Who We Are
The Sydney College of Divinity is a registered Higher Education Provider owned by an ecumenical consortium of Australian private colleges, which are its Member Institutions.
The Sydney College of Divinity will operate as a leading theological education provider equipping people for effective professional and lay ministry in a rapidly changing environment.
The Sydney College of Divinity will:
- Provide high-quality, accredited courses in theology and related disciplines from undergraduate to postgraduate levels, including research degrees
- Encourage theological scholarship and train future theological scholars
- Prepare leaders who are well qualified to build up the Church
- Promote a theologically literate membership of the Church
The Christian Gospel shapes the identity of the Sydney College of Divinity, and the following values will characterise its operations:
- Excellence in teaching and research
- Commitment to the academic achievement, welfare, and personal enrichment of all students
- Promotion of lifelong learning and reflective practice
- Mutual respect and support for the mission and ethos of fellow Christians
- Affirmation of unity in diversity
- Collegiality and co-operation amongst staff
- Celebration of faith in Christ and life in the Spirit
The Sydney College of Divinity has been training theologians and equipping people for ministry for over thirty-five years. We registered as a company in September 1983. Our first degree, the Bachelor of Theology (BTh), was accredited in February 1984 with retrospective validity to the beginning of 1982. 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 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 MIs are addressed collegially, on a principle of flexibility within strong, clear frameworks.
The Sydney College of Divinity was approved by the Commonwealth Government as a Higher Education Provider on 26 November 2004, and granted Self-Accrediting Authority on 22 June 2016.
Undergraduate and postgraduate coursework awards are delivered in English through the individual colleges. Some of the awards are delivered in Korean through the Korean School of Theology, founded under collective ownership in 2010. The research degrees are delivered through the Graduate Research School, another collectively owned enterprise of the Sydney College of Divinity. All our awards are delivered on the basis of a single shared curriculum and central academic governance structure.
Sydney College of Divinity partners with Macquarie University in Australia and with seven universities in the Republic of Korea.
A fraternal relationship between the SCD Korean School of Theology and the Department of Christian Studies, Soongsil University, recognising and cooperating with each other as Christian Higher Education Providers and training faithful Christian workers. SCD-Soongsil MoU
A fraternal relationship between the SCD Korean School of Theology and Chongshin University and Theological Seminary, recognising and cooperating with each other as Christian Higher Education Providers and training faithful Christian workers. SCD-Chongshin MoU
A fraternal relationship between the Sydney College of Divinity and the Sungkyul Church Educational Foundation, recognising and cooperating with each other as Christian Higher Education Providers and training faithful Christian workers. SCD-Sungkyul MoU
A sisterhood relationship between the Sydney College of Divinity and Kosin University, to work with each other in order to strengthen the ties between the schools, to deepen our understanding to help train talented individuals, and to encourage a Christian life-style especially for young people. SCD-Kosin MoU
A co-operative relationship between the SCD Korean School of Theology and the Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary (Changshin University) for the internationalization of higher education through academic and cultural exchange, with exchange of faculty, students, and projects to promote teaching, learning, and research. SCD-PUTS MoU
A fraternal relationship between the Sydney College of Divinity and the Seoul Bible Graduate School of Theology, recognising and cooperating with each other as Christian Higher Education Providers and training faithful Christian workers. SCD-Seoul Bible Graduate School of Theology MoU
A co-operative relationship between the SCD and Asia United Theological University / Asian Center for Theological Studies and Mission(ACTS) providing the guidelines applicable and relevant concerning the exchange of students and faculty between the ACTS and SCD. SCD-AUTU/ACTS MoU
A co-operative relationship between the SCD and Macquarie University is in place for the promotion of mutual co-operation in the area of Coptic studies. SCD-MaquarieU MoU
Organisation and Governance
The Sydney College of Divinity (SCD) is listed on the National Register of Higher Education Providers as a Higher Education Provider with Self-Accrediting Authority. ‘Sydney College of Divinity’ is the trading name of the Sydney College of Divinity Ltd, a not-for-profit company owned by an ecumenical consortium of private colleges. For details of these colleges see Member Institutions.
SCD organisation and governance is laid out in the Constitution and supported by wide-ranging policies and procedures. Each Member Institution belongs to SCD by dint of a Memorandum of Understanding with SCD, according to which SCD takes ultimate responsibility for all aspects of the SCD operation and the Member Institution agrees to follow SCD policy.
The College is governed by its Council as set out in the Governance Structure.
Council is established by SCD Ltd to have responsibility for and exercise oversight of the entire SCD operation, including direct control of membership, legal and financial matters, and risk management, and management of the Office of the Dean, the Korean School of Theology, and the Graduate Research School, and, by delegation to the Academic Board, oversight of all academic policy matters and permissions to graduate.
The Council is led by its Chair, who is also President of the College. The Constitution provides for membership of up to five employees from Member Institutions, one student, and the Chair of Academic Board ex officio, but Council membership is not ‘representative’ and there is always a majority of external members, several of whom meet the TEQSA definition of ‘independent member’. For current membership see Council Members.
Committees of Council
- Academic Board
- Audit Committee
- Institutional Membership Committee
- Standing Committee
- Strategic Planning Committee
Academic Board is delegated by Council to conduct all academic matters, including curriculum development, learning and teaching systems, research and research training, and student matters.
Academic Board membership as set out in the Constitution is not ‘representative’ but provides for ample participation by academics based in Member Institutions. It comprises the Chair, the Chairs of the Academic Board Committees, the four Discipline Coordinators, the Principal Librarian, the Dean, the three SCD Officers with academic portfolios, one student, and one to three external members.
Committees of Academic Board
- Coursework Committee
- Discipline Coordinators Committee
- Research Committee
- Standing Committee
- Student Support and Administration Committee
The Dean is appointed by Council to lead the management of SCD both directly and through delegation to the Academic Director, the Research Director, the Academic Registrar (who is currently also Associate Dean), and the Chief Operating Officer, all located together with support staff in the Office of the Dean. The Dean leads the management of the Korean School of Theology by delegation to the Dean of Studies (Korean School of Theology).
The Dean also has oversight of four committees and one advisory panel that support the work, variously, of Council and Academic Board.
Committees and Advisory Panel of the Dean
- Academic Classification and Promotion Committee
- Academic Classification and Promotion Appeals Committee
- Research Ethics Committee
- Library Committee
- External Advisory Pane
Office of Dean
Established in 2003, the SCD Press offers a significant program of publications, providing a range of peer-reviewed publication opportunities for SCD faculty, SCD research students, and other interested academics.
In addition to the Journal of Gospels and Acts Research, and the SCD Korean School of Theology’s Journal of Theological Reflections (articles are variously in Korean and English), SCD Press has reached an agreement with the editors of Early Christian Studies, previously published by the Australian Catholic University and St Pauls, Sydney, to take over publication of this important monograph series and to handle ongoing sales of the existing volumes. Successful SCD research theses may also be published by SCD Press.
Academic Quality Assurance
The Sydney College of Divinity Council recognises that academic quality assurance is critical to it’s ability to self‐assure its higher education operations. Our academic quality assurance framework helps to demonstrate that quality is assured in every course of study provided with Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) accreditation.
Sydney College of Divinity (SCD) is an ecumenical consortium of private colleges, known as our Member Institutions (MIs). We have two entities who deliver our awards directly, the SCD Korean School of Theology (delivering awards in Korean) and the Graduate Research School (delivering research degrees). Together, the Member Institutions and the entities are our teaching bodies.
Quality assurance objectives of academic standards and outcomes is achieved through systematic, established internal processes for quality assurance and the maintenance and, through these processes, improvement of academic standards and academic integrity. Sydney College of Divinity standards are based on the Higher Education Standards Framework (Provider Registration Standards, Provider Accreditation Standards, and Qualification Standards), as demonstrated to and accepted by TEQSA and as reinforced in the revision of academic governance through implementation of the Cusick Report. Our processes also continue to require the maintenance of equivalent standards of institutional and staff performance across the Sydney College of Divinity. It is against these that the performances of all our teaching bodies are gauged.
Quality assurance arrangements for the Member Institutions thus involve requirements both to adhere to SCD’s application of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 and to maintain equivalence with each other in this respect. The College through its Korean School of Theology delivers, centrally, Korean-medium versions of most of the same coursework awards, and the same academic standards and expectations apply for the Korean school as for the MIs. Since the research degrees are delivered only through the Graduate Research School, centrally, the specific question of equivalence with other parts of SCD does not arise, only basic adherence to the College’s application of the Higher Education Standards Framework.
Overview of the Sydney College of Divinity’s Academic Quality Assurance
An outline of the key factors is listed
1. Academic Governance and the Office of the Dean
The Sydney College of Divinity’s fully centralized system of academic governance lies at the heart of its academic quality assurance. Each of the teaching bodies is involved in the common entity with the others, and each has an inherent responsibility to the others for observing SCD’s shared policies and procedures. The relationship of each teaching body to the Office of the Dean supports and is supported by the interrelationships of each teaching body with the others through SCD’s academic governance and its instruments. These two relational approaches, through academic governance and through Office activity, come together in the membership of one or more Officers on Academic Board and each of its committees:
- Academic Board
- Coursework Committee
- Discipline Coordinators Committee
- Research Committee
- Standing Committee
- Student Support and Administration Committee
2. Instruments of Academic Governance
The Terms of Reference for the respective Committees of Academic Board point to the essential links between academic process and quality assurance across SCD’s academic operation. These include, with regard to all coursework delivered across SCD, the following key instruments:
- accreditation of teachers with reference to the one set of criteria in accord with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Coursework Committee);
- academic classification and promotion for permanent faculty and, optionally, sessional faculty (Classification and Promotions Committee, through the Dean to Academic Board);
- required use of a common set of Course Unit Outlines (CUOs) as the basis for all units taught, with agreed allowance for addition and adaptation but preserving the key elements including outcomes (Discipline Coordinators Committee);
- required use of a common Course Unit Booklet (CUB) template with unit and staff information and expectations of students for all units delivered, together with verification of CUBs each semester (Discipline Coordinators Committee);
- monitoring of student results each semester (Coursework Committee);
- Discipline Moderation (Discipline Coordinators Committee);
- Institutional Academic Moderation (Coursework Committee Committee);
and, with regard to research degrees:
- thesis supervision and examination arrangements (Research Committee).
3. Quality Assurance through the Office of the Dean
The Dean and four senior Office staff collectively referred to as ‘Directors’ have responsibility for particular areas of the overall Sydney College of Divinity operation. The Dean has oversight of the whole enterprise, together with high-level institutional duties, and the four Directors have responsibility with matters indicated by their titles: Academic Director, Research Director, Academic Registrar, and Chief Operating Officer. Together with support staff, the Dean and Directors, in the very nature of their operational roles, exercise ongoing quality control in the centralized management of SCD both as a single entity and as a consortium.
Benchmarking is a constant factor in the Sydney College of Divinity’s academic quality assurance, as our academic performance is measured against the Higher Education Standards Framework, Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), and other Government expectations, on the one hand, and sector practice, on the other. Our external sector benchmarking has been heightened, especially through the Theology Higher Education Consortium Benchmarking Network, which is the 2015 formulation of the 2013 benchmarking agreement between Sydney College of Divinity, Australian College of Theology and University of Divinity. This arrangement means that the three major private theological consortia, which have enough in common to make detailed distinctions or parallels significant, call on each other for information or quality checks (e.g. on policies) as the need arises and also schedule benchmarking meetings to address a program of exchanges regarding issues of mutual concern.
External benchmarking occurs in various ways:
- SCD membership of the HEPP-QN
- SCD participation in the broad benchmarking exercises of the Council of Deans of Theology, the Council of Private Higher Education, and Deans and Directors of Graduate Schools
- Use of external experts as consultants for major reviews
- Occasional use of external experts as consultants for occasional reviews of major policies, such as Student Grievance
- Frequent use of external experts as presenters at SCD Strategic Planning Days and professional development events
- Regular Discipline Moderation, panels with external experts
- Regular Institutional Academic Moderation, panels with external experts
- Ongoing input from external academic members of Council, Academic Board, and committees, including the Dean’s External Advisory Panel
- Opportunities through the participation of SCD personnel on committees or in Departments/Schools of other HEPs and universities
- Ongoing consultation of other HEP and university websites for comparative information regarding policies and possible academic developments, such as possible academic partnerships and joint doctorates
- Regular participation in research conferences and other forums, including some mounted by SCD or its MIs
- A sound and increasing level of peer-reviewed publications in the field implicitly benchmarked by external academics for journals or academic book publishers with regard to the discipline
In addition, the fact that the College is structured as a consortium means that the application of SCD policy and procedure across its teaching bodies provides a kind of internal benchmarking.
5. SCD-Specific Areas for Quality Assurance
Our processes and standards of academic quality assurance are equally robust for the three special factors that are relevant for SCD:
- Offshore delivery
- Delivery in a language other than English
- Third-party involvement
Sydney College of Divinity’s academic quality assurance framework seeks to link our academic governance practices, comprising of quality assurance policies and procedures, with the key aspects of academic quality assurance that are referenced in the TEQSA Threshold Standards. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the academic quality at SCD’s teaching bodies email us at [email protected]
Policy and Procedures
The policy documents are listed in an alphabetical order. Some of the documents can be viewed while those specifically for faculty can be accessed by logging into the SCD Intranet.
