Pastoral Leadership

Pastoral Leadership Stream

The Pastoral Leadership stream is designed to equip students to lead in every sphere of life, focusing predominantly on leadership and ministry development within a local church setting. The stream subjects cover biblical studies, theology, leadership and ministry principles.

Students in this stream customise their study further by choosing one of the following Pathways:

Church Ministry
For students who have a passion to see God’s church be all it can be and are prepared to do whatever it takes to see that accomplished. Focuses on strategies for empowering the local church, especially through volunteer service.

Equips the student who has the heart to reach high schooler’s with the Gospel, to discover and apply their God-given purpose and change their generation.

Young Adults
Equips the student to effectively impact the 18-35 age demographic and develop them into a vibrant and strategic community that supports the strength and reach of their church from within.

For students with a heart to reach children of all ages with the Gospel – working with and learning from Hillsong Children’s Department, who are committed to modern, relevant communication and leadership techniques specifically geared towards twenty-first-century children.

Pastoral Care
Teaching practical skills and ethical principles to come alongside those facing challenge or crisis and helping connect them with God’s answers and practical ways to establish healthy lifestyle patterns.

Social Justice & Community Engagement
Teaching practical skills and ethical principles to practically and personally assist the vulnerable and marginalised.

Learn creative ways and organisational skills to work “behind the scenes” of making weekend church and other church events successful.

Students who choose these pathways will also participate in weekly practical ministry in the department associated with their chosen pathway.

Certificate IV - Core Subjects

If you’re going to serve Jesus, there are some things you just have to know. Core Subjects are done by all students and build a foundation of the bible, doctrine personal leadership and ministry teamwork that can be applied in a wide range of life and ministry settings.

New Testament Introduction The books, themes and events of the New Testament in their cultural and historical context are introduced along with their application and relevance today.

Old Testament Introduction The books, themes and events of the Old Testament in their cultural and historical context are introduced along with their application and relevance today.

Christian Doctrine This subject identifies and explores a number of the major doctrines of the Bible, with the goal of building a solid foundation of truth for Christian life and ministry.

Spirit-Filled Living The person and work of the Holy Spirit is introduced including an investigation of the baptism in the Spirit, spiritual gifts and ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Personal Leadership This subject introduces principles of spiritual leadership and is designed to assist the student in building godly character into their life as a Christian leader, both spiritually and practically. It covers critical issues including, integrity, core values, healthy living, relationships and finance.

Personal Evangelism This subject is customised to equip students with the skills and understanding to effectively share the Gospel in a wide range of settings, from a personal relationship to the public sphere.

Teamwork This subject trains the student with the necessary skills and knowledge to work successfully in a team setting.

Communication in Ministry This subject trains the student with the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to successfully communicate in ministry settings.

Church and Ministry A wide range of aspects of church ministry and culture are introduced from a biblical basis including how we make church relevant today.

Certificate IV - Stream Subjects

In your first year, choosing this stream will start you on the journey towards ministering the Word, ministering to people, and helping build incredible ministries in a local church. In addition to the subjects below, you’ll also choose a Pathway, which allows you to get hands-on experience in the pastoral ministry of your choice.

Introduction to Pastoral Leadership This subject introduces the student to their chosen pathway. These different pathways include: Church Ministry / Youth / Young Adults / Kids / Social Justice / Pastoral Care / Events. In this subject, you will identify the essential features of that form of ministry, develop an understanding of its key social, ministry and leadership issues, and cultivate the specialised skills you need for ministry effectiveness.

Public Speaking and Presentations This subject focuses on developing communication skills and the skills necessary to implement business, leadership and preaching presentations.

Church History A refreshing overview of our Christian heritage from the early church to modern day. Attention is given to lessons relevant to contemporary ministry.

World Religions Surveying the world’s major religions and cults, outlining their history, major teachings, world-view and providing modern demographics. Students are equipped to reach out to the followers of other faiths with an informed Christian response.

Mission and Culture The theories and practices of modern missions are introduced. Topics include the biblical basis for missions, modern trends in missions, cross-cultural communication and strategies for effective missions.

Diploma of Ministry - Core subjects

Taking your Core studies further, these subjects will further strengthen your understanding of the Bible and theology, while adding key leadership skills to your ministry toolkit, so you can start empowering others to make a difference.

    • Old Testament Studies: An in-depth look at the key text in the Old Testament, focusing on Exodus and Psalms, analysing and interpreting major themes and applying them to a contemporary ministry. This subject builds upon the bible study skills you developed in the first year by developing some basic exegetical skills appropriate for reading Old Testament texts accurately.


    • New Testament Studies: An in-depth look at key books and genres in the New Testament, focusing on Paul’s letter to the Romans and The Gospel of Luke. It will delve more deeply into the cultural and historical settings of both books as it helps you cultivate some early exegetical skills that you can apply to the close study of other books of the New Testament. It will also help you analyse how you might apply these texts to contemporary Christian life and ministry.


    • Pastoral Care: This subject equips the student with the skills necessary to identify and effectively deal with pastoral care issues that arise in a ministry setting. These topics include identifying issues, effective consultation and referral, an overview of key pastoral issues, such as grief and loss, relational issues and crisis care. It will also help you think through the biblical and theological dimensions of caring for people so that you can grapple with many of the difficult issues that come up in pastoral ministry.


    • Theology: This subject builds on the concepts and skills you developed in Christian Doctrine and Church History in your first year. It discusses and develops major theological concepts, seeing how they developed through church history, and explores the diversity of theological viewpoints across a range of Christian traditions. The strengths and weaknesses of different positions will be assessed, along with their implications for life and ministry in a modern-day church setting.


    • Team Leadership: One of the steps up into your second year is the level of leadership responsibility you will be trained to carry. In this subject, you will be equipped with the understanding and diverse skills you need to lead and build teams in a ministry environment. It will help you build your capacity to recruit people to your team, build a great team atmosphere, manage your team to meet challenging ministry goals, and develop the people in your team to fulfil their God-given potential.


    • Leadership Development: This subject combines with Team Leadership to give you a well-rounded understanding of leadership, and your pathways forward as you develop as a leader. In particular, this subject focusses on a range of leadership theories, from the academic and business worlds, and explores their implications and application to Christian ministry and leadership. In the process, you will be enabled to think about your leadership style, practice and potential so that you can map out your leadership development trajectory.


    • Ministry Safety Focussing on one of the key responsibilities of modern ministry leaders, this subject equips you with the skills and information you need to assess and maintain safety in a ministry environment. Topics include managing risk, dealing with emergencies and Health and Safety policies and procedures.

Diploma of Ministry - Stream subjects

In your second year, this stream will enlarge and deepen your knowledge and skills across the spectrum of pastoral ministry roles. You will be trained to preach, develop ministries, think through critical issues for Christianity in the 21st century and practically build people’s lives, coming out as a well-rounded pastoral leader.

    • Preaching: Preaching is one of the most effective tools for communicating the gospel, teaching biblical truth and impacting lives. In this subject, you’ll be introduced to the theology, communication theory and skills you’ll need to construct and deliver powerful, life-changing sermons. You’ll also have the opportunity to practice and be coached in your new preaching skills.


    • Ministry Development: Many of our graduates find themselves being asked to take on or start ministries in their churches. This subject equips you to develop and run a ministry program, exploring strategies for researching, planning and building new and successful ministry opportunities within the church or reaching out to the community. It covers topics like understanding your target audience and their context, developing effective communication strategies, building and managing a ministry start-up team, and measuring and evaluating ministry success.


    • Christian Ethics This subject develops the skills you need to identify and address key ethical issues within contemporary society and to evaluate those issues within a Christian context. Topics include Christian and non-Christian world-views and ethical systems, and an overview of key ethical issues you’re likely to strike in Christian ministry today including abortion, IVF, Wealth and Poverty and Workplace ethics.


    • Marriage and Family This subject helps you develop a biblical basis for marriage and family, identifying relevant current issues that both marriages and the families encounter. This subject equips you with the theology and ministry skills you’ll need to help people in a Christian community build their marriages and families. It will also equip you to build your own life-giving and exemplary marriage and family, while you navigate the challenges that life and ministry can throw at you.


    • World Perspectives: As a Christian leader you will often be required to speak and respond to the key issues facing global society today. This subject will equip you to research and think through current issues from a biblical perspective, especially those that have implications for justice and the kingdom of God. Topics include climate change, gender issues, current world conflicts, poverty and globalization.


    • Coaching Skills: Helping people reach their God-given potential and to perform in ministry at a high level is one of a Christian leader’s most important tasks. In this subject, you will be introduced to the ideas and skills involved in life and executive coaching, learning and practising how to apply them to help others flourish in life and grow in ministry.

