This suite of six Christian Ministry and Theology qualifications are the result of a unique collaboration between a number of Christian denominations from across Australia. The qualifications were first accredited in 2002 and built on two courses that had been developed in 1993 and 1999. The two proponents of those original courses, Institute of Faith Education and Rev Rod Bullpit, plus Universal Education and Training formed the 2002 Course Development Advisory Committee in partnership with the Health and Community Services Workforce Council as a non-church based organisation with technical expertise in training policy and products. Until 2017 the Health and Community Services Workforce Council facilitated the collaboration in this project. This role is now continued by the Institute of Faith Education.

Christian denominations leading the development of the current qualifications included:

  • Roman Catholic Church
  • Churches of Christ in Australia
  • Lutheran Church of Australia
  • Uniting Aboriginal & Islander Christian Congress (Uniting Church in Australia)
  • Christian Community Churches Australia
  • Queensland Baptist Churches
  • Wesleyan Methodist Churches
  • Australian Christian Churches
  • Universal Education and Training (representing a range of churches and denominations)

Over time, the number and variety of Christian denominations utilising these qualifications has grown significantly, and each review of the qualifications has increased the number of denominations directly participating in the review committee This continuity over many years, alongside increased variety in the review committees has meant the courses remain up to date and relevant to current needs within a wide variety of Christian Communities.

The major stakeholders consulted in the development and evaluation of the skills and knowledge outcomes of the course, structure and the assessment strategy were RTOs licensed to deliver the qualifications and the various Christian denominations and ministries with whom these RTO are working. In a major survey of stakeholders in 2012/13, respondents identified the following in relation to the need for the qualification:

  • This course supports leaders and lay people assisting in parishes in the areas of ministry and pastoral care to have a deeper understanding of Christian Ministry and Theology. We regard the courses as a learning pathway for those who wish to pursue theology and ministry studies at University who may not have studied for a while.
  • These qualifications are used as the equipping program for Church of Christ members, providing a training pathway through to higher education for those aspiring to senior leadership and ministry roles.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of the Uniting Church in Australia who are training for lay ministries (e.g. Pastor, lay preacher, etc.) undertake either Cert III or Cert IV in Christian Ministry and Theology. Students studying for ordained ministry are required to complete Cert IV and Diploma in Christian Ministry and Theology. Some students training for ministry in other denominations (e.g. Anglican, Lutheran) are also accessing Cert IV and Diploma through Yalga-binbi.
  • This product is used for the training of people for lay and ordained ministry in the Anglican Church. Cert IV provides an introduction for lay Ministry. The Advanced Diploma is to equip and train ordained ministers.
  • We use the courses for a spectrum of outcomes: personal spiritual maturity (Cert III), equip team leaders for a variety of Christian ministry contexts (Cert IV), equip leaders for Christian ministry and people-helping vocations (Dip), and provide alternative pathway to higher education (Cert IV/Dip).
  • The primary purpose of delivering the CMT qualifications is to train missionary workers to work in our projects overseas and assist with the running of our Australian church.
  • The course provides an alternative for those not wanting to do tertiary studies in Theology.
  • Used to train and develop young people in leadership, youth and church ministry.
  • Our organisation has a residential discipleship course which has four main goals: for our students to develop their relationship with the Lord Jesus, to enhance their knowledge of the Bible, to develop skills in ministry and to capture a vision for World Mission.
  • We offer these qualifications to people from Christian congregations who wish to be qualified to be a church pastor or youth pastor; and for those who wish to increase their knowledge of the Bible and to learn various skills for Christian Ministry.
  • Foundational training for prospective church leaders, including for gap year students. Segway into degree course for those who need further tuition to increase their understanding of the rigors of academia.
  • It supports church-based internships and is a declared traineeship in various states/territories.
  • To assist new entrants in traineeships.