Australian College of Theology

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Australian College of Theology
Australian College of Theology logo.jpg
Type Theological consortium
Established 1891
Religious affiliation
Anglican Church of Australia
Location Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

The Australian College of Theology (ACT) is an Australian higher education provider delivering awards in ministry and theology. The college was one of the first Australian non-university providers to offer an accredited bachelor's degree and a research doctorate. Over 16,000 people have graduated since the foundation of the college, one-third of these since 2006.[1] It is a company limited by guarantee as of September 2007.[2]

The primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, the Most Reverend Philip Freier, the Archbishop of Melbourne, presides as chairman at a general meeting of the Australian College of Theology Limited.[citation needed] He also served as the chair of the directors from 2002 until May 2008.[citation needed] His successor was David Barr AM, who served as chair until 2014.[citation needed] The current chair is Richard Cardew.[3]

The current dean is the Revd Martin Sutherland.[4] He replaced the Revd Mark Harding.[5]


The college was established by the 1891 General Synod of the Church of England in Australia and Tasmania. The college was founded in order to provide for the "systematic study of divinity", especially among clergy and ordination candidates, there being no realistic opportunities for them to earn a Bachelor of Divinity (BD) degree at English universities[clarify].[6]

The ACT is a national consortium of affiliated colleges with 16 theological and Bible colleges approved to deliver its accredited courses.[citation needed] Over 1,500 equivalent full-time students, or over 3,000 individual active students and research candidates, are enrolled in courses each year.[citation needed]

On 12 November 2004, the delegate of the Minister for Education, Science and Training approved the college as a higher education provider (HEP) under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth). This approval took effect in March 2005. As a HEP, the ACT administers the FEE-HELP program, by which students enrolled in accredited higher education courses of the ACT may receive an income contingent loan for their tuition fees.

In addition, as a HEP under the Higher Education Support Act, the ACT was required to undergo a quality audit conducted by the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA). In November 2006, the college was the first non-self-accrediting HEP to be audited. The AUQA audit report was completed in January 2007 and publicly released on the AUQA website in February 2007.[7][8] The process was repeated in 2011 and the college underwent a Cycle 2 quality audit by AUQA. The report of the audit was publicly released on the website of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency in March 2012.[9]

In July 2010, the college received self-accrediting authority under the terms of the National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Processes. This authority was due to be reviewed by 30 April 2015.[needs update][citation needed] The college is the first institution to be awarded self-accrediting status under the protocols. This means that the college can accredit its own courses in theology and ministry within the scope of the self-accrediting authority specified by the Department of Education and Training in New South Wales.[10]

Affiliated colleges[edit]

New South Wales
New Zealand
South Australia
Western Australia


The accredited higher education courses have grown from the Bachelor of Theology (BTh) degree, first accredited in 1975 and the research degree of Master of Theology (MTh) in 1976. The Master of Arts (Theology) (MA[Th]) degree was added in 1988. 1992 saw the accreditation of the Bachelor of Ministry (BMin) degree — the first of several coursework degrees in theology with a ministry major. The Doctor of Ministry (DMin), a doctorate modelled on Australian university professional doctorates and North American Doctor of Ministry degrees, was first accredited in 1998.

The courses of the college are accredited by the Australian College of Theology, under approval as a self-accrediting provider.

  • Diploma of Theology
  • Diploma of Ministry
  • Diploma of Theology / Diploma of Ministry
  • Advanced Diploma of Theology
  • Advanced Diploma of Ministry
  • Advanced Diploma of Theology / Advanced Diploma of Ministry
  • Associate Degree of Ministry
  • Associate Degree of Theology
  • Bachelor of Christian Studies
  • Bachelor of Theology
  • Bachelor of Ministry
  • Bachelor of Theology / Bachelor of Ministry
  • Bachelor of Theology (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Ministry (Honours)
  • Graduate Certificate of Divinity
  • Graduate Diploma of Divinity
  • Master of Ministry
  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Divinity / Graduate Diploma of Divinity
  • Graduate Certificate of Christian Studies
  • Graduate Diploma of Christian Studies
  • Master of Arts (Christian Studies)
  • Master of Missional Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate of Theology
  • Graduate Diploma of Theology
  • Master of Arts (Theology)
  • Graduate Certificate of Ministry
  • Graduate Diploma of Ministry
  • Master of Arts (Ministry)
  • Master of Theology
  • Doctor of Ministry
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Theology

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Australian College of Theology". Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  2. ^ "Current details for ABN 88 869 962 393 | ABN Lookup". 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  3. ^ "Australian College of Theology". Retrieved 2016-09-23. 
  4. ^ "Australian College of Theology". Retrieved 2016-09-23. 
  5. ^ "Australian College of Theology". Retrieved 2016-09-23. 
  6. ^ "Australian College of Theology". Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  7. ^ "Report of an Audit of The Australian College of Theology" (PDF). Australian Universities Quality Agency. January 2007. Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  8. ^ "Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) Audit Action Plan" (PDF). Australian College of Theology. 8 August 2007. Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  9. ^ "REPORT OF AN AUDIT OF AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF THEOLOGY" (PDF). March 2012. Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 

External links[edit]