Advanced Diploma of Ministry - Subjects

Advanced Practicum 1 & 2 These are the subjects behind your Practicum. As you work alongside an experienced church leader and immerse yourself in the week-to-week running of a church department or ministry, you will learn what it really takes to make ministry work. You will be involved in the development of new ministry initiatives and gain experience managing ministry to exert influence in a ministry team environment. This development is guided by key members of the College faculty through regular coaching sessions.

Elective Subjects

You will choose eight elective subjects in your 3rd year.*
    • Apologetics: With the recent rise in pluralism and militant atheism, as Christian leaders, we are often required to give a reasoned defence of our Christian faith. This subject gives you the background knowledge and arguing skills you’ll need to present the case for Jesus Christ in this post-modern world. You will develop an understanding of and a response to the key arguments used to challenge the Christian Gospel.


    • Corinthian Correspondence: Paul’s two letters to the Corinthians provide an ideal opportunity for in-depth study of a new testament book in its historical, cultural and social setting. This subject will fill-out your awareness of the background to the early church in the first-century Greco-Roman world, and further develop your NT exegetical skills. You will also explore more deeply the process of applying the NT text into a modern day church setting.


    • Prophetic Literature: The prophetic books of the Old Testament give a unique insight into God’s relationship with ancient Israel. Bringing together Israelite history, Jewish poetry, and Old Testament theology, this subject will help you grapple with the message of these profound and challenging books. Whilst developing your OT exegetical skills, you will also think through the process of applying the OT prophetic message to the modern world.


    • Managing Leaders: At higher levels of leadership, much of your time will be spent developing and managing other leaders. This subject will take you through the principles, practices and disciplines of those who excel in leading and managing teams of leaders. Content and skills will be drawn from both the ministry and business worlds.


    •  Leading Organisations: As a senior leader one of your key roles is to develop vision and strategy for your church or ministry department, communicating it powerfully to your team and directing its effective implementation. This subject will take you through the strategic planning process, equipping you with the tools you need to prayerfully develop a sense of God’s direction for your church or ministry, and the pathway to get there. You will also develop the strategic management skills and disciplines you’ll need to steer your leadership team.


    • Contemporary Theologies: Theology is a continually evolving discipline, with new trends and ideas regularly gaining the limelight in Christian teaching, writing or ministry. This subject equips you for the challenging task of engaging with and analysing key, modern-day theological concepts and their impact on church life and on popular Christian thinking.


    • Building Creative Leaders:  This subject is for anyone passionate about learning to lead, come alongside & bring the best out of artistic people. In this class, we specifically focus on discovering the personhood challenges the artistic people on our teams face and how they shape them as people and minsters. We’ll also explore how artistic people tend to face unique issues in life, what these issues are and how they can become the people who can release their incredible gift to the world, whilst living a strong, consistent life for the long-haul.


    • Creative Director: These subjects are for those people who are committed to producing high-level creative presentations for the building of their local church services and events. They will equip you with the understanding and skills you’ll need to produce the creative elements of an event (story-telling, concept development, music, video, dance). You will also develop and an understanding of the necessary technical elements (sound, lighting) plus a growing knowledge of the management skills needed to oversee such events and presentations.


    •  **Advanced Song Writing: In this subject, you will further extend what you have learned in your first and second-year songwriting subjects. You will investigate and experiment with various writing components and music materials for the betterment of your writing; giving you the ability to fine-tune, rewrite and evaluate your songs on the way to professional industry standard.  **You must have already completed the Song Writing focus in either 1st or 2nd year as a prerequisite.


    • Training Skills: One of the things leaders regularly do in ministry is train people. It is one of the key ways they multiply their influence and expand ministry. This subject gives you the practical skills you need to plan and deliver group-based learning. It also teaches you how to assess people’s acquisition of skills and to evaluate the effectiveness of the training you conduct.


    • Global Ministry and Culture: We increasingly minister in a multi-cultural yet globalised world. This subject introduces you to anthropology and its use in developing inter-cultural communication strategies for reaching various people- and sub-cultural groups through mission work.


  • Platform Ministry: This subject practically equips the student to lead a service and deliver some of the key elements, such as communion, baptisms, altar calls and offering messages. Students will also learn to conduct weddings, baby dedications and funerals.