This programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under section 249 of the Education Act 1989, and Trinity Methodist Theological College is accredited to provide it under section 250 of the Act.

Kua whakamanahia tenei akoranga e Te Mana Tahu Matauranga o Aotearoa i raro i te wahanga 249 o te Ture Matauranga 1989, a, kua whakamanahia a Trinity Methodist Theological College ki te whakarato i taua akoranga i raro i te wahanga 250 o te Ture.

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The New Zealand Diploma in Christian Studies is a 120 credit NZQA programme designed to cater for the ministry needs of the Methodist Church of New Zealand.

Programme Structure

To complete the Diploma programme, a student has to complete five compulsory papers and three papers from one of the four strands. Students may complete within 1 year full-time or up to 3 years part-time.

Strategic Purpose Statement

The purpose of this qualification is to provide Christian churches and their agencies with people who are able to operate as senior administrators and leaders, and/or as managers.

This qualification is stranded in order to recognise the specific knowledge and skills required in a variety of roles and contexts ranging from the administration of a parish, teaching Religious Education or holders of other roles of responsibility in integrated Christian schools as defined in the Private Schools Integration Act (1975), to managers of church organisations.

Graduates will benefit by having a qualification that recognises their advanced evaluation, research, leadership, administration and strategic management skills and knowledge; enhancing their employment opportunities, and/or ability work in a voluntary capacity in Christian churches and their agencies.

This qualification is targeted at individuals who are ready for positions of managerial and senior leadership positions in a variety of roles. This qualification is also targeted at those who want to further their theological studies at undergraduate level; or for current practitioners, such as teachers of Religious Education, who want to upskill in a particular area of Christian ministry.

Graduates will be able to apply in-depth theological and biblical skills and knowledge to inform managerial and strategic decisions; is responsible for leadership and may supervise others.

Outcome Statement

Graduate Profile
Graduates will be able to:
  • Analyse and apply an in-depth understanding of theology and biblical foundation in operational or research contexts
  • Evaluatie, review and respond to the pastoral, specialised and ethical responsibilities required of defined church ministry settings
  • Apply management or administrative capability and leadership in a Christian ministry environment to make strategic decisions in a specified context
  • Critically reflect on personal faith journey and professional development to refine own practice.
Graduates with the Biblical Studies strand will also be able to:
  • Research and critically evaluate the application of diverse biblical disciplines, methods and textual analysis to inform and develop a Christian community.
Graduates with the Theology strand will also be able to:
  • Research and collate information on theological and relational topics as they apply to New Zealand’s unique cultural communities, service organisations and society at large.
  • Critically evaluate strategies that contribute to effective management and leadership in specified contexts.
Graduates with the Māori Studies strand will also be able to:
  • Critically evaluate the application of Te Tiriti o Waitangi princples and taha Māori
  • Apply a set of strategic management and leadership practices to specified groups in defined contexts.
Graduates with the Pastoral Studies strand will also be able to:
  • Integrate information of specific groups and apply skills to the specific role of pastor to critically analyse performance.
  • Identify opportunities that contribute to effective spiritual worship and pastoral care practices.
Education Pathway
This qualification may lead to entry and credits in related undergraduate degrees.
Employment Pathway
Graduates will have the skills and knowledge to work in senior administrative and leadership positions or as managers in a variety of occupations in Christian churches and the wider church-affiliated sector, missions, non-governmental and not-for-profit organisations. Positions include workplace and Parish Administrators; teachers of Religious Education or holders of other roles of responsibility in integrated Christian schools; Pastors; and Ordained Ministers in some faith denominations


Paper Requirements

Compulsory Papers
BS610   Exploring the Bible                                                                      
BS611   Interpreting the Bible                                                                        
MS610   Te Ao Tūroa
PS610    Introduction to Pastoral Ministry
TS610    Introduction to Theology
Elective Papers
Students are required to do three electives from their chosen strands. Alternatively, they can choose to write a research essay plus 1 elective if qualified. Please refer to the Appendix for information on available electives.
Biblical Studies
BS612 Reading the Bible in Oceania
BS620 Deciphering the Bible I/II
BS621 Decolonising the Bible
BS622 Women in/and the bible
BS630 Violence in/and Sacred Texts
BS631 The Bible and Public Life in Aotearoa
BS632 Special Topic: Acclimatising the Bible
REB650 Research Essay in Biblical Studies
Theological Studies
TS611 Introduction to Ethics
TS612 Doing Theology in Oceania
TS620 Re-storying Christianity I/II
TS621 Re-thinking God
TS622 Being Human
TS630 Moana Eco-Theology
TS631 Revisioning Church
TS632 Special Topic: Religious Fundamentalism
RET650 Research Essay in Theological Studies
Pastoral Studies
PS611 Engaging Communities
PS612 Methodism in Aotearoa
PS620 Preaching: Theology & Practice
PS621 Liturgy: Theology & Practice
PS622 Understandng self and others
PS630 Spirituality and Wellbeing
PS631 Models of Leadership & Ministry
PL632 Special Topic: Gender and sexuality
REP650 Research Essay in Pastoral Studies
Maori Studies
MS611 Te Ao Whakaari
MS612 Te Ao Hurihuri
MS620 Te Kete Tuauri
MS621 Te Kete Tuatea
MS622 Te Kete Aronui
MS630 Te Reo Kauwhau
MS631 Te Reo Pātikitiki
MS632 He Kaupapa Hou - Te Haahi Pukamata
REM650 Research Essay in Maori Studies
For paper descriptions for each elective click here