Policy and Procedures:
|Policy||Last Reviewed/Created||Next Review (Latest Date)|
|Academic Governance Protocol||October 2015||October 2020|
|Addressing Attrition Policy||September 2016||September 2019|
|Adjunct, Honorary and Visiting Appointments Policy||November 2016||November 2021|
|Advertising Policy||January 2017||January 2022|
|Anti-Discrimination Policy||January 2017||May 2017|
|Appeals Procedures||January 2019||November 2021|
|Cancellation of Enrolment Policy||November 2016||November 2021|
|Code of Ethics Policy||January 2019||November 2021|
|Communication Policy||April 2015||April 2020|
|Confidentiality and Disclosure Policy||February 2016||February 2021|
|Coursework Ethics Policy||January 2017||January 2022|
|Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Procedures||January 2019||November 2021|
|Critical Incident Policy||January 2019||November 2021|
|Curriculum Policy||September 2015||September 2018|
|Delegations Manual||May 2015|
|Delivery Sites Policy||May 2014||May 2019|
|Ecumenical Identity Statement||November 2016||November 2021|
|Enrolment Policy (English awards) C||January 2019||September 2023|
|Enrolment Policy (Korean Awards)||January 2019||November 2022|
|Ethical Review of Research Guidelines||January 2017||February 2020|
|Evaluation of Learning and Teaching Policy||January 2017||January 2022|
|Evaluation of Learning and Teaching Procedures||January 2017||January 2022|
|Free Intellectual Inquiry Policy||September 2012||September 2017|
|Honorary Degrees Policy and Procedures||May 2013||May 2018|
|Induction Policy||October 2013||2016|
|Institutional Academic Moderation Policy||January 2017||July 2021|
|Institutional Academic Moderation Procedure||January 2017||January 2022|
|Institutional Membership Policy||November 2016||November 2021|
|Intellectual Property Rule||February 2011||July 2017|
|Library Policy||May 2018||April 2018|
|Library Regulations||May 2018||April 2018|
|Marketing to Domestic and Overseas Students Policy||January 2019||November 2021|
|Memorandum of Understanding Template||February 2015||February 2020|
|Monitoring Course Progress of Overseas Students Policy||January 2019||November 2021|
|Non-Compliance Policy||February 2016||February 2021|
|Payment of Tuition Fees Policy||November 2016||November 2021|
|PhD and DMin Commonalities and Differences Policy||November 2015||November 2020|
|Policies Policy||May 2015||May 2020|
|Professional Development Policy||January 2019||January 2021|
|Professional Development of Staff in the Office of the Dean Policy||February 2016||February 2021|
|Recoginition of Prior Learning Policy||November 2016||November 2021|
|Record-Keeping Policy||January 2019||November 2021|
|Refund and Withdrawal Policy||January 2019||November 2021|
|Research Active in the SCD Policy||October 2012||October 2017|
|Research Policy||July 2012||July 2017|
|RPL between English and Korean Courses Policy||November 2016||November 2021|
|Special Review of a Member Institution Policy||May 2016||May 2021|
|Staff Grievance Policy||November 2016||November 2021|
|Student Disability Policy||November 2016||November 2021|
|Student Grievance Policy||January 2019||November 2021|
|Student Representative on Academic Board Policy||December 2016||December 2021|
|Student Result Procedures – Assessment and Monitoring||January 2019||January 2022|
|Student Support and Welfare Policy||November 2016||November 2021|
|Students at Academic Risk Policy and Procedures||January 2019||September 2017|
|Suspension, Deferment and Cancellation Policy||January 2019||November 2021|
|Communication Policy||April 2015||April 2020|
|Transfer between Registered Providers Policy||January 2019||November 2021|
|Workplace Learning Policy||January 2017||January 2020|
|Workplace Policy||January 2019||July 2023|
‘Sydney College of Divinity’ (SCD) is the trading name of the Sydney College of Divinity Ltd: ACN 002 653 036.
The Sydney College of Divinity Ltd is a not-for-profit company owned by an ecumenical consortium of private colleges, trading since its establishment as a company on 15 September 1983.
The three most recent SCD Annual Audited Financial Reports may be viewed here: