Ministry

Bachelor of Ministry [BMin]

The Bachelor of Ministry (BMin) is a comprehensive, three-year undergraduate degree enabling students to lay sound foundations in the key theological disciplines and engage in more detailed study in selected areas. Candidates for Christian ministries can use the BMin to meet many of the academic prerequisites for ordination. The BMin can be completed part time for a period of up to nine years.

The Bachelor of Ministry has a more intentional focus than the Bachelor of Theology on the practice of ministry. It provides units designed to prepare women and men for various areas of ministry in church and society. A feature of the course is the supervised field experience. This provides a close link between units taught and experiences in the field.

The structure of the BMin offers considerable flexibility for students to follow areas of their interest and specialisation.

Course outcomes

The BMin enables students to:

  • Acquire a broad and integrated introduction to theology, becoming familiar with the literature, language and concepts of theology.
  • Develop the academic skills and attributes necessary to research, comprehend, interpret and evaluate theology from a range of sources.
  • Develop the ability to review, consolidate, extend and apply the knowledge and techniques learnt to the practice of ministry – this is supplemented by supervised field experience.
  • Develop a foundation in theology for lifelong learning, or for further academic study in theology.
  • Develop skills appropriate for ministry in the church.

Course structure

Every course of study for the Bachelor of Ministry will consist of 360 points made up of:

  1. a)   60 points in disciplines in Biblical Studies, which must include at least 15 points in both the Old and New Testaments;
  2. b)   30 points in Church History;
  3. c)    60 points in Systematic Theology;
  4. d)   30 points in a discipline or disciplines in Theology: Mission and Ministry;
  5. e)   60 points of praxis units in Theology: Mission and Ministry; and
  6. f)    A further 120 points.

Each course of study for the Bachelor of Ministry:

  • Must not include more than 180 points at level 1; and
  • Must include at least 90 points at level 3, including 30 points at level 3 in a discipline or disciplines in Theology: Mission and Ministry.

For students taking double degrees (BTheol/BMin or MDiv/BMin) up to 180 points may be held in common between the two degrees.  The minimum duration of both double degrees is 4.5 years.

Duration

The Bachelor of Ministry can be completed in no less than three, and not more than nine years.


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Graduate Certificate in Children and Families Ministry [GCCFM]

The Graduate Certificate in Children and Families Ministry provides an academic qualification which can be used to accredit people who are engaged in ministry with children and their families. Safe practice and effective ministry with children, demands practical expertise, pastoral awareness, and ethical depth. This qualification will assist the church (and associated agencies) to

  • Build a cohort of professionals and enthusiasts;
  • Provide opportunities for growth in this area;
  • Grow expertise in the Children’s Ministry Network;
  • Improve skills and standards in the sector; and
  • Enhance community recognition for people engaged in ministry with children and their families.

Course learning outcomes

Graduates of the Graduate Certificate in Children and Families Ministry will:

  1. Have a broad knowledge of biblical texts and the Christian tradition, particularly as these bear on theologies of the child, and child spirituality.
  2. Apply a clear vision of mission to children and their families in various contexts.
  3. Have a critical understanding of pastoral practices and theories of child development as these apply to ministry with children and their families.
  4. Apply the skills of theological reflection in a coherent practice of ministry with children and their families.
  5. Have an understanding of ministry that recognises and values the spirituality and experiences of children.

Course structure

The Graduate Certificate in Children and Families Ministry consists of 45 points comprised of:

  1. DA8015S Children and Families Ministry: Core Issues in Diverse Contexts;
  2. DA/DS9019S The Nurture and Spiritual Guidance of Children; and
  3. A further 15 points.

Click here to see the regulations


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Click here to see the regulations

Advance Diploma in Theology and Ministry [AdvDipTheolMin]

CRICOS code 047446D

The Advanced Diploma in Theology and Ministry is a fully accredited award of the University of Divinity. The Advanced Diploma consists of 16 semester units and can be completed in no less than two years, and no more than six years. The Advanced Diploma includes four foundational units in the following disciplines: Old Testament, New Testament, Church History and Systematic Theology, and two further units in either Biblical Studies and/or Christian Thought and History. Apart from these basic compulsory units, students are free to select the remaining 10 units from the wide variety of units on offer.

