Ordination Formation: Academic Expectations

Academic Education as part of study for ordained ministry

Trinity Theological School which is part of the University of Divinity is the main provider of ordination education for people preparing for service in stipendiary, self-supporting and local mission and ministry.

Trinity prepares people for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees awarded by the University of Divinity. Further information can be found on their website.

Every candidate will have a distinct path based on their experience and prior study. The exact prescription will be fashioned by the program available through Trinity Theological School.

Candidates preparing for ordained local ministry

Are expected to complete the equivalent of one year of degree level study. Candidates who are able to complete postgraduate studies will be asked to complete a Graduate Certificate in Theology. For those who will study an undergraduate course, the exit point will be a Diploma of Theology.

As a general rule, candidates aged under 50 will be expected to prepare for self-supporting ministry rather than ordained local ministry.

The Bishop may approve a different course of study for candidates exploring ordination immediately prior to retirement or on retirement.

Candidates preparing for self-supporting ministry

Are expected to complete the equivalent of two years of degree level studies. Candidates who are able to complete postgraduate studies will be asked to complete a Graduate Diploma in Theology. For those who will study an undergraduate course, the exit point will be a Advanced Diploma of Theology.

Candidates preparing for stipendiary ministry (mature aged candidates aged 45 years and older)

Are expected to complete the equivalent of two years of degree level studies. Candidates who are able to complete postgraduate studies will be asked to complete a Graduate Diploma in Theology. For those who will study an undergraduate course, the exit point will be a Advanced Diploma of Theology.

Candidates preparing for stipendiary ministry

Are expected to complete the equivalent of three years of degree level studies. Candidates who are able to complete postgraduate studies will be asked to complete a Master of Theology. For those who will study an undergraduate course, the exit point will be a Bachelor of Theology.

Candidates with existing theological degrees

These candidates may be expected to complete additional study through the University of Divinity or complete a reading course approved by the Diocesan Bishop.

Enquirers and candidates

are required to negotiate their specific program with the Director of Formation. Where students have already commenced study with another institution, they must negotiate their program with the Director of Formation who will outline any additional study expectations. The academic expectations will be reviewed with the Diocesan Bishop who must approve the study program for each Newcastle candidate.

Lay preachers and authorised lay ministers

in the Diocese of Newcastle are normally expected to have at least a Certificate in Theology or have completed the Australis Certificate which is administered by the Diocese of Bendigo. Further information about courses at Trinity Theological College can be found on their website.


The Morpeth Library collection and Diocesan archives

The University of Newcastle Library is also home to the Morpeth Collection and the Diocesan archives. Links to the website can be found below:

Information about the Morpeth Collection

The Bishop’s Library

Information about other Special Collections at the University

Anglican Diocese of Newcastle’s Archives