Professional Development

The constant challenge to stay anchored in the wisdom of Scripture, while keeping up to date with contemporary culture and the needs of the people around us, should drive us to a pattern of life-long learning and ever deeper study of God’s Word. It’s a healthy practice that we encourage here at SMBC.

We offer a number of opportunities for professional development in various spheres:

Graduate Certificate of Divinity Pathways

SMBC's Graduate Certificate of Divinity pathways are a great opportunity to ‘fill up the tank’ and go further in your ministry journey. Ideal for those already with a 3 year theological degree and some ministry or mission experience, these tailored pathways will allow you to dig deeper, explore issues and hone your skills at an advanced level.

Your four units can be completed over 6 months to 2 years, giving 48 credit points (minimum AQF level 8) for an Australian College of Theology (ACT) accredited Graduate Certificate of Divinity. The Certificate offers significant professional development and the units are available in a range of on-campus and off-campus (online) formats.

You can choose one of our specialised pathways, or design your own bespoke pathway from any AQF level 8/9 units offered at SMBC. Each pathway provides a foundation of Bible units alongside specialised units. Regular yearly cycles of Old Testament, New Testament, theology, preaching, pastoral care, missions, leadership skills and contemporary issues will give you a variety of options to choose from.

Seasoned practitioners from the SMBC faculty as well as guest lecturers, along with fellow students, will bring you the best of learning in community – fresh resources, stretching discussion and immediate application.

Note: Under the ACT, the Graduate Certificate of Divinity can articulate to a Graduate Diploma of Divinity, Master of Divinity, Master of Intercultural Studies, Master of Ministry, Master of Missional Leadership, or Master of Theological Studies.

This pathway provides the opportunity to take your preaching skills further. Balancing deep dives into the Bible and theology with practical skills, you’ll be challenged to better communicate with post-Christian Australia. There’s the opportunity to explore different biblical genres and some units will be available as intensives and others as workshops.
View proposed units schedule

Whether it’s caring for people at the beginning or end of life, for those with disabilities or troubled by gender issues, for marriages or teams in conflict, pastoral ministry is tough and stretching. This pathway provides the resources to mine the Scriptures for rich insights and find helpful ways to apply them in your ministry. There’s also the opportunity to nurture your own leadership skills and resilience.
View proposed units schedule

Blending some of the specialised resources from the SMBC Master of Intercultural Studies along with advanced missions and Bible units, this pathway will enhance your cross-cultural understanding and skills. Studies on topics like contextualisation, transformational development, cultural anthropology or cross-cultural church planting will help keep you up-to-date with the latest in missional thinking – whether here in Australia or overseas.
View proposed units schedule

Whether you’re preaching or leading Bible studies, or simply want to enrich your biblical understanding, taking time for sustained, in-depth study of the Scriptures will not only broaden and deepen your knowledge, but nourish your faith as well. You can choose from a range of both Old Testament and New Testament units taught by specialists and designed to give application and practice in the contemporary world.
View proposed units schedule

This pathway provides the opportunity to write a reseach project of your choice under the supervision of an SMBC lecturer with expertise in your chosen subject area. It would suit those looking to explore a topic in significant depth. It can also provide a pathway for admission to a Higher Degree by Research. Your course would begin with a Research Methods coursework unit and then progress to either a 12,000 or 16,000 word project.

Advanced Preaching Workshops

The SMBC Centre for Preaching and Pastoral Ministry offers a rolling series of Advanced Preaching Workshops. Together the 4 different workshops can combine to create a 12-credit unit with the Australian College of Theology (ACT) that can contribute to an award like the Graduate Certificate in Divinity, for example (each workshop is a 3 credit unit). The workshop format, made up of 5-6 hours on a Saturday (in hybrid mode*), plus 2 follow up Zoom meetings, requires just 9 interactive teaching hours over a semester. We’re aiming for something deeper than a day conference but less daunting than a full ACT unit.

These workshops will bring something fresh to you as a preacher. They will be interdisciplinary, combining the teaching of an experienced biblical preacher with experts in fields like literature, workplace theology, counselling and culture. So if your preaching is getting a bit same-ish, these workshops might be just what you need. Take some time to connect with the unfathomable richness of God’s timeless word. Take some time to sharpen how you communicate it.

  • ADVANCED PREACHING WORKSHOP A: Bible Teaching and the Art of Story
  • ADVANCED PREACHING WORKSHOP B: Bible Teaching and Everyday Dilemmas
  • ADVANCED PREACHING WORKSHOP C: Bible Teaching and Character Formation
  • ADVANCED PREACHING WORKSHOP D: Bible Teaching, Culture and Meaning

Visit our Intensives section to learn more about currently available workshops

Graduate Certificate of Christian Mentoring

The SMBC Graduate Certificate of Christian Mentoring builds competence for Christian mentoring at an advanced level. You'll also be equipped with knowledge and skill in the related areas of professional supervision and ministry coaching. 

Master of Theological Studies

The SMBC Master of Theological Studies is designed to provide you with opportunities to develop your ministry skills and facilitate further theological contemplation. Based on coursework, a feature of the MTS is the opportunity to do assessments that have direct relevance to your current ministry involvement.

Master of Intercultural Studies

The SMBC Master of Intercultural Studies is a unique and completely online postgraduate offering with a focus on the specialised knowledge and research skills needed for expert intercultural ministry practice.

Research Degrees

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. These qualifications are particularly relevant for those wishing to pursue a teaching ministry in colleges and universities.

Conferences, seminars and workshops

Opportunities for professional development exist with various one-off events run by our centres - the SMBC Centre for Preaching & Pastoral Ministry and the SMBC Centre for Cross-Cultural Mission. View our Events section for currently available conferences, seminars and workshops. 

I'd like to ask some questions about professional development at SMBC

SMBC, PO Box 83
43 Badminton Road, Croydon NSW 2132
T +61 2 9747 4780
Sydney Missionary and Bible College (SMBC) is an Affiliated College of the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS: 02650E
ABN: 11 000 047 950