AQF Level 8 Award

GradCertArts allows you to develop skills in the field of theology and to pursue studies in an area of personal interest.

Graduate Certificate in Arts

CRICOS 082669J

The Graduate Certificate in Arts (GradCertArts) is an AQF Level 8 award. It is designed for those who hold a tertiary qualification in a non-theological discipline, who wish to pursue a graduate qualification in theology, and who are seeking skills in theological studies to enhance their professional work.

Graduates will be able to apply a body of theological knowledge in a range of contexts relating to ministry and/or further learning.

Credit Points



6 months full-time or 1.5 years part-time


FEE-HELP available for eligible students
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Award Summary

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An applicant for admission to candidature for a degree of Graduate Certificate in Arts shall:

  • have qualified for admission to a three-year AQF Level 7 award from an accredited Australian tertiary institution; or
  • hold, from a university or other tertiary institution, qualifications approved by the Student Support and Administration Committee as equivalent to such an award.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this regulation the Sydney College of Divinity Student Support and Administration Committee may require an applicant to demonstrate fitness for admission as a candidate for this degree by carrying out such work and/or sitting for such examinations as the Student Support and Administration Committee may determine.

In exceptional cases an applicant may be admitted as a candidate for a Graduate Certificate in Arts if the applicant submits evidence of other academic and professional attainments to the Student Support and Administration Committee.

No candidate for the Graduate Certificate in Arts may be concurrently enrolled in any other undergraduate or postgraduate course within the Sydney College of Divinity or any other tertiary institution, unless approval has been granted by the Sydney College of Divinity Academic Board.

Applicants whose entry qualifications were obtained in an institution where English is not the language of instruction normally will be required to demonstrate competency in English by an IELTS (or equivalent) result of 7.0 in all bands of the test and may be required to attend such English language courses as prescribed by the Sydney College of Divinity.

Professional Entry into Graduate Certificate in Arts with a professional concentration

Students not possessing an undergraduate degree meeting the normal entry requirements may seek provisional admission into a Graduate Certificate in Arts (with a professional concentration) via Professional Entry.

This entry requires the student to:

  • possess a minimum of 5 years relevant work experience in the senior leadership role, consistent with the Typical Progression Pathways* outlines below or
  • possess a minimum of 8 years relevant work experience in a range of leadership roles from associate leader to senior team leader or
  • possess a minimum of 10 years relevant work experience in an associate leader role and be over the age of 30

If entry is approved, the student then enrols in a single 8500 (entry) level Graduate Certificate unit. If the unit is completed successfully at a credit level or above the student may be granted normal entry into the Graduate Certificate in Arts (with a professional concentration) following an interview with the Dean of Graduate Studies or the college Registrar. The unit completed is part of the student’s Graduate Certificate in Arts program. The remaining three units must all be completed successfully. To progress to the MA all units must be passed and the completed Graduate Certificate in Arts must have a GPA of at least 2.0.

*Typical Progression Pathways: Relevant work experience in a senior leadership role will be determined by the Sydney College of Divinity Student Support and Administration Committee (SSAC), and (subject to the above requirements) will include:

  1. Full-time church or para-church ministry in the senior leadership position.
  2. Senior leadership experience in non-government, not-for-profit, community-based and related organisations which act to further the social and/or cultural outworkings of the gospel.
  3. Christian business people who are fulfilling positions of responsibility including team and industry leadership.
  4. Other relevant senior leadership experience consistent with, and deemed by SSAC to be equivalent to, the above

Students not studying full-time will normally be required to maintain some concurrent, ongoing involvement in a leadership position.

The Graduate Certificate in Arts requires the completion of 36 credit points (4 units).

All course units shall be taken from the Sydney College of Divinity units in the 8500 and 9600 series.

The course may be taken with or without a concentration. A concentration in the Graduate Certificate comprises 18 credit points in a sub-discipline.

Graduates will have:


An advanced understanding, within a coherent body of knowledge, in one or more theologically related disciplines or areas of practice; this may include the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills in a new or existing discipline or professional area.


Cognitive and technical skills in a theologically-related body of knowledge, so that they are able independently to:

  • review and synthesize theological information and identify and reflect on complex problems;
  • think critically and evaluate complex ideas;
  • demonstrate an understanding of theoretical concepts in one or more theological disciplines;
  • transmit theologically-related knowledge, skills and ideas to a variety of audiences.

Applications of Knowledge and Skills

The ability to make high level, independent judgments related to a range of issues pertaining to Christian living and / or ministry.

A candidate may seek credit up to a maximum of 18 credit points in the Graduate Certificate in Arts. Credit can be granted only from units at graduate level where the outcomes, content, demand hours and assessment are equivalent to that of units in the Sydney College of Divinity award.

Articulation to other awards

Students are eligible to articulate to the Graduate Diploma of Arts, on completion of which students are required to surrender their Graduate Certificate.

The Graduate Certificate in Arts is offered through the individual colleges and an application for enrolment must be made to the Registrar of the teaching institution. The registrar will be able to help you with any information regarding your study, including fees, units, mode of delivery and timetable.

A domestic Sydney College of Divinity student is designated as full-time if enrolled in three units (27 credit points) or more in a semester or part-time if enrolled in less than three units (27 credit points) per semester.

International students

International students are subject to the conditions of their Australian student visa and are required to maintain a full-time enrolment of 4 units (36 credit points) per semester, including a minimum of one unit per semester in face-to-face mode, and at least two-thirds of the total units in face-to-face mode. If you are planning to enrol as an international student, you have the responsibility to ensure that you comply with your visa conditions at all times. Learn more about your responsibilities, rights and what studying in Australia can offer you. Not all our teaching institutions offer study programs for international students. Check out the locations and courses offered to international students, and for more information email us at [email protected]

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