If you’re already actively involved in the life of your church, but feel that a qualification of some kind would help you to engage at a deeper level, the Diploma of Ministry may be a right fit for you.
The program will provide a good refresher of the knowledge and skills you’ve been gaining as you’ve served, as well as allowing you to test the waters of some new ministry areas. You’ll be given a clear understanding of the big-picture story of the Bible, from creation to final revelation, and handed the tools to better understand and explain it. Then the broad range of optional units means you can take a closer look at what’s involved in pastoral care and the discipleship of others, gain the basic principles of good leadership, or learn new ways to share the gospel cross-culturally.
The Diploma of Ministry offers a good mix of classroom-based teaching, group discussions with your peers and hands-on ministry experience, so you’re not just gaining theoretical knowledge but putting what you learn into action.
To be able to study the course at BST you need to have a minimum OP score of 16 or equivalent. (If you don’t have an OP score, you will have to demonstrate your academic suitability for the course via an English writing exercise or an interview.)
If you get to the end of the DipMin and decide you want to keep on studying, then you can put your credits towards a higher award. You could either do an extra four units and receive an Advanced Diploma of Ministry (see below), or continue studying for a further two years (full-time) and work towards a Bachelor of Ministry.
If you’re an international student, and English is not your first language, you need to have taken the IELTS test and achieved an average score of 6.5. (The exception to this is if you are a Mandarin-speaker, in which case you can study the Diploma of Ministry through our Chinese program without taking the IELTS test.) The restrictions of a student visa also mean that international students must study full-time.
If you study the DipMin full-time it will take two semesters (one year), as you’ll do an average of four units each semester and you need eight units to complete the course. You can study part-time if it suits you better, as long as you finish the course within four years. Of your eight units, four must be from Biblical Introduction, one from Christian Thought and two from Ministry and Practice. You also have one elective unit which you can choose from any of the sections below.
N.B. Core units are generally offered every year, while elective units are offered in alternative semesters. Please refer to the college timetable to find out what’s being offered.
Church Relationship Coordinator at Baptist World Aid (Australia)
“I came to BST not knowing what God had in store for the future, but I was able to meet with so many people from different ministry settings that it really opened my eyes to the possibilities. In fact college opened my eyes in a lot of ways – we were never spoon fed a party line, but shown different theological perspectives and encouraged to work out what we believed and why. That’s been a great foundation for my work, and really all of my life, over the years.”
Former missionary (various countries in Africa)
“At BST I was formed by the people of God and the word of God. What a privilege it was to get to know the people – staff and students, each with their unique gifts, abilities and idiosyncrasies, but each one a part of my life through the input they had into it. And what a privilege to study and be changed by the word – the strong emphasis on the authority of the Bible helped prepare me to preach it with conviction, affection and dedication; to apply it in defense of my faith when in confrontation; and to stand upon its unfailing promises in times of doubt and difficulty.”
The Advanced Diploma of Ministry involves all the components of the regular Diploma, but you need a total of 48 credit points (12 units) to complete it – that means you get to choose four additional units and will probably be studying for one semester longer than if you just do the Diploma.
You don’t need to decide whether or not you want to work towards the Advanced Diploma before you enrol; you can just get started with the program and see how you get on. Most organisations consider the AdvDipMin to be a good preparation for many aspects of mission, so if that’s your goal then it’s worth the extra few months to achieve the higher award.
This is a course of the Australian College of Theology.