Professional Development Policy and Procedures

Last Updated 30 January, 2019

The implementation of the Vision, Mission, and Values of the College, together with the Goals set out in the Strategic Plan, requires a firm commitment to the professional development of members of the academic faculty and other staff who support the core business of the College.

The Vision states that the College will be a high-quality theological Higher Education Provider. In this all faculty need to model the professionalism sought in our graduates. Further, the desire to respond to a rapidly changing environment can be met only if members of faculty are continually open to new learning.

The Mission Statement reiterates that the College will provide high quality accredited courses in theology and related disciplines, reminding us of our commitment to theological scholarship and train future theological scholars.

The Values of the College encompass excellence in teaching and research, while affirming that academics also have a part to play in modelling lifelong learning and reflective practice. Moreover, these values speak of the collaborative nature of the endeavours of the College, encouraging us to act with collegiality and co-operation.

As with earlier Strategic Plans, the SCD Strategic Plan 2019–2021 speaks to professional development of the faculty and the staff who support their work. Area 2: Academic includes several Goals involving explicitly or implicitly the need for professional development.

This policy acknowledges the imperative for suitable professional development set out in successive national standards. The Higher Education Standards 2015 framework requires a commitment to well- qualified and developing faculty (Items 3.2.1-3):

3.2 Staffing

  1. The staffing complement for each course of study is sufficient to meet the educational, academic support and administrative needs of student cohorts undertaking the
  2. The academic staffing profile for each course of study provides the level and extent of academic oversight and teaching capacity needed to lead students in intellectual inquiry suited to the nature and level of expected learning
  3. Staff with responsibilities for academic oversight and those with teaching and supervisory roles in courses or units of study are equipped for their roles, including having:
    • knowledge of contemporary developments in the discipline or field, which is informed by continuing scholarship or research or advances in practice
    • skills in contemporary teaching, learning and assessment principles relevant to the discipline, their role, modes of delivery and the needs of particular student cohorts, and
    • a qualification in a relevant discipline at least one level higher than is awarded for the course of study, or equivalent relevant academic or professional or practice-based experience and expertise, except for staff supervising doctoral degrees having a doctoral degree or equivalent research experience.

Guiding Principles

Certain principles offer fundamental guidance to an overall professional development strategy:

  • Life-long learning: A culture of life-long learning, particularly as applied to members of the academic faculty, serves to foster in staff a culture of professional development in line with the mission and strategic goals of the College.
  • Equity: Access to academic staff development should be available to all academic staff. Availability must be equitable, fair, and inclusive, encompassing faculty who teach in languages other than English and also sessional lecturers. Appropriate professional development should also be provided for non-academic staff whose duties entail working directly with the Office of the Dean or otherwise directly facilitating the delivery of the College’s programs of study (such as Registrars, Librarians, Chaplains, and Student Counsellors). The availability of professional development should be reasonably consistent across the Teaching Bodies.
  • Benchmarking: Policy and procedures must be comparable to those in other higher education institutions in light of best practice.


Professional development takes place in three constituencies: in the College as a whole; in the Teaching Bodies; and in Teaching Bodies in collaborative groups.

Professional Development in the College as a Whole

From 2019, the College will provide professional development of new faculty through the online program, Induction of New Faculty. Each new faculty member will need to be complete this program within one year of accreditation, under the supervision of the Academic Dean of their Teaching Body.

For faculty, the College will normally arrange four professional development sessions each year, two in each semester, addressing the focal areas of Research and Scholarship (x2), and Learning and Teaching (x2).

The College will also provide an annual Professional Development Workshop for Academic Deans, normally in Second Semester.

These sessions will be organized by the Office of the Dean, in consultation with the appropriate Committees. In this regard:

  • Members of the academic faculty are generally expected to be in attendance, as are sessional lecturers teaching that semester.
  • All new faculty and new sessionals (or faculty or sessionals who have not worked in a Teaching Body for the past five years) are expected to complete the online Induction program in addition to attending the faculty sessions.
  • Academic staff in other-language programs are encouraged to attend relevant sessions, but the Teaching Body(s) concerned may make alternative arrangements that achieve the same results.
  • Non-academic staff whose duties entail working directly with the Office of the Dean or otherwise directly facilitating the delivery of the College’s programs of study are expected to attend sessions whose advertised subject matter pertains to their duties.
  • A certificate of attendance will be provided, and apologies will be noted.
  • The seminars will normally be held within the semester, during the day on Mondays, when it is requested that no classes be timetabled. Following the practice introduced in 2018, the Research and Scholarship Seminars and the Learning and Teaching Seminars will normally be held on the same day, morning and afternoon, to facilitate ease of, and encourage commitment to, attendance.
  • The dates will be listed for each year in the College Calendar, available on the website and intranet.
  • Sessions will normally be scheduled to take place within a three-hour period.
  • The Office of the Dean will collate information on the content, attendance, duration, cost and other particulars, in order to compile accurate reports to Government bodies.

