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As you move forward, make sure that you choose the right path. What does this mean? It means “journeying” through life, and not “wandering aimlessly”.

Pope Francis, Notre Dame College, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2 December 2017

  The Compass Courses deliver nationally accredited qualifications which provide the opportunity to study and reflect on beliefs and ethics and to develop vital employability skills for now and into the future. Compass (10741NAT Certificate III in Christian Ministry and Theology) also has a more advanced option. Compass Plus is completed as a 10742NAT Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and Theology.  


    • Compass delivers great content that is applicable to life, employment and further study.
    • A nationally recognised and accredited qualification that contributes up to 8 credits towards the QCE. It can also contribute to the ATAR.
    • A completed Certificate III or IV can provide direct entry to university.
    • Improves chances of employment post school and/or university.
    • There are no exams. As a competency-based qualification assessment includes, for example, practical projects, group work, short written or verbal responses, team activities, presentations and creative learning tasks.
    • Contemporary and relevant to current issues in the Australian community.
    • A course highly valued by learners

What will you study?

Both Compass and Compass Plus courses cover a wide variety of topics that will equip students with real world skills that can be useful now and in the future, especially problem solving, creativity, social intelligence, resolving conflicts and customer service skills.

Study Areas include:

    • Critical and creative thinking and teamwork skills: How to solve problems in a team.
    • Leadership skills including self-reflection and articulating and presenting ideas. This is a particular focus at the advanced Compass Plus (Certificate IV) level.
    • Research skills including how to use the internet effectively for research.
    • Core teachings of Christianity. You will also have the opportunity to explore other world religions to understand common themes and differences.
    • Core Catholic values and how these shape an organisation, such as a school, hospital, aged care facility, child care or social services run by a Catholic organisation. Your learning here can be applied to consider the role of values more generally in any organisation, Christian or secular. You will learn to think about how values shape a workplace or organisation and how you can contribute to making a positive difference.
    • The Bible: its content, interpretation and relevance today.
    • Ethics, social justice, care for the earth and other current moral/ethical issues. You will learn strategies for analysing issues and making sound ethical decisions.
    • Your own worldview and how worldview shapes your perspective. You will learn to consider and articulate, your own values and beliefs.

Competencies completed:

Competencies completed in the course depend on whether you are completing the course as 10741NAT Certificate III in Christian Ministry and Theologyor at the more advanced level of 10742NAT Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and Theology.  
10741NAT Certificate III in Christian Ministry and Theology
Eight competencies need to be completed to achieve this award. The competencies are:
    • CMTTHE301    Research Christian Scripture and Theology
    • CMTTHE302    Identify theological data
    • CMTTHE303    Present information on a theological theme or issue
    • CMTTHE304    Apply new theological insight
    • CMTMIN301    Apply theological knowledge to contemporary ethical issues
    • CMTMIN302    Communicate theology in everyday language
    • BSBCRT311      Apply critical thinking skills in a team environment
    • CHCEDS040     Search and access online information
10742NAT Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and Theology 
Nine competencies need to be completed to achieve this award. The competencies are:
    • CMTTHE401     Interpret and discuss Christian Scripture and Theology
    • CMTTHE402     Interpret theological data
    • CMTTHE403     Compare and present information on  a theological theme or issue
    • CMTTHE404     Compare and apply new theological insights
    • CMTMIN401     Explain the application of Christian ethics to contemporary life issues
    • CMTMIN402     Communicate theological information
    • BSBCRT311        Apply critical thinking skills in a team environment
    • CHCEDS040     Search and access online information
    • BSBCRT412       Articulate, present and debate ideas

Course Overview

Module 1 – Community

    • Consider the values and beliefs that shape Catholic communities and explore how they apply in your own school
    • Learn teamwork and problem solving skills in your practical project.

Module 2 – The Story

    • The Bible is one of the most influential books in the world. In this module you will learn to understand it better and will discuss its relevance today.
    • Develop your teamwork, project management and communication skills in the practical project.

Module 3 – Choices

    • Current moral/ethical issues and case studies provide the opportunity to reflect on the choices we make and how these impact on life.
    • Understand the importance of service learning and develop your skills at articulating and debating ideas. These skills of articulating and debating ideas are formally assessed at Certificate IV level.

Module 4 – The Edge

    • Reflect on your life journey and explore the big questions in life.
    • Articulate your own vision to support your future pathway.
  Both Compass and Compass Plus cover the same topics. However, course content is studied at a deeper level at Compass Plus level with additional tasks and readings completed by Compass Plus learners as they progress through each topic.


Students learn through a variety of hands-on activities that are relevant to real life situations. Compass Plus students are required to demonstrate greater depth of understanding of course content and complete additional assessment. The ability to articulate and debate ideas is formally assessed through an additional competency not assessed at the Compass level. As a vocational education training course, assessment is competency-based. There are no exams. Assessment includes, for example, practical projects, group work, short written or verbal responses, team activities, presentations and creative learning tasks. Projects focus on generic skills such as solving problems in a workplace, ethical thinking and global citizenship.  

What is the difference between Compass and Compass Plus?

    • The difference between Compass (Certificate III) and Compass Plus (Certificate IV) is that Compass Plus requires greater depth and breadth of understanding. Learners at this level are expected to be able to discuss, interpret, compare, and reflect critically on course content beyond the expectations set at Certificate III. Learners also complete an additional competency that demonstrates their skills in articulating, presenting and debating ideas.
    • Learners at the more advanced level require greater literacy skills and the capacity and willingness to complete readings and written assignment work in their own time. It is possible to move from one level of the course to the other, so if you start Compass Plus and find it too challenging you can move across to Compass (Certificate III).

Contribution towards the QCE

Completion of either the Certificate III (Compass) or Certificate IV (Compass Plus) may contribute up to 8 credits towards the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE). Partial completion of the qualification may contribute some credits towards the QCE. This is allocated based on the number of competencies the learner has achieved. For further information visit or contact IFE.

Contribution towards an ATAR

Compass and Compass Plus can contribute towards an ATAR. For more information visit

Certificate III and IV as alternative pathways to university

As a professional qualification, some universities will offer entrance to courses based on completion of a VET Certificate III or IV. Some universities calculate and post a ranking (equivalent to an ATAR) based on a completed VET certificate. This is done by each university independently. Contact us for more information. QTAC also provides a list on their website in their ATAR Quick Fact Sheet QTAC: ATAR and Vet Qualifications. Access this at

Pathways to employment

The Catholic Church is one of Australia’s largest employers, with over 180,000 employees spread across a range of agencies, employing 2% of the Australian workforce in education, health care, social services, child care and aged care. 10741NAT Certificate III in Christian Ministry and Theology and 10742NAT Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and Theology provides a sound understanding of the values, frameworks and teachings (e.g. Catholic Social Teaching) that underpin Catholic health, education, child care, social services and aged care. These qualifications enable graduates to work more effectively in a Catholic organisation. In the Catholic Education sector, for example, the Certificate III in Christian Ministry and Theology can contribute towards the set requirements for accreditation to teach in a Catholic school. Students considering careers in Catholic or Christian health, education, childcare, social services and aged care will find the Compass and Compass Plus courses relevant. This also includes those considering careers in business or management or seeking to develop their own personal and ethical frameworks. The course builds far reaching generic skills that are relevant to careers in any sector, including critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, teamwork, personal and social skills. Previous course participants have used this course as a pathway to
    • tertiary education, in some cases gaining entrance specifically as a result of completing this qualification
    • work in a Catholic school, either on completion of an education degree or, in another instance, continuing to work at a college while completing further education
    • work in secular contexts including one participant who gained a position in a hospital as a result of having this qualification on his CV.
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