Master of Divinity
The Master of Divinity (MDiv) is an AQF Level 9 Masters Degree (Extended) award. It provides a systematic and comprehensive study of theological and related disciplines through a structure of specialisations and sub-specialisations.
The Master of Divinity is designed for two categories of candidates:
- those who hold a tertiary qualification in a non-theological discipline, who seek a comprehensive education in theology comparable in breadth and depth to the Bachelor of Theology, including a deeper biblical and theological understanding, spiritual formation, and cultural literacy that will prepare them for ordained or other professional ministry in church, parachurch or non-profit organizations, and other similar vocational settings.
- those who hold a tertiary qualification in a theological discipline who wish to pursue a graduate qualification in theology as part of their continuing ministerial education.
3 years full-time or 9 years part-time
An applicant for admission to candidature for a degree of Master of Divinity shall:
- have completed 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 the requirements set out in the paragraph above; or
- hold an SCD Graduate Certificate in Arts: to receive the award the student is required to complete a further 180 credit points (20 units), and hand back the GradCertArts upon graduation; or
- hold an SCD Graduate Diploma of Arts: to receive the award the student is required to complete a further 144 credit points (16 units), and hand back the GradDipArts upon graduation; or
- hold an SCD Master of Arts (72 /108 credit points): to receive the award the student is required to complete a further 144 /108 credit points respectively, and hand back the MA upon graduation.
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 of Divinity by carrying out such work and/or sitting for such examinations as the Sydney College of Divinity Student Support and Administration Committee may determine.
In exceptional cases an applicant may be admitted as a candidate for a degree of Master of Divinity if the applicant submits evidence of other academic and professional attainments 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 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.
Every student program for the award shall consist of no fewer than 216 credit points.
Every program shall include either two specialisations and one sub-specialisation or one specialisation and two sub-specialisations.
A specialisation requires 54 credit points from units assigned to the specialisation with a minimum of 18 credit points from 9600 series units.
A specialisation in a subdiscipline requires 54 credit points from the subdiscipline, with a minimum of 18 credit points from 9600 series units.
A specialisation in a discipline requires 54 credit points from the discipline, with at least 27 credit points in one subdiscipline, with a minimum of 18 credit points from 9600 series units.
A sub-specialisation in a discipline or sub discipline requires 36 credit points from the units assigned to the discipline or sub discipline, including no more than 18 credit points from 8500 series units or, with the approval of the Academic Board, up to 36 credit points from 9600 series units.
All course units shall be taken from 8500 and 9600 series units in the SCD Schedule of Units of Study.
Every program for the award shall include:
- a minimum of 72 credit points in 9600 series units;
- not more than 72 credit points from Philosophy;
- at least a sub-specialisation from Biblical Studies;
- students completing a specialisation in Biblical Studies must also complete at least 2 units in Biblical languages which are in addition to the 6 units required for the specialisation;
- at least a sub-specialisation from Theology;
- at least one unit in Church History;
- at least a total of 36 credit points from the following sub-disciplines: Christian Ethics, Christian Spirituality, Pastoral Counselling, Worship & Liturgy, Mission, Pastoral Theology;
- not more than 108 credit points in Pastoral Theology
- at least one Generic Research unit – a Research Essay (18cps – 10,000-12,000 words in length and written in the area of specialisation under supervision) and / or a Research Project with a professional focus (9 or if 18cps – 10,000-12,000 words in length and written in the area of specialisation under supervision)) and / or a Capstone unit as found in the SCD Schedule of Units of Study. Each student enrolled in a Research Project or Research Essay must complete a 8500-series Research Methodology unit (9 credit points) which can be completed before or concurrently with the Research Project or Essay;
- A candidate may take up to a maximum of 36 credit points in units listed as Generic (Research) units in the Schedule of Units of Study with a maximum of 18 credit points in Independent Guided Study units, 18 credit points in Research Project units, and 18 credit points as a Research Essay. Students who transfer from the MDiv to either the MA or the MTh cannot exceed this limit in total across both programs.
The sub-disciplines and corresponding specialisations and sub-specialisations are:
|Discipline||Sub-disciplines||Specialisations / Sub-specialisations|
|Biblical Studies||Biblical Studies|
|Christian Life & Ministry||Christian Spirituality (S)
Worship & Liturgy (L)
Pastoral Counselling (C)
Pastoral Theology (P)
Christian Ethics (E)
Worship & Liturgy
Christian Life & Ministry [Discipline]
|Humanities in Christian Tradition||Church History (H)
Theological Education (D)
Humanities in Christian Tradition [Discipline] (specialisations and sub- specialisations not to include A units)
Graduates will have specialised knowledge and skills for research, and/or professional practice and/or further learning and the ability to apply such knowledge and skills in a theologically-related area, as they acquire:
- an advanced and integrated understanding of an advanced body of knowledge in some theologically related disciplines or areas of practice, including the extended understanding of recent developments in theology and/or theological practice
- understanding of research principles and methods applicable to theological disciplines and their practice
- expert, specialized cognitive and technical skills in a theologically-related body of knowledge, so that they are able independently to:
- analyse critically, reflect on and synthesize complex information, problems, concepts and theories associated with a theologically-related body of knowledge
- research and apply established theories to a theologically-related body of knowledge or practice
- interpret and transmit knowledge, skills and ideas through coherent and sustained argument to specialist and non-specialist audiences in relation to a theologically-related body of knowledge
Applications of Knowledge and Skills
the ability to
- apply knowledge and skills in a way that demonstrates autonomy, expert judgment, adaptability, and accountability as a practitioner or learner in relation to the inter-dependent building up of the church and good of the wider community.
- plan and execute a substantial research-based project, capstone experience and/or professionally focussed project in an area of theology.
A candidate may seek credit up to a maximum of 108 credit points in the Master of Divinity. Credit can be granted 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 (SCD) award. Credit can be also granted when a candidate holds the SCD Bachelor of Theology or equivalent degree up to a maximum of 54 credit points for Bachelor of Theology or equivalent units (where the outcomes, content demand hours and assessment are comparable to those of SCD BTh units) with a grade of at least 70%.
A range of exit points are available from the Master of Divinity. These include the Graduate Certificate in Arts, Graduate Diploma of Arts, Master of Arts and Master of Theology. For these to be available, the student must complete units that met the requirements of the exiting award.
Articulation to other awards
Admission into the SCD Master of Philosophy award would require a completed Master of Divinity which included an 18 credit point Research Project or Essay with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Admission into the SCD Doctor of Ministry award would require a Master of Divinity with a GPA of 2.8 or higher including a Research Essay with a GPA of 2.8 or higher and the appropriate ministry experience.
Admission into the SCD Doctor of Philosophy or Theology would require a completed Master of Divinity with a GPA of 3.0 or higher including a Research Essay with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
The Master of Divinity 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 student at Sydney College of Divinity is designated as a 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 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]