In addition, events may be arranged from time to time to provide opportunities to hear from and consult with visiting experts. Research conferences will also be mounted by the College to bring together all faculties and the broader community of researchers and scholars. In particular, as well as theological- discipline-based conferences, the biennial SCD Learning and Teaching Theology conference provides the opportunity for SCD faculty to engage with a broader group of scholars in matters relating to the educational side of their profession as Theological Educators. All SCD faculty are invited to participate through attendance and the presentation and subsequent publication of papers.

In 2018, to further facilitate the development of faculty in their profession, SCD established under its self-accrediting authority a formal qualification, the Graduate Certificate of Theological Education (GradCertThEd).

From 2019, SCD will also provide faculty with a self-reported ‘portfolio’, to encourage individual faculty to take initiatives in their own professional development and to duly record the impact of that development on their ongoing professional activities.

Professional Development in the Teaching Bodies

Each Teaching Body will hold professional development activities relating to the various focal areas of Theological Education, with reference to particular interests of their own institution. This may include arranging specific visits from leaders in the Office of the Dean to present and discuss key issues with the Teaching Body staff.

Each Teaching Body will, in addition, encourage and facilitate the participation of its academic staff, both faculty and sessionals, and non-academic staff whose duties entail working directly with the Office of the Dean or otherwise directly facilitating the delivery of the  College’s programs of study   in relevant external activities such as conferences, workshops, and courses.

Each Teaching Body will, accordingly, develop a budget that provides appropriate funding and time allowance to meet these requirements. Each Teaching Body will undertake annual appraisals of its staff and establish professional development plans for each person. Such plans should include the use of the SCD Professional Development online self-report and participation in the biennial Learning and Teaching Conference and may include enrolment in the GradCertThEd.

Professional Development in Teaching Bodies in Collaborative Groups

Various Teaching Bodies may collaborate in holding joint professional development activities relating to any of the four focal areas, with reference to shared interests. This may occur, for instance, in relation to convenience of location or to shared traditions and concerns.

Reporting Professional Development

Principals will send annually to the Office of the Dean, by the end of the second semester:

  • an Institutional Professional Development Activities Report: a report on the content, attendance, duration, cost, and other particulars of these activities in the Teaching Body, whether carried out by the individual Teaching Body alone or conducted collaboratively with one or more other Teaching Bodies or institutions;
  • the Institution’s annual budget for professional development in the forthcoming year, including for the participation of staff members in external events.

In addition, the participation of individual academic faculty (full-time or permanent part-time) in professional development activities will be reported by them annually in the Research and Professional Development Report.

The Office of the Dean will collate this information in order to compile accurate annual reports to the appropriate Government bodies.

Professional Development Budgets

The annual College Budget will provide funding for the College professional development sessions and for the professional development of all staff in the Office of the Dean.

Teaching Bodies will fund professional development for their academic staff in terms of actual funds and time allowance, as relevant.

An appropriate level of overall funding that is reasonably consistent across the Teaching Bodies, equitable for all staff (including academic staff teaching SCD students in languages other than English, sessionals, and non-academic staff whose duties entail working directly with the Office of the Dean or otherwise directly facilitating the delivery of the College’s programs of study) and adequate for high- quality endeavour will be implemented and reported annually to Council in line with the requirements of the Memorandum of Understanding. Council will determine the budget for the professional development of staff based in the SCD Korean School of Theology, as well as for staff based in the Office of the Dean (including the Research Director as coordinator of the Graduate School of Research).

Funding will include such elements as:

  • provision of professional development activities or collaboration in holding such activities;
  • support of individual staff by funding and/or time release to participate in the College professional development sessions and in other activities such as conferences, workshops, and courses;
  • systematic provision of adequate study leave for faculty members to achieve particular goals in research, scholarship, and professional pedagogical skills.

To help achieve such requirements Teaching Bodies are encouraged to liaise and work cooperatively with each other. Teaching Bodies are also encouraged to record and report meetings or other activities that result in staff becoming better informed concerning any relevant area or better able to implement their knowledge.


1.         Professional Development of Academic Staff in Other-Language Programs

The Korean School of Theology will provide equitable professional development for all academic staff concerned.

2.         Professional Development of Non-Academic Staff

Those non-academic members of staff in the Teaching Bodies whose duties entail working directly with the Office of the Dean or otherwise directly facilitating the delivery of the College’s programs of study, such as Registrars, Librarians, Chaplains, and Counsellors, will be provided with appropriate professional development to enhance their contribution to the College through their Teaching Bodies.

A summary report of professional development for this constituency should be included in the annual Institutional Professional Development Activities Report.

3.      Professional Development through SCD Governance Bodies

Professional development of staff may also take place through SCD academic governance bodies, as members (who are often SCD staff) are provided with updates on sector developments or other training by the relevant member based in the Office of the Dean. In particular, the Academic Registrar is responsible for database training of the Teaching Body registrars, both in meetings of the Student Support and Administration Committee and as otherwise needed. The Academic Registrar is specifically responsible for ensuring that registrars of Teaching Bodies approved to teach international students understand their obligations under the National Code for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students.

4.  Professional Development of Staff in the Office of the Dean

For the professional development of both academic and non-academic staff in the Office of the Dean see also Policy and Procedures for Professional Development of Staff in the Office of the Dean.

Find a Course
Back to top