Our History

Our History

The Sydney College of Divinity has been training theologians and equipping people for ministry for over thirty-five years. From its outset, the Sydney College of Divinity has been more than an arrangement for the purposes of accreditation. The founding Member Institutions were committed to a genuinely ecumenical endeavour in which, while retaining their autonomy and ecclesial traditions, they would collaborate with, and support each other, as a College. The Member Institutions have found that our mutual encouragement and accountability to one another as members of the College both enhances the academic standing of our teaching and learning, and strengthens our Christian ministry and witness in Sydney and beyond.

The Sydney College of Divinity came into existence following the NSW Higher Education Board’s direction to theological institutions that they should rationalise resources and establish a degree-supervision authority administered collectively by the Member Institutions (MIs). The six founding MIs of the Sydney College of Divinity consortium were the Baptist Theological College, the Catholic Institute of Sydney, the Churches of Christ in New South Wales Theological College, St Paul’s National Seminary, the Union Theological Institute, and the United Theological College. Institutional membership has changed over the years and has extended beyond New South Wales to other states in Australia.

Our Member Institutions (MIs) are private colleges teaching the Sydney College of Divinity awards. We have intentionally embraced an ecumenical approach, through which the traditions and needs of individual Member Institutions are addressed collegially, on a principle of flexibility within strong, clear frameworks.

All our awards are delivered on the basis of a single shared curriculum and central academic governance structure.


The Sydney College of Divinity was formed in 1983 when six theological Colleges in Sydney constituted themselves as a federation with a view to providing an accredited tertiary education award in theology. The colleges constituted the Member Institutions of the Sydney College of Divinity.


The SCD Bachelor of Theology was accredited by the New South Wales Higher Education Board in February 1984. Today, though we offer a full range of awards from diploma to research degrees, the Bachelor of Theology remains a central award which embodies the College’s mission to provide both theological education and ministerial preparation.


The first Graduation Ceremony was held in 1985, with 41 graduands. Since then we have had more than 6,000 students graduate with our awards.


The Sydney College of Divinity was approved by the Commonwealth Government as a Higher Education Provider on 26 November 2004.


Some of the awards are delivered in Korean through the Korean School of Theology, founded under collective ownership in 2010.


The Sydney College of Divinity was and granted Self-Accrediting Authority on 22 June 2016.


Today over 1,500 students are proceeding to the Sydney College of Divinity awards. The programs range from diplomas, through a variety of bachelor and masters coursework awards, to research degrees, including separate doctorates in Theology, Ministry and Philosophy. This is a vast difference from the first graduation in 1985, where the original six Member Institutions produced forty-one graduates, all male, and all taking the one single award (BTh).

Member Colleges

In the years since 1983 the membership of the Sydney College of Divinity has changed. The current Member Institutions are: 

  1. Australian College of Ministries
  2. NAIITS An Indigenous Learning Community
  3. Nazarene Theological College
  4. Nisibis Assyrian Theological College
  5. NSW College of Clinical Pastoral Education
  6. Planetshakers College
  7. St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College
  8. St Cyril’s Coptic Orthodox Theological College


The Sydney College of Divinity welcomes the admission of new Member Institutions which embrace our aims, ethos, and educational philosophy



Become a Member College