Graduate Diploma of Ministry and Theology (Not for new students)

Course Code4887
CRICOS Code075691C
Course duration /
Study mode

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

LocationAvondale Campus - Lake Macquarie
Fee Support


*for eligible students, see


The Graduate Diploma of Ministry and 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.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Graduate Diploma of Ministry and Theology, graduates will be able to:
  • analyse Scripture making use of its original linguistic, literary, sociological and historical context, its history of interpretation, and the context of the interpreter;
  • perform balanced theological reflection on contemporary issues in a manner that is grounded in a coherent and advanced understanding of Scripture and theology;
  • articulate the theoretical basis for praxis in Ministry and Mission, being informed by biblical principles, communication theory, leadership theory, principles of spiritual formation and contemporary trends in church life and society;
  • demonstrate an understanding of Seventh-day Adventist identity that is based on an awareness of its historical and social context;
  • interact and be familiar with the body of literature undergirding biblical studies, theological studies and ministry studies as academic and practical disciplines;
  • use advanced cognitive skills to understand, critically evaluate and respond to emerging trends and issues from within the church, the community and scholarship, and to research in the fields of Theology, Biblical Studies and Church Ministry;
  • critically reflect on concepts and ideas in an open manner and understand how they relate to an Adventist Christian world view;
  • apply the academic skills and research capacity necessary for well-informed exegesis of biblical and theological texts;
  • communicate their theological pastoral understandings and apply them in a meaningful and problem-solving manner within and without their church community and to relate to others with respect and effective intercultural communication;
  • exhibit skills and attitudes essential for self-directed and lifelong learning;
  • demonstrate interpersonal, teamwork and leadership skills appropriate to pastoral ministry including communication and rhetoric skills, conflict management and relational skills pursued during life- long learning;
  • engage in reflection upon their experiential learning and use this to inform and refocus their continuing development as compassionate and empathetic pastoral leaders;
  • create resources that reflect God's creativity, service and incarnational approach to humanity;
  • apply high-level analytical, exegetical and research skills in a manner that demonstrates independent judgement in matters of scriptural interpretation, historical perspective, the application of theological concepts to contemporary issues, and in management functions in Church communities;
  • communicate a personal world-view informed by Adventist Christian values, beliefs and ethics, in ways that are culturally appropriate and sensitive towards their audiences;
  • apply values of integrity, authenticity, responsibility, and accountability, influenced by personal spiritual development;
  • demonstrate a capacity to initiate, plan, facilitate and evaluate personal and corporate change, including a commitment to continuing study;
  • lead, mentor and empower others through high-level interpersonal skills in their management functions to inspire vision, character development, motivation and service.

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

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 - 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 entry qualifications assessed in accordance with the Admission to Higher Education Undergraduate Courses Policy as well as the International Students Policy


Applicants must have completed a Bachelor degree or equivalent and demonstrated proficiency in the English language (e.g. 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

The 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
CHMN46150 Evangelism & World Mission (offered in S2 in 2018 only)
THEO46150 Doctrine of the Church & Sabbath

Semester 2

BBNT46130 Thesis in Matthew & John
THEO46140 Sabbath & Last Things
CHMN46160 Family System in Ministry (offered in S1 in 2018 only)
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

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

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: CHMN46130 Personal Evangelism & Discipleship.
Full details of the management of placements and externship, including relevant forms s can be found in the Ministry Practicum Handbook:


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, 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

Student Administration Services

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


FEE-HELP 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