At Stirling, all units have been approved for the University of Divinity’s Bachelor of Theology degree. Diploma students wishing to transfer to the degree program will receive full credit for all work successfully completed in these units. Candidates for the Diploma in Theology and the Advanced Diploma in Theology and Ministry may also apply for credit for work completed at another approved tertiary institution.

What is this course about?

 The Advanced Diploma in Theology and Ministry builds on the Diploma in Theology by enabling students to deepen their understanding of the key theological disciplines of Biblical Studies and Christian Thought and History and in Ministry. This occurs through further study in those disciplines, and in the area of practical ministry studies.

Course learning outcomes

 Graduates of the Advanced Diploma in Theology and Ministry will:

  • Have significant foundational skills for critical study of Christian texts.
  • Have skills to articulate and reflect upon foundational theological, scriptural knowledge and apply this to ministry practice.
  • Have strong analytical skills allowing them to analyse and communicate sound theological arguments, especially in relation to ministry tasks or worldview perspectives.
  • Apply their skills and knowledge to their own and other contexts and traditions through culturally relevant ministry practices.
  • Apply their skills and knowledge to the service of others through practical engagement and in contexts such as practical support ministries or cultural and philosophical analysis.

Course structure

The Advanced Diploma in Theology and Ministry consists of 240 points (16 standard units) of study:

  • 15 points of Old Testament
  • 15 points of New Testament
  • 15 points of Church History
  • 15 points of Systematic Theology
  • 30 additional points from Field B (Biblical Studies) and / or Field C (Christian Thought and History
  • a further 150 points of study.

Each standard Diploma unit (15 credit points) runs for one semester of 15 weeks, including three weeks for reading and examination, and normally has three class hours in each teaching week, including tutorials.

Units focused on ministry practice will involve supervised field placements, in which preparation, participation and evaluation of practical work play a key part.


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Follow on study

Graduates may proceed to the Bachelor of Ministry or Bachelor of Theology.

Entry Requirement

The Diplomas are open to people who have completed Year 12, International Baccalaureate or overseas equivalent.  Probationary entry is available to mature-age (21 years or over) students without a Year 12 qualification.

Assessment Methods

Assessment methods in this course range from academic essays, assignments and examination, to journaling, group projects or competency assessment. The MCD University of Divinity Coursework Studies Committee approves all methods to ensure equity in standards.

Duration

The Advanced Diploma in Theology and Ministry can be completed in no less than two years, and no more than six years.

Study Modes

Candidates may attend classes on-campus or study units online, or a mix of both.

Regulations

Click here to see the regulations.

Doctor of Ministry [DMin]

Stirling and the University of Divinity have partnered with Abilene Christian University, Texas, to provide the Doctor of Ministry program.

This program incorporates faculty and project/thesis advisors from both Stirling and ACU, offers a portion of the degree as dual enrollment toward a UD Graduate Diploma in Divinity (G.D.Div.), and makes it possible for you to complete the D.Min. degree with only two required trips to the US for classes.

 

Find out more….

Interested? Our team would love to help!

Please complete the form below and we’ll be in touch to answer any of your questions.





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Publications:

The Doctor of Ministry Goes to the Land Down Under by  | Jul 9, 2019

Partner Spotlight: Andrew Menzies by  | Jul 10, 2019

Ministry Formation

(also see the Endorsed Ministry page below)

 

Study for an University of Divinity award can lead to further study and formation for endorsed ministry within of Churches of Christ. This occurs as students further explore their faith and call to Christian ministry in a journey with others. The process usually requires a minimum commitment of four years. Under normal circumstances undergraduate students will complete a Bachelor degree and a Graduate Diploma. Postgraduate students will complete a Master of Divinity and a Graduate Diploma.

Students can choose their elective units to focus on the kind of ministry they desire to undertake – in a local church, cross-cultural mission, youth ministry, chaplaincy or an emerging form of ministry.

The Ministry Formation process is complete when the student:

  • Is recommended for endorsement by a Ministerial Discernment Panel operating under the auspices of the Churches of Christ in Victoria and Tasmania.
  • Successfully completes a minimum of two years of student ministry experience, which includes at least one year of Supervised Field Education.
  • Completes a course of study approved by the Mission and Ministry Board of Churches of Christ in Victoria and Tasmania.

