NZ Diploma in Christian Studies

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1 Year Full-Time or 3 Years Part-Time


NZ Diploma in Christian Studies

The New Zealand Diploma in Christian Studies (Level 5) is designed for students who feel called into church leadership or pastoral ministry, as well as for those who just want to develop a greater understanding of God in their everyday life as a Christian. This programme builds a deep biblical foundation within students’ lives and prepares them for a lifetime of Christian ministry and influence within the workplace.

Students who want to study full-time can do so by being involved in an internship in their local church or Christian organisation. Students will work for 12-15 hours per week, along with studying six core papers delivered by block course and self-study.

For students who find that taking a year off for study is not practical, this diploma can also be completed part-time over three years. Students receive the same powerful teaching that our full-time students receive, but with minimal disruption to their other commitments. Flexi-Study consists of 8 papers delivered at block courses over three years (2-3 papers per year), along with assignments and online learning.

A blended approach will be used with the students learning through a mixture of block courses spaced through the year, individual tutor contact, work-based learning, and online learning. Students can study from anywhere in New Zealand, as the only class time required is in these block courses where students will travel from all across the country to meet and learn. The weekend block courses run from Friday lunchtime until Monday lunchtime (North Island) and Thursday to Saturday (South Island). In block courses, students receive quality teaching from our amazing lecturers, giving them in-depth biblical and theological understanding, without having to learn everything out of textbooks. They will also be developed in ministry skills such as preaching and leadership.

Click HERE to download the Application Booklet. