 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, 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 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

Student Administration Services

Phone: +61 2 4980 2377
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.


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