ACOM’s Graduate School of Leadership specialises in thought leadership and training for church leaders, volunteers, boards, welfare staff managers and team leaders in the not-for-profit community sector.

Our Graduate School is not just an academic pursuit. We are committed to the practice of leadership. We understand that postgraduate students have different needs to our undergraduate population. Postgraduates are likely working in a ministry field already, wanting to incorporate their working experiences into their studies while developing to meet the challenges of a changing world.

The Graduate School of Leadership will work with students to create a study path that complements their ministry calling, with assessments that incorporate real-life learning tools.
Our students are:

Getting Hands Dirty with Work Integrated Learning /
Work-integrated Learning ensures the theoretical knowledge you are acquiring is being grounded in real-world practice. Students acquire the practical skills that make them employable, while earning credit for their degree through work placement, internship or volunteer projects.

Transforming Organisations through Action Research /
Action Research emphasises transformation – for the student and for their organisation. Under the guidance of their supervisor, students document an exploration of how they plan to improve their ministry – while being transformed themselves. There is a practical benefit to the student’s workplace.

Enriching Life with an Overseas Learning Experience /
An immersive overseas learning experience is designed to deepen your understanding of the world and expand your abilities to appreciate diversity, adapt to different experiences, communicate effectively and collaborate in teams. Add an overseas experience to your postgraduate experience.

Sharpening Thinking with Problem-based Learning /
Using scenarios, case studies and simulations, students are challenged by real-world problems and they can draw on their existing knowledge to investigate, research and learn how to find solutions to complex situations – applying theory to practice.

Nourishing the Soul in Deep Spiritual Formation /
To thrive in modern life, it is critical for each student to explore their own personal journey of self-awareness, spiritual understanding and faith surrender. In the safety of an intimate group of fellow learners, students explore what it means to be well grounded, suitably balanced, resilient and effective.

Engaging with Current Research and Evidence Based Practice/
ACOM’s Graduate School of Leadership is actively pursuing research in local churches and ministry settings. We are asking local pastors what is working and what isn’t and then responding to those needs in our course and unit development. Our content has grown out of real-life practice; it has been designed as a direct result of Australian-based, ministry contexts. In 2018, our faculty will continue undertaking research to ensure that we are responding to current challenges and needs.

Learning Together /
Leadership students are practitioners, as are our facilitators and staff. Students are engaged in real-life leadership problems and want to engage with other students and practitioners in their learning. The Graduate School of Leadership is committed to life-long leadership learning and all of our staff continue to learn with you, work with you, discuss and journey with you. We are not experts who merely teach theory; we are practitioners who learn together and prepare for God’s journey into new adventures and challenges together. We invite you on the journey of leadership as we improve our professional practice and contribute to the Kingdom of God in our various places of leadership influence.

You’re Never Alone in Your Studies

ACOM has an amazing team of Student Engagement Managers around the country whose primary role is to connect with and support our students in their studies. One of the great aspects of studying with ACOM is that our students are able to stay in their place of ministry and mission, while engaging with their studies online. A student can choose from the range of optional face-to-face facilitations held around the country where groups of students are located. This flexibility means that students can fit their study around all the other aspects of their complex lives.

Our team of dedicated Student Engagement Managers are all ministry practitioners themselves, so they understand the pressures that combining ministry and study in the midst of life brings. Their focus is on students – getting to know each one personally.

Through supportive, proactive advice, encouragement and timely reminders, they are there to help keep their students on track with their studies and aware of where and how they can receive the academic and personal support they need.

This awesome team of Student Engagement Managers bring leadership to ACOM’s offerings in each state, organising and hosting the many face-to-face facilitations, ensuring that students get the best possible, skilled facilitators on offer. They bring a personal face and ear to ACOM for students who are spread the length and breadth of the country. They are the X factor that counters the anonymity of online learning, making sure that each student is known and supported with all they need to be successful in their studies so they can achieve their God-given dream.


Connect with any of the following ACOM staff members who are there to help you.

Kaye Schelbach
Leader, Spiritual Formation
Specialist in Pastoral Care and Church Leadership
MA(Spirituality)(SCD), DipMin

Candice Hewitt (Not pictured)
Assistant Student Engagement Manager
Specialist in Worship and Creative Arts
MA(SCD), BA(Psych)

Elissa Roberts
Student Engagement Manager
(Cert IV Youth Work)

Peter Roberts
Student Engagement Manager
Specialist in Church Leadership

Nicole Reeves
Student Engagement Manager
(BN, GradDipBus)

Dr Stephen Parker
Academic Coursework Manager
Specialist in Worship, Church Leadership and Communications
DMin(Fuller), MA(SCD), BTh(SCD), BEcon(UQ)

Susan Herbert
Student Engagement Manager
(GradCert Business Admin)

Neale Meredith
Vice Principal and Dean of Students
Specialist in Church Leadership and Youth Ministry

Our ACOM Schools offer a wide variety of excellent opportunities to suit you.