Application for admission to the Ministry Formation stream occurs during the first year of study. People who are seeking endorsement as ministers within Churches of Christ will engage in a precise program of ministry formation. This program involves four primary stages or phases:

  • A year of discernment (during which a formal application is made);
  • A year of theological reflection on ministry (which involves a 16 hour per week placement);
  • An SFE (Supervised Field Education) year (which involves a 16 hour per week placement);
  • A year of consolidation (which involves a supervised ministry placement).

The list below gives an overall map of key events that will mark the steps towards endorsement.

Phase 1: Year of Discernment

  • Invitation to consider God’s call with lecturers students and churchFormal application to enter ministry stream Application to Churches of Christ Vic/Tas Endorsement Taskgroup, in November.
  • Police check
  • Letter indicating Taskgroup’s recommendation to Conference

Phase 2: Theological reflection on Ministry

  • 16 hour week placement
  • Supervision – to meet 12 times
  • Fortnightly peer group meetings directed by SFECoordinator
  • SFG (Support and Feedback Group – church based)
  • Serving and Learning covenant
  • Seminar on ethics and ‘code of conduct’
  • Interview panel with panel made up of representatives from wide cross section of Churches and Conference at end of year, including assessments from faculty, mentor, church, SFG
  • Letter affirming continuation within the ministry stream months may be granted to part-time candidates.

Phase 3: Supervised Field Education

  • 16 hour/week placement
  • supervisor – to meet 12 times
  • weekly peer seminar
  • Support and Feedback Group (SFG)
  • Serving and learning Covenant
  • Theological Reflection paper – exploring operational theology.
  • Interview panel at end of year, including assessments from faculty, supervisor, church, and (SFG).
  • Letter affirming possible Provisional Endorsement

Phase 4: Year of Consolidation

  • 16 hour/week placement
  • Monthly peer group (with optional fortnightly & site visits)
  • Supervision (12 times)
  • SFG – Support and Feedback Group
  • Spiritual direction (Established by the end of year)
  • Interview Panel at end of year, including assessments from faculty, supervisor, church, SF
  • Letter affirming possible endorsement and outlining process to ordination.

For a very useful booklet on becoming an endorsed minister CLICK HERE. (recommended).

Endorsed Ministry

Think about the people who have been your ministers. What were the qualities that you admired in those ministers? Was it their biblical knowledge, their relationship with God, their pastoral sensitivity, the way they made the Gospel relevant to your life, or their contemplative spirituality?

Some of these qualities are learnt in the academy while others are formed in the worshipping community. These two aspects are discussed below, but keep in mind the one constant is that the learning and formation is always ongoing. We are never ‘masters’ of this vocation.

Learning in the academy has long been a requirement for professional ministry in most settings. The areas of study are basic: biblical studies (Old and New Testaments); Christian thought about God, Jesus, the church and the world; pastoral leadership and care; mission, ethics, spirituality, worship and the practice of ministry. The history and thought of Churches of Christ is another relevant subject.

Formation in the worshipping community is an experience essential for the development of healthy ministry. Here, a minister-in-training receives support and direction from an experienced minister. Attached to this training is a program of supervised field education run by the College. This supervised field education is designed to help the trainee integrate their studies with their experience of ministry. The focus is personal growth and intentional professional development. The trainee is encouraged to set goals and objectives and monitor them. Acts of ministry are discussed in peer groups, feedback groups, and with a supervisor to develop the skills of self-evaluation and theological reflection. These two skills are crucial for sustainable, effective ministry. Self-evaluation of one’s ministry leads to greater self-understanding and continuous improvement. Theological reflection occurs with the consideration of questions like: “how did that act of ministry fit with the way I think about God?” or “where does that act of ministry fit with the story of Jesus in the New Testament?” The more one becomes practised in answering questions like these about their own life and ministry, the more adept one becomes in helping others discover the meaning of the Gospel for their own lives.

Normally, this formation process takes three years in conjunction with learning in the academy. However, people seeking endorsement for ministry by Churches of Christ present with a variety of life experiences, education and ministry backgrounds. This is taken into account when a program of training is designed for each candidate. In addition, the ministry setting the candidate feels called to is also considered when formulating the components of learning and formation. The resulting endorsement of the candidate by Churches of Christ for ministry merely acknowledges what has already occurred in the life of the candidate.

For more information on endorsement matters CLICK HERE.

For a very useful booklet on becoming an endorsed minister CLICK HERE. (recommended).