AQF Level 9 Award

The MLead focuses on building leadership skills for those engaged in education, welfare, aged care, local church or other ministries.

Master of Leadership

The Master of Leadership (MLead) is an AQF Level 9 Masters Degree (Coursework) award. It is designed for those possessing a Graduate Certificate in the field of philosophy and studies in religion who wish to pursue a further qualification in an area of leadership focus as part of their continuing education for ministry.

The Master of Leadership focuses on building leadership capacity for people involved in a wide scope of religious, non-profit, community-focused enterprises. Students may be working for a denominational based organisations in education, welfare, aged care, local church or other ministries requiring specific leadership training for ministry or mission.

Credit Points



1 year full-time or 3 years part-time

Fee Information

FEE-HELP is available to eligible students
View information on fees

Study Terms

View study term and census dates

Award Specifications

View program and the specific regulations

An applicant for admission to candidature for a degree of Master of Leadership shall:

  • hold an AQF Level 8 award (Graduate Certificate) in the field of religion and philosophy (Australian Standard Classification of Education field 0917 – Philosophy and Religious Studies); or
  • hold, from a university or other tertiary institution, qualifications approved by the Student Support and Administration Committee as equivalent to the requirements set out in the paragraphs above.

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 a degree of Master 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 degree of Master of Leadership on the basis of evidence of other academic and professional attainments to be submitted to the Student Support and Administration Committee.

No candidate for the award 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 Academic Board.

Applicants whose entry qualifications were obtained in an institution where English is not the language of instruction will normally 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.

The Master of Leadership requires candidates to complete 8 units (72 credit points) from 8500 and 9600 series units in the Sydney College of Divinity (SCD) schedule of units of study.

The eight units (72 cps) shall include:

  • two compulsory units* (18 cps):
    • P8570 Foundations of Christian Leadership
    • P8584 Non-Profit Governance for Ministry

* If either of the two compulsory units have been completed in the award used for admission into the Master of Leadership, they are to be replaced with one or two elective units respectively 

  • three core units (27 cps) from the list of approved Master of Leadership core units (Schedule 1)
  • one Leadership Practice unit (9 or 18 cps) focused on leadership practice in the context of a place of work, ministry or mission through research, self-guided study, or field study (this may be a capstone unit, research project, research essay, independent guided study, site visit, field placement or action research project) from the list in Schedule 1
  • elective units from the 8500 and 9600 series in the SCD Schedule of Units to complete the 72 cps required for the award

The program must include at least two 9600-series units.

A specialisation is based on a list of approved units approved by the Academic Board and may vary from time-to-time

Units from the entry Graduate Certificate (or Graduate Diploma) if equivalent, to units required for the award may be considered for inclusion as core units and in the forming of any specialisation (54 cps, including at least 2×9600 level units) or sub-specialisation (36 cps) within the Master of Leadership.

Candidates who have previously studied a BTh/BMin or equivalent may not enrol in units with content similar to those covered in their previous studies.

Graduates will have specialised knowledge and skills for further learning in professional practice and research and the ability to apply such knowledge and skills in a ministry leadership-related area:


Graduates will possess:

  • an integrated understanding of an advanced body of knowledge related to the practice of leadership particular to the management and governance of a complex religious, non-profit, ministry enterprise;
  • an expert understanding of the principles of inquiry and methods applicable to leadership theory and their application to real-world ministry practice.


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

  • analyse critically, reflect on, and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories associated with leadership in a ministry related context;
  • implement with discrimination established leadership theories to provide solutions for the effective governance, management and operations of a religious, non-profit, community organization;
  • interpret and 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 initiative, autonomy, expert judgment, adaptability, and accountability as leaders of religious, non-profit, community-focused enterprises;
  • plan and execute a substantial research or field-based project in an area of work-based leadership.

Credit and Recognised Prior Learning

  • A candidate may seek credit for previous accredited study and/or Recognised Prior Learning up to a maximum of 18 cps in the Master of Leadership.
  • Credit can 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 can be granted subject to a successful application.

Exit point

A student can exit with a Graduate Certificate in Leadership (36 credit points).

The Master of Leadership 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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