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 (36 credit points) 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.

Entry requirements

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.

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.


Full-time student : 0.5 year (1 semester)

Part-time student : up to 2 years (4 semesters)

A student is designated as a full-time if enrolled in three units (27 cps) or more in a semester or part-time if enrolled in less than three units (27 cps) per semester.


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

  • 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 cps in the sub-discipline of Counselling to achieve a concentration in Counselling.

Credit and Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

A student may seek credit for previous accredited study and/or Recognised Prior Learning up to a maximum of 9 cps in the Graduate Certificate of Pastoral Supervision.

Special consideration for credit (up to 18 cps) may be given to Clinical Pastoral Education students if the Student Support and Administration Committee deems any CPE units on the SCD 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 SCD units.

Credit for Recognised Prior Learning may be granted subject to a successful application.


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


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.

Fee information

Fees are determined by the Colleges that teach our awards. Contact the college registrar to find out the actual fees and related costs.

As a student enrolling with an approved higher education provider, you may be eligible for a FEE-HELP loan to pay all or part of your tuition fees. A FEE-HELP loan does not cover costs like accommodation, laptops or text books. If you are applying for FEE-HELP, it is important that you include the information on your admission form.


The registrar at your enrolling college is the person to guide you with the admission process. Contact the registrar to have a chat about the course or browse the college website to access application information and forms.

Completed admission forms are submitted directly to the college you are enrolling in. You will need to provide some supporting documentation including certified copies (signed by a JP or other authorised person) of:

  • 100 points of ID (usually a passport/birth certificate and driver’s licence);
  • Transcripts from previous study;
  • Change of name documentation and/or the results of an IELTS test if relevant.

The registrar will inform you of any additional documentation that is required.