AQF Level 8 Award

The GradCertPSupervision builds supervisory leadership capacity for those in religious and/or non-profit and/or community-focused enterprises.

Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Supervision

The Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Supervision (GradCertPSupervision) is an AQF Level 8 Graduate Certificate. It focuses on building supervisory leadership capacity for people involved in religious and/or non-profit and/or community-focused enterprises.The award consists of four compulsory units with a concentration in Counselling

The Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Supervision may be ideal for you, if

  • you have a three-year undergraduate degree in ministry/theology or an allied helping profession
  • you may be working for a denominational organisation in education, welfare, aged care, local church or another ministry
  • you wish to pursue a further qualification in the area of supervisory practice
  • you require specific leadership training for ministry or mission.

Credit Points



6 months full-time or 2 years part-time

Fee Information

FEE-HELP is available to eligible students
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Study Terms

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Award Summary

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An applicant for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Supervision shall:

  • hold a three year AQF 7 award in the field of philosophy and religious studies (Australian Standard Classification of Education field 0917 – Philosophy and Religious Studies) from an accredited Australian tertiary institution; or
  • hold a three year AQF 7 award in the field of social work, social science, counselling or psychology; or
  • hold, from a university or other tertiary institution, qualifications approved by the Student Support and Administration Committee as equivalent to such an award; and
  • have at least 5 years professional experience within a helping profession and a recommendation from their employer, professional association, or ordaining body.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this regulation the 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 Pastoral Supervision 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 Pastoral Supervision 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 require a minimum IELTS (or equivalent) score 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.

The Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Supervision requires the completion of four compulsory* units (36 credit points) :

  • C8507 Fundamental Principles of Pastoral Supervision
  • C8548 Well-being and Resilience for People Helpers
  • P8502 Foundations of Ethical Professional Practice
  • P8504 Theological Principles of Pastoral Supervision

* If compulsory units have been completed in the award used for submission into the Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Supervision, they are to be replaced with one or two appropriate elective units.

The student will complete the necessary 18 credit points in the sub-discipline of Counselling to achieve a concentration in Counselling.

Graduates will have added advanced knowledge and skills in supervisory leadership to their theological education to enhance their work in the religious sector:


Graduates will possess:

  • specialised theoretical and technical knowledge related to the practice of professional supervision to aid in the development of high quality, ethical and safe practitioners in ministry, community work and allied people helping professions.
  • an advanced understanding of the principles of inquiry and methods applicable to supervision theory and their application to real-world professional practice.


Graduates will demonstrate advanced cognitive, technical and communication skills in leadership within a ministry-related body of knowledge, so that they are able independently to:

  • analyse critically, evaluate, and apply information to complete a range of activities associated with supervision in a ministry related context;
  • analyse, generate and provide solutions to complex problems to guide the effective supervision of employees or volunteers in a religious, non-profit, community organisation;
  • transmit knowledge, skills and ideas through coherent and sustained leadership to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Applications of Knowledge and Skills

Graduates will possess the ability to apply knowledge and skills in a way that demonstrates autonomy, well developed judgment, adaptability and responsibility for effective supervision in religious, non-profit, and/or community-focused enterprises.

Credit and Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

  • A candidate may seek credit for previous accredited study and/or Recognised Prior Learning up to a maximum of 9 credit points in the Graduate Certificate of Pastoral Supervision.
  • Special consideration for credit (up to 18 credit points) may be given to Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) students if the Student Support and Administration Committee deems any CPE units on the Sydney College of Divinity Register of Units as equivalent to the units required for this Course.
  • Credit may be granted only from units at graduate level where the outcomes, content, demand hours and assessment are equivalent to those of existing Sydney College of Divinity units.
  • Credit for Recognised Prior Learning may be granted subject to a successful application.

Articulation to Other Awards

Students are eligible to articulate to the Graduate Diploma in Professional Supervision or the Master of Professional Supervision.

The Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Supervision 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.

For more information contact us at [email protected]

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