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A Heart for the Lost: Moved by God's Mission
The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, once said:
“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.”
This is both a comforting and a challenging truth. Continued growth in understanding of the breadth and depth of Scripture is vital to sustaining a life-long service of our Lord Jesus. The completion of a theological degree is not the end; it’s just the beginning!
As part of the SMBC Postgraduate Program you can pursue a coursework Master of Arts (MA) that will give you exposure to a rich diversity of topics offered in intensive mode. Or you may be interested in the more specialised experience of sustained investigation of the intersection of Bible, theology and practice through a higher degree by research. Whether it’s coursework or research, postgraduate study allows you to engage with the richness of other academic disciplines and the practical questions that arise in the experience of ministry. We hope it will help you to arrive at new insights and develop ministry strategies that are, at once, faithful to the ageless truths of the gospel and creatively contemporary.
We'd be delighted to chat with you about how postgraduate study may be part of how God is shaping and sustaining you.
Rev Dr Alan Mugridge
Director of Postgraduate Studies and Coordinator of Higher Degrees by Research Program
Rev Dr Malcolm Gill
Coordinator of Master of Arts Program
For further details about the SMBC Postgraduate Program please contact, via email, Deputy Academic Registrar Darlene Evans or Alan Mugridge or Malcolm Gill or call the Admin Centre on +61 2 9747 4780.
Download SMBC Course Overview PDF (74KB)
Overseas students are welcome to enquire and apply for postgraduate study. You can find more information at Overseas Students
The Master of Arts (Theology/Ministry) is designed to provide you with opportunities to develop your ministry skills and facilitate further theological contemplation. Based on coursework, a feature of the Master of Arts (MA) is the opportunity to do assessments that have direct relevance to your current ministry involvement.
Most MA units are completed in intensive study mode. This includes a week of face-to-face lectures and discussions at SMBC, with pre-reading beforehand and assignments completed afterwards at home. A majority of MA students are active in ministry, whether in Australia or overseas, providing an ideal classroom environment to benefit from the experiences of others and build networks for ministry support.
To enter the Master of Arts (or Graduate Diploma Theology/Ministry or Graduate Certificate Theology/Ministry) courses, you need to have completed a primary theological degree, for example a Bachelor of Theology or Master of Divinity.
For more detailed information on doing an MA, including admission requirements, length and structure, see the ACT course overviews
If you are interested in any of our current MA units (or details of the Master of Arts (Christian Studies) course) please feel free to contact our registrars for a unit outline on 02 9747 4780 or email
If you love to think long and hard about how the gospel shapes practice, a higher degree by research (HDR) may be for you. HDRs are designed to equip people to provide leadership in Christian thought and practice through rigorous, critical analysis of issues. Such qualifications are particularly relevant for those wishing to pursue a teaching ministry in colleges and universities.
If you are experienced in ministry and keen to make a thoughtful contribution to the field, you may be interested in a Doctor of Ministry (DMin). Entry to the DMin is open to people with a strong record in prior theological study and a minimum of five years of significant contribution in ministry. The degree takes three years to complete on a full-time basis and six years on a part-time basis.
If you would like to write a substantial thesis which integrates biblical and theological thought with questions of practice, you may be interested in a Master of Theology (MTh), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Theology (ThD). Entry to an MTh is open to students who have reached a high standard in a BTh, MDiv or MA. Suitably qualified students may enrol in an MTh. The MTh can be completed in one year for full-time students and two and a half years for part-time students.
Entry to the doctorates is available for students who have achieved outstanding results in a BTh(Hons), MDiv, MA or MTh, along with proficiency in Biblical languages and being 'research ready'.* The doctorates can be completed in three years for full-time students and six years for part-time students.
Supervision for HDR students will be offered by our experienced and research-active faculty, as well as drawing on the expertise of visiting lecturers or other academics who may consult in their area of specialty.
* 'Research ready' normally involves successful completion of the Research Methods unit and a research project of more than 12,000 words, with a minimum Credit grade in these units.
In this video Kit Barker (SMBC Old Testament Lecturer) interviews Gordon McConville (Professor of Old Testament Theology at the University of Gloucestershire) on the value of studying the Old Testament in depth.