Diploma of Ministry

The Diploma of Ministry is a comprehensive program that aims to equip students with a strong biblical and theological foundation, critical thinking and communication skills. In addition to these core components, the program enables students to explore various ministry areas such as: counselling, chaplaincy, missions and pastoral ministry, which is essential for individuals who desire to serve others in a ministry setting.

Students are empowered to grow in their personal faith journey and understand their calling within a biblical and theological framework, and will have the opportunity to gain practical ministry skills.

Course details

Study Load

Full-time or part-time

Study Mode



Full-time: 1 year
Part-time: 8 trimesters

All applicants who endeavour to submit an application must meet the general admission requirements.

All domestic candidates must be Christian and 17 years old or older.

Applicants must confess their faith in Christ under the PBC Statement of Faith, be involved regularly in a local church, demonstrate a desire to be involved in church ministry, demonstrate the physical and psychological capacity for studying in a tertiary institution, agree to abide by PBC policies and procedures and agree to abide by the Student Code of Conduct.

Before applying, please ensure you have:

  • A Unique Student Identifier number (USI). If you don’t have one, you can apply here. To find your number, click here.
  • A colour PDF of your birth certificate, passport, and permanent resident visa (or a certified copy)
  • A digital passport-style image
  • A colour PDF of previous academic transcripts and certificates of completion(or a certified copy)
  • A page or two detailing your testimony, including how you became a Christian and why you believe the Lord would have you train for Christian life and service at PBC
  • Contact information for two chosen referees
  • Contact information for your Pastor/Leader.

When you have all the required supporting information for your application, please apply online here.

In combination with meeting the general admission requirements Overseas students must also provide:

  • Evidence of English Proficiency (for more information, please scroll down to the FAQs)
  • A medical certificate verifying you are fit for studying at a higher education institution
  • $500 AUD application fee.

When you have all the required supporting information for your application, please apply for an undergraduate course online here.

The Diploma of Ministry is a higher education award provided by Perth Bible College Inc (PBC).

CRICOS Provider Code: 00986G
CRICOS Course Code: 061404G

The course structure is based on three trimesters (each 12-week duration), with two to three units taught in each trimester.

It comprises of

  • 4 Core units
  • 4 Ministry Units

Students accepted into the course on a provisional basis follow the course structure outlined below:

  • 4 Core units
  • 3 Ministry Units
  • 1 Study Skills unit

Each unit carries three credit points, and graduates require a total of 24 credit points to complete the course successfully.

Of the core units, students must choose 1 of the introductory New Testament units and 1 of the introductory Old Testament units. The Study Ready unit is a core unit for provisional students.

Core Units

Interpreting the Bible (HE501)

How does God communicate through the Bible? How do we apply the Bible today? What does this passage mean? How should I approach the Bible?

These are common questions for anyone who reads God’s Word. This unit helps to answer these questions and provides a foundation for all biblical study. It equips students to analyse and interpret the Bible responsibly and creatively by bridging the gap between the world of the Bible and our modern world.

In this unit, we look at different approaches to Scripture, the background of Scripture, how we, as interpreters, are involved in constructing meaning and how we can effectively apply the message of an ancient book to our world and lives today.

This unit lies at the heart of all biblical and systematic theological studies. Thus, it integrates with all New Testament, Old Testament and Systematic theological subjects.

Overview of the New Testament (NT505)

This New Testament unit is exciting because it provides an opportunity to engage seriously with the biblical text. This is a core unit.

In the first half of the unit, students will gain an insight into the background, purpose, and overall message of the Gospels and Acts, introducing us to the person of Jesus, the kingdom of God and the mission of the church. Knowing the Bible and its overall message is important for any person involved in ministry. This cannot be done unless we understand the story of Jesus, both in the light of the meta-narrative of Scripture and the historical context from which the story unfolds.

Students will discover that this narrative is not only objective but also intersects their personal lives, as the reality of a risen Saviour calls them to participate in the continuation of a story that brings life and hope.

Not only will students grow in confidence by coming to grips with God’s bigger picture, but this unit will also provide an open door for further in-depth studies.

In the second half of the unit, students will gain insight into the New Testament letters’ background, purpose, structure, and themes and understand various methodologies for studying these books.

For any person involved in Christian ministry, it is important to know the New Testament well, as it is based on the authority of the Scriptures.

This unit will have a life-changing impact on students. They will be exposed to the teaching of Paul and other Apostles within the story of the Gospel, reaching various parts of the world in the context of internal church problems and external persecutions.

An overview of the New Testament letters also opens the door for further in-depth study. Students will grow in their faith and understanding as they’re exposed to topics that stir their desire to conduct additional research.

Overview of the Old Testament (OT505)

Although most of the Old Testament is written as a narrative, it is seldom read as such. Therefore, this unit aims to examine how Genesis to Nehemiah should be read as a narrative.

It starts by looking at what narrative is, how it functions and how it should be read. With this as a base, we look at the Old Testament’s meta-narrative (‘big picture’ narrative). Guided by the author, students subsequently consider the building blocks that make up the narrative.

In the course, we meet different characters and experience another world through the author’s eyes. We also look at the interaction between the characters and, in the process, learn to know the main character better – who He is and what He is like.

Furthermore, we also inquire how the author, through his narratives, draws his audience into his story world and changes their worldview. Having engaged with the characters in the story, we leave the narrative world with a different perspective on the characters, especially the main character, ourselves and the world we live in. The objective is that the narrative would fulfil its purpose in changing worldviews.

In the second half of the unit, we look at the story of God’s people. We will be looking at life in God’s presence. What does it mean to live as God’s people in every aspect of our lives? Ancient Israel expressed her life before God predominantly in the form of poetry. In prophetic literature, we hear God’s admonishing and comforting voice. In the Psalms, we hear the voice of God’s people in their heartache, suffering, pain, hope, joy, worship and celebration. In the wisdom literature, the sages of old give direction as to how God’s people should live wisely in this world.

Studying these books of the Bible gives us, as God’s people, the opportunity to hear His voice anew. It also gives us a voice to express ourselves in all our needs and joys.

Introduction to Theology (TH501)

Introduction to Theology provides students with the big picture of God’s involvement with humanity and the world.It offers an opportunity to consider their faith’s foundation carefully. We will consider important questions such as:

  • What is truth, and how can we understand and know God?
  • Who is God, and how are we designed in his image?
  • What is the effect of sin on God’s design for creation?
  • Who was Jesus, and how do his life and work affect us today?
  • Who is the Holy Spirit, and how is he involved with us now?
  • What is the church’s charter today, and what is our unique role within it?
  • How will this world end, and what lies beyond?

This subject takes a person’s Biblical knowledge, which is often compartmentalised and places it in a broader theological framework. This allows students to think more clearly and wider about issues in ministry and everyday life.

The subject doesn’t only detail and describe the foundations of the Christian faith but places the major theological themes of the Bible into the dramatic reality of a gracious covenantal God. This approach gives the student a clearer perspective of God’s involvement with them in everyday life.

Ministry Units

Christian Discipleship (PM604)

Christ calls the believer to follow Him and to live a life of faith and obedience whilst we remain amid a broken reality.

We are called to participate in the Kingdom of God through the power of the Holy Spirit to become more Christlike as we seek to glorify our Heavenly Father. All who decide to follow Christ commence the journey of Christian discipleship, which challenges and transforms our lives.

The Scripture provides specific direction to train, encourage and teach others to grow in deeper wisdom and maturity, bearing fruit in keeping with repentance, both individually and corporately. In a society seeking instant gratification, there remains an urgent need to consider Christian Discipleship.

As we engage and identify with sinful, fallen, broken humanity, we need the deep wisdom and understanding gleaned through authentic discipleship. This course will establish a comprehensive trinitarian theology for Christian discipleship, explore historical precedence and engage in the transformational journey that will shape and equip us for Christian life and ministry.

Christian Spiritual Formation (PM505, PM805)

Growth, maturity and discipleship are all vital components of the Christian life, and all denominations have spiritual traditions designed to encourage believers down this path.

What these traditions (at their best) have in common is a desire to participate joyfully and fully in the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us, both individually and corporately.

Most of us, however, have limited exposure to how men and women delight in, pursue, share, worship – and are shaped by – God. This unit is designed to explore a wide range of these pathways to expand our understanding of spirituality and discipleship.

We all may ask questions regarding our relationship with God. How can I grow in my spiritual life? Is there any way I can appreciate God’s work in the world profoundly? How can I engage more deeply with Christians whose traditions differ from mine? How can I live an authentic and coherent Christian life?

This unit shows the differing ways in which Christians approach these issues.

Christianity and World Religions (MI603, MI703)

Australia has become multicultural at all levels of society. It is essential for students seeking to minister, both in Australia and overseas, to be aware of other people’s worldviews, religions and cultures to develop principles and strategies for relating them and engaging them in dialogue.

This unit aims to broaden the student’s understanding of the beliefs and practices of several major world religions and how they are expressed in culture. It will explore the differences and similarities between these religions and Christianity and how Christians can relate, communicate and witness to people of other faiths in a multicultural, pluralistic society.

And as Christians – do we know how to engage in dialogue with a person from another religion? Do we know their beliefs, sharing our faith honestly and purposefully?

Counselling and Pastoral Care for the Ageing (CP606, CP706)

As more Australians live into old age, pastors and chaplains increasingly require an understanding of the pastoral needs of older people. This unit considers ageing and the care of the elderly from a theological perspective, identifying where that differs from cultural expectations and lived experience.

This unit considers various Australian ministry contexts with older people and their families. This may be the pastoral care within a church congregation or the care shown to a friend or neighbour in the community. It could also be a ministry to reach out to older people living in their homes or residential aged care facilities.

This is a practical unit, so students will benefit from engaging with ageing people to understand their perspectives on issues raised in the unit. This may be through conversations with elderly family members, neighbours, members of the local congregation or through engagement with an aged care service provider.

Cross-Cultural Training (MI602, MI702)

This unit integrates two fields of study – Cross-cultural Communication and Teaching and Learning Studies. It will look at the concepts of culture, worldview and communication and the understanding of communicating effectively in a cross-cultural setting.

Students learn about the basic theories of teaching and learning, the development of training material and the planning, preparing, delivery and evaluation of lessons (all within a cross-cultural context) and put it to practice.

Denominational Polity (PA606, PA706)

Students entering the pastoral ministry in a local church must understand their denominational affiliation and where their denomination fits into the church scene.

In this unit, students study their denomination’s history, doctrinal distinctions, practices, structure and administration.

It includes topics such as:

  • The History of the Denomination.
  • Theological basis and developments.
  • The denominational scene.
  • Doctrinal distinctions.
  • Administrative structures.

Students also consider their denomination’s particular distinctive doctrines and practices of their denomination and how and why they are different from other denominations.

Foundation for Christian Spirituality (PM606, PM706)

In this unit, Christian spirituality concerns both vertical and horizontal dimensions. It refers to “living a life of transformation and self-transcendence that resonates with the lived experiences of the divine”.

This definition consists of two aspects: “a lived faith experience of the divine-human relationship” and “living a life of transformation and self-transcendence that resonates with that of the divine-human relationship”.

This unit focuses on the character of the triune God and how God can be experienced in the believer’s daily life. It also focuses on the believer’s character that enables the believer to experience the divine in that person’s life.

Foundational Mission Perspectives (MI601, MI701)

This Mission unit is exciting because it cuts to the heart of the Father’s agenda for his creation: His mission is to reconcile all things to himself through the person and work of his son, Jesus Christ.

It is the church’s joy to participate in this mission by following Jesus through the empowering of the Holy Spirit to be agents of reconciliation.

Students will gain insight into this remarkable privilege by considering the church’s history on the mission, the Trinitarian heart of mission, and contemporary missional issues for the church in the 21st century.

This course is an optional ministry unit. Although one may not be a full-time minister or missionary in the ‘typical’ sense, each person has a mission field and is called to be a witness in their respective environs. It may be in their family environment, their workplace, or elsewhere. Whatever the case may be, it is for this reason that understanding the history of missions and the God who engages people through the mission is vital for one’s understanding of their place in God’s story.

Leading Christian Ministry (PA601, PA701)

Many students who enter ministry, having done a lot of studies, are soon asking themselves – “How do I now do church?” “How should we lead and manage this ministry?” In this subject, we put it all together, theology, Bible knowledge and practical skills – and ask, “How are we going to lead a church or ministry?”

Leading a church or a ministry is more than understanding the Bible and having a good theology.

It requires vision, planning, an understanding of organisational dynamics and the ability in any given context to provide a relevant expression of the church while maintaining the core values of what a church or particular ministry should be.

This unit covers developing values, visions and strategies, organisational approaches and leadership styles, dealing with change and reviewing progress. The goal of this unit is for each student to have developed their philosophy and strategy for church and ministry so that after completing the unit, they have a framework for approaching, developing and leading ministry with confidence.

Marriage and Family (CO604, CO704)

This unit deals with human sexuality, marriage and family life.

Human sexuality, marriage and family sets us apart from animals. It is precisely in the domain of sexuality and relationships that the dignity of humanity is the most clearly expressed.

Our sexuality calls us beyond ourselves to a whole, secure, healthy and intimate relationship with another human other than us. Marriage and family issues present an ideal opportunity to show how the gospel can affect lives for the good.

Our marriages and family relationships can become showcases of the grace of God. It does not mean we must present ourselves as ‘getting it right’ in our marriages and families. But we can meet the world as people who have tasted something great and cannot settle for anything less.

The hope that we can offer people in the light of our understanding of God’s vision for our marriages and families can transform lives and relationships.

Ministry in a Cross-Cultural Context (MI607, MI707)

This unit provides the opportunity for cross-cultural exposure, ministry and field research in a context chosen by the college.

Students will be required to undertake a group field trip to a cross-cultural context of at least two weeks and consider, among other things, the context’s cross-cultural issues.

  • The worldview and religious distinctions of the context.
  • Approaches to communicating the gospel in the context.
  • The theological and ministry challenges of the context.
  • The personal impact of cross-cultural involvement for life and ministry.

Models for Pastoral Counselling (CO601, CO701)

Pastoral counselling equips us to engage meaningfully with people in the light of the gospel’s message.

This unit will present and explore several foundational models to the understanding and practice of pastoral counselling. They will include psychological, anthropological, theological and counselling theories and models.

This will enable students to develop pastoral counselling relationships that are informed, supportive, at times graciously challenging and always hopeful.

Pastoral Counselling as Community Care (CO603, CO703)

Pastoral counselling does not occur in a vacuum. It occurs in a particular context – a church, a school, a para-church organisation or in more specialised agencies. It also exists within a specific community and cultural context.

People’s challenges and struggles also occur within particular contexts.

This unit will help the student to develop the understanding and skills needed for pastoral counselling and care in their specific community, cultural and practical ministry contexts.

Pastoral Counselling in a Christian Context (CO602, CO702, PA604, PA704)

In this unit, students will develop and practise pastoral counselling models shaped by theological thinking, the social sciences and ministry contexts.

Students will learn to work through several counselling models through practicum and role-play. After developing the skills to move through the models step by step, they will then be encouraged to use them more flexibly and contextualise the models to specific case studies.

The Christian context that we refer to is, in the first instance, developing and practising counselling models informed by a Christian perspective and worldview. Secondly, it refers to the vocational contexts a pastoral counsellor may be working in.

Preaching (PA603, PA703)

Preaching is the task of conveying the message of the heart of God so that people today hear God’s message as if it was meant for them. All church ministries involve communicating God’s word in one context or another.

The skill to share God’s word effectively is essential to anyone entering any Christian ministry.

In this unit, we study the Word of God to understand what it means to us today and then consider how we should communicate it into today’s culture for maximum impact.

We consider the content, delivery and style needed to construct a faithful message of God’s Word and communicate effectively with our target audience. Developing your preaching skills will significantly improve your effectiveness in serving God and increase your ministry opportunities.

Preaching also affects you.

Preaching – moving from exegesis to interpreting the text, contemplating the delivery and communication context- promotes spiritual growth in the life of the servant of the gospel. The message must first touch your heart before you can touch others with the good news.

Study Ready (CE504)

An essential part of studying theology on a higher education 500 level is knowing how to complete work to the required academic standard.

Study Ready helps to prepare students to achieve the necessary academic standard by focusing on essential study processes and communication skills.

Studying theology and thinking about how to use this knowledge in the church requires the application of productive self-learning strategies, sound analytical skills, constructive research methods, effective reading and note-taking methods and good writing and speaking skills.

Note that all Provisional Students must complete this foundational course before or in conjunction with their first year of study.

The Local Church and Mission (MI605, MI705)

John Piper states that the Church exists to worship God. But because not all humankind worships Him, missions exist to introduce people to their Maker so they will worship Him!

The local church is central to reaching the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and should understand its identity and task within God’s universal plan.

The Bible, especially the New Testament, gives us a good understanding of the principles of the Church, her role in reaching the world, and some principles in missionary methods. This course will integrate current missiological discussions while staying grounded in Scripture, particularly the letter of 1 Peter.

During the trimester, we will move towards missionary theology for the local church by looking at some of the relevant issues that concern the church both today and will be on the agenda in the not-too-distant future.

A Theological Introduction to Chaplaincy (CP551/CP851 – Contemporary Chaplaincy Program)

This is the foundational Contemporary Chaplaincy unit. As such, it will introduce key ideas which will be referred to throughout other Contemporary Chaplaincy Units. Students will be introduced to a number of contemporary chaplaincy approaches and their theological underpinnings.
This module aims to develop the student’s understanding of ‘God as Chaplain’, ‘Incarnation as Divine Strategy’, the Chaplain as ‘presence’, guide, and carer, amongst others. In addition, the unit addresses theological aspects for the modern-day Chaplain, encouraging students to assess their ministry through various lenses.

Models of Chaplaincy (CP552/CP852 – Contemporary Chaplaincy Program)

The Models of Chaplaincy unit aims to assist students to consider the various models of Chaplaincy. This will include the various ways the impact of a Chaplain might be measured, from the influence of an organisational culture, through to more overt forms of faith-sharing within appropriate settings.

Chaplaincy in Context (CP553/CP853 – Contemporary Chaplaincy Program)

This unit aims to encourage the student to consider how they might develop a culture and environment of spiritual engagement and enquiry, respecting the context within which they are serving. This unit includes the use of third places for negotiation, serving in a multi-faith arena, understanding and engaging with other worldviews, and how to encourage healthy spiritual dialogue
Students are required to identify and manage an individual at risk in their ministry context. The topics include “respond to client needs” and “work with people with mental health issues” ensuring that all the requirements for the Australian Government School Chaplaincy Program are met.

Personal and Professional Care of the Chaplain (CP554/CP854 – Contemporary Chaplaincy Program)

This unit is designed to challenge students to self-reflect on their own life history, personability, leadership approach and style, enabling this to inform their approach to chaplaincy. The unit equips the student with various tools of theological reflection to facilitate this process.
Students will be able to identify the need to access external resources and conduct an effective referral.

Course Completion

Students may exit the course at any moment and receive a Statement of Attainment with a list of all the completed units.

When a student has completed all the requirements of the four core Units and 4 Ministry Electives, they will be awarded the Diploma of Ministry.

The Diploma of Ministry is equivalent to 1 year of the Associate Degree or Bachelor of Ministry.

CRICOS Course Details

CRICOS Code: 061404G
CRICOS Provider: Perth Bible College Inc.
CRICOS Provider Code: 00986G

Recognition of Prior Learning

PBC will assess Recognition of Prior Learning on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to apply for RPL, please inform the College at the time of applying.

For more information on this, please see PBC’s Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.


Enrolment process

Before the beginning of each semester, each student shall apply for enrolment by completing and lodging an Enrolment Form, obtainable from the Student Office.

The Dean of Students and the Dean of Studies will arrange enrolment appointment days for enrolling new and returning students. These meetings will allow students to receive advice on which units to enrol in, ensuring they will meet the requirements of their course.

Enrolment forms must be completed before attending lectures for that semester. All enrolments must be finalised by the census date. Students cannot add new units or transfer between units after the census date.

Students may apply to change their course enrolment at the beginning of a new semester up until the census date.

Students must complete an Application for Change of Enrolment form to make such an application. Students must meet the requirements outlined in the Course Articulation and Change of Course Policy to qualify to change course enrolment.


PBC may permit the deferral of a course enrolment of a student in some circumstances as outlined in the Enrolment – Domestic Students Policy and Enrolment – Overseas Students Policy.

Fees and charges

PBC’s most current fee structure can be found on the Course Fees page.

Academic requirements

Please carefully read the academic requirements as listed on the award that you are interested in pursuing.

The Australian Government requires incoming overseas students to demonstrate their proficiency in English before a student visa will be granted. You are required to complete an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) assessment unless you can provide evidence of studying in English from one of the following options:

  • At least five years of study in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States, or
  • Successful completion in Australia of a foundation course, Senior Secondary Certificate of Education or a substantial part of a Certificate IV or higher-level qualification from the Australian Qualifications Framework, within two years of your application date.

The applicant should ask the IELTS testing authority to mail the test results directly to The Dean of Students, PBC. The following standards are the English language requirements for PBC courses:

IELTS Band Score
Undergraduate Diploma 6.0 overall and in the reading and writing subsets.
Associate Degree 6.0 overall and in the reading and writing subsets.
Bachelor Degree 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each subset.
Graduate Diploma 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in each subset.
Master Degree 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in each subset.

Student support is an important aspect at PBC.

We take our students’ success in their studies seriously and understand that good student support requires a holistic approach. As a result of our commitment to our students, we have consistently been ranked above 90% for the student support aspect in the national Student Experience Survey facilitated by the QILT team.

Read more about Student and Campus Services.

Access and equity

PBC does not discriminate in the admission and access to its programs and activities based on disability, age, sex, race, colour of national or ethnic origin.

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