Master of Arts

Course Code2005
CRICOS Code057326G
Course duration /
Study mode
LocationLake Macquarie


The purpose of Avondale's Master of Arts (MA) is to provide further academic education at postgraduate level in biblical studies. It also provides an opportunity for pastors, chaplains or involved lay people with entry requirements looking to upskill to be better equipped to serve others.

The Master of Arts degree by coursework offers specialisations in:

  • Chaplaincy
  • Youth Ministry
  • Pastoral Leadership
  • Family Ministry
  • Children's Ministry
  • Theological and Biblical Studies

Chaplaincy prepares the graduate for a career in chaplaincy serving in multi-faith contexts in institutions, services and organisations.

This specialisation provides the opportunity to learn the research, analytical and communicative skills essential in handling challenges in relation to Christianity. It brings the Bible alive and revives its relevance.

Youth Ministry provides the opportunity to gain skills and insights into today's youth, enabling graduates to mentor and coach young people, developing their spirituality in a contemporary culture. 

Pastoral Leadership provides learning in theory and practice in leading spiritual development within churches. The leadership style of Jesus is studied to empower graduates with the proficiency to restore broken church networks and encourage church renewal. 

The Family Ministry specialisation teaches students how to deal with and enhance family relationships. Graduates will be equipped with the knowledge to enable them to nurture Christian spirituality, personal development and intimacy in their church families. 

Children are the future leaders of our church and are influenced by key people who have a passion for introducing children to Jesus. In the children's ministry specialisation students will learn how to engage children with Jesus in a way that remains with them for a lifetime.

Career Opportunities

The Master of Arts prepares graduates for employment in the church at all levels and enables graduates to continue with their studies in the form of a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree by research. 

Admission Criteria


  • A Bachelor degree (AQF Level 7), Bachelor of Arts or equivalent, or higher.

    • Since some bachelor degrees from the Pacific region are identified by the Australian Government Country Education Profiles as AQF level six, applicants with a bachelor degree from those institutions will need to complete an AQF level eight graduate certificate (or equivalent) before enrolling in the MA course.

  • Applicants for the specialisation in Theology and Biblical Studies must have completed:

    • adequate theology units within their undergraduate study, OR

    • a bachelor degree in any field plus a Graduate Diploma in Ministry and Theology (or equivalent).


  • Normally applicants will be required to have a minimum of two years’ ministry experience with accountability to an appropriate professional or official.

  • The application must include:

    • a written summary of ministry experience, and

    • a written recommendation from a recognised Church official.



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


  • If the undergraduate degree was not taught in English, the applicant must have an IELTS score (or a standardised equivalent) of 7 overall and not less than 6.5 in any one band.

  • If postgraduate level coursework in a related area has already been completed, advanced standing may be granted up to the equivalent of 50% of the MA award in line with the Avondale Advanced Standing Policy.

  • Applicants will have sufficient prerequisite biblical, theological, historical and biblical language knowledge. Students may not be admitted to certain units where it is determined they do not have the required prerequisite knowledge.

Course Structure

Course duration: Four years part time (One year full-time equivalent).
Study mode: On-campus

Maximum time to complete: Four years

Eight units, of six credit points each (or equivalent), studied over four years part time, from one of the following patterns, to total 48 credit points:

There are two pathways students can pursue:

Pathway 1 -  Specialty (24 credit points)  + Research (12 credit points) + Electives (12 credit points)

Specialty in Biblical/Theological Studies.  4 Units from the following:

  • THBB 50800 Principles and Methods of Theology
  • THBB50900 Contemporary Methods in Biblical Studies
  • THBB51000 Issues in Contemporary Theology
  • THBB53200 Parables of Jesus
  • THBB51700 A Topic in Contextual Theology: Theology in the South Pacific
  • THBB51900 Selected Topics in Old Testament Theology
  • THBB53100 An In-depth Study of A Selected Theologian: Karl Barth
  • THBB50600 Intertextuality and Early Christian Literature
  • THBB50400 Seventh-day Adventism: A Case Study in Apocalyptism, Time and Change
  • THBB50300 Perspective on Biblical Apocalyptic
  • THBB51800 Selected Topics in Theology: Christian Anthropology
  • THBB50700  Exegesis of the Psalms
  • THBB56600 Theology, Theory and Practice of Leadership for Ministry

Research - Any two of the following three units (6 credit points each):

  • THRE50000 Research Methodology in Theological Research
  • THRE51000 Research Project
  • CMTH52500 Ministry Capstone Experience


  • LAMR59300 Extended Independent Project (12 credit points)

Two elective units (taken from any Master's level course at Avondale)


Pathway 2 - Core  (18 credit points) + Specialty (18 credit points) + Research (12 credit points)

3 core units common to all specialties. 

  • THBB56600
  • CMIN50300
  • CMIN55300

All three units from any one of the five areas of specialty:

Pastoral Leadership

  • CMIN56800
  • CMIN56900
  • CMIN57300


  • CMIN56500
  • CMIN56600
  • CMIN57500

Family ministry

  • CMIN56200
  • CMIN56300
  • CMIN57200

Youth ministry

  • CMIN56100
  • CMIN56400
  • CMIN57100

Children's ministry

  • CMIN52700
  • CMIN56700
  • CMIN57400

Research - Any two of the following three units (6 credit points each):

  • THRE50000 Research Methodology in Theological Research
  • THRE51000 Research Project
  • CMTH52500 Ministry Capstone Experience


  • LAMR59300 Extended Independent Project (12 credit points)

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

Practical Experience

For the Chaplaincy specialty, 400 hours of approved clinical work is required for each unit of Clinical Pastoral Education.

There is no internship or work experience requirement for the other specialties.


The Master of Arts course was initially accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). Avondale is now a self-accrediting higher education institution and all of its higher education courses are nationally registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.

Registration and Self-Disclosure

The New South Wales College of Clinical Pastoral Education accredits the two units of clinical pastoral education.


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

Student Experience Survey

Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching


View current information on tuition fees



"I found the MA expanded and deepened my understanding of biblical, theological and ministry studies and not only prepared me to be a better pastor, but also laid the foundation for doctoral study."

- MA Graduate