The Master of Theological Studies is an advanced course of study for students wishing to acquire expertise in biblical and theological studies. It allows students to explore these areas in depth, while still having the flexibility to supplement this with studies in other disciplines also.
Course: Master of Theological Studies (MThSt)
Accrediting Body: Sydney College of Divinity
Australian Quality Framework Level: AQF 9
School: School of Bible, Theology and Ministry
Number of Units: 8 units/ 72 credit points (CP)
Study Mode: Online (with facilitated learning opportunities)
Course Duration: 1 years full-time or up to 3 years part-time
6 core units
/ Introduction to the Old Testament
/ Introduction to the New Testament
/ Introduction to Theology
/ The Person and Work of Christ
/ Research unit in B or T (Independent Guided Study, research project, research essay or capstone unit)
6 elective units
/ Biblical Studies
A completed Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies.
Applicants whose entry qualifications were obtained in an institution where English is not the language of instruction normally require a minimum IELTS (or equivalent) score of 7.0 in all bands of the test.
Graduates will have specialised knowledge and skills for research, and/or professional practice and/or further learning and the ability to apply such knowledge and skills in a theologically-related area.
Graduates will have:
- an integrated understanding of an advanced body of knowledge in Systematic Theology and Biblical Studies including recent developments in theory and practice;
- an understanding of research principles and methods applicable to Systematic Theology and Biblical Studies and their practice.
Graduates will have specialised cognitive and technical skills specifically in Theology and Biblical Studies, so as to be able independently to:
- analyse critically, reflect on and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories associated with theology and Biblical studies;
- research and apply established theories to theology and Biblical studies;
- apply specialised and creative skills for Christian living and ministry;
- interpret and transmit knowledge, skills and ideas through coherent and sustained argument to specialist and non-specialist audiences in relation to Theology and Biblical Studies.
Applications of Knowledge and Skills
Graduates will have the ability to:
- apply knowledge and skills in a way that demonstrates autonomy, expert judgement, adaptability, and accountability as a practitioner and/or learner in relation to the interdependent building of the church and good of the wider community;
- plan and execute a research-based project, and/or piece of scholarship in either the discipline of Biblical Studies or the subdiscipline of Systematic Theology.
Find expanded academic outcomes and regulations in the SCD Handbook.
Credit will be granted for units that are from an equivalent award or institution and have outcomes, content, demand hours, and assessment equivalent to that of units in the course. A candidate may seek credit for up to a maximum of 36 credit points.
|For more information and applications see Credit Transfer.
|We want our students to be doers, not just hearers.
ACOM students studying units in the subdisciplines of Mission (M) or Pastoral Theology (P) will be required to undertake 30 hours of placement. Student vocational placement provides an opportunity to link academic work into practice through a process of instruction (online readings, facilitations, and other learning activities), action (localised ministry) and reflection (thinking about your practice to understand how to improve it).
Vocational placement will require students to identify and recruit a local supervisor in their environment (e.g. a church, work, school, chaplaincy, volunteer, or welfare organisation), and engage with them to help you reflect and integrate your learning into your place of practice.
If you are uncertain if your unit of interests will require placement, please check the schedules, or discuss with your SEM
|Spiritual Formation is foundational to who we are. For ACOM, the learning process is not simply intellectual - it is about spiritual transformation. We care about the individual you are becoming and here’s why: we know that healthy, sustainable and effective graduates will be well grounded spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially.
Each ACOM course gives students the opportunity to study our Spiritual Formation units either as core or electives. Refer to your course plan to discover how our formation units can be incorporated into your study, or read more about the Spiritual Formation process.
Students can pay their fees upfront or access the Australian Government’s Fee-HELP system.
2024 Graduate Level Fees Applicable to courses studied at the Australian Quality Framework level 8-9 (AQF8-9 Graduate Level).
Fees may vary for specialty units including Fieldwork, Mission units, Distinctives, Formation, and Seminars. Maximum costs for all ACOM units can be downloaded here. For more information reach out to our team.
Applicable to courses studied at the Australian Quality Framework level 8-9 (AQF8-9 Graduate Level).
(Bible, Theology and Ministry areas)
|Students holding a pension card and paying their fees upfront may be eligible for a $200 pension discount per standard 9CP unit at the relevant level of study.
To apply for a pension discount simply contact ACOM and provide a current copy of your pension card. Once your eligibility has been confirmed by staff, register for units making a note of your pension discount.
Note the following definitions:
Census Date: Last date to withdraw from a unit without financial penalty.
Academic Penalty Date: Last date to withdraw from a unit without academic penalty. If a student withdraws from a unit between the Census Date and the Academic Penalty Date, the unit will appear on their transcript with a withdrawn grade.
Check below for the key dates associated with your trimester of study. Note that registering or withdrawing outside of the key dates could incur incidental fees.
|Unit Registration Deadline
|Academic Penalty Date
Studying with ACOM
|Students can choose to study part-time or full-time. ACOM operates on a trimester basis, with formation and other select units, being taken over the course of the full year. A full-time load is considered six to nine units, which is usually two to three units per trimester, with one year-long unit. A part-time load is usually three to four units per year.
Each 9 credit point unit requires 143 demand hours of study. The demand hours represents the number of hours needed to meet all the requirements of the unit, including reading, researching and writing assignments and essays, and supervised fieldwork (see Student Handbook for hour breakdown).
For each unit we recommend that you allocate approximately 10-12 hours for study per week (with more required during peak assessment periods).
|To study with ACOM, you will need access to a computer with internet connection. You will also require an email address that we can use to contact you. For assessment writing, we require the use of a word-processing programme such as Microsoft Word. For a full list of hardware and software requirements please see the Student Handbook.
|Students apply and are admitted to their course, which are made up of both core and elective units. All new students are required to complete Student Orientation, which involves both signing up for a Student Orientation Session, and taking part in a Student Orientation module through the online learning platform.
All students have access to personalised support through a dedicated Student Engagement Manager (or SEM). Our awesome team of SEMs bring a personal connection and listening ear to students who are spread the length and breadth of the country. SEMs work closely with each student to provide tailored academic and pastoral support, cheering them on every step of their learning journey. Read more about our Personalised Support.
A variety of units will be on offer each trimester for students to view on the unit schedules, and register in for study. All of our courses are flexible for students to choose their units and load according to their time commitments, interests and courseplans.
All students study 'online' through our online Learning Platform: Moodle. This is where all study materials, unit information, assessments and learning activities can be found.
At the point of selecting to study a unit, you will have the opportunity to register in different types of scheduled facilitated events, or ‘facilitations.’ These facilitations are real-time student events run by staff or faculty, designed to assist you with your learning and the requirements of the unit. Read more about facilitations.
For more student information see:
|ACOM assessments are essay based and do not usually involve exams. Units may include online quizzes and practical assessments that are completed in your ministry setting. Assessment dates are clearly published on our Learning Platform (Moodle) and all tasks must be submitted to pass the unit.
Required readings are provided for students with online library access for further research. ACOM is continuously improving its digital library of learning resources. We have thousands of specialist books, articles and journals available to our students through our copyright licensing arrangements. Useful for both research and personal study, our students have access to over 100,000 e-books and journals on the Bible, leadership, pastoral care, theology and more. To read more go to our Digital Learning Systems.
Some units may require the student to purchase textbook(s), so please check the textbook lists on the schedules or at the point of registration.