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 Member Institutions 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.
Today over 1,500 candidates 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). In contrast, the 2019 graduation saw over 300 graduands including a large number of female graduates, one of them Pauline Wicks conferred with the Doctor of Ministry. Her thesis, A Critical Examination of the Theology of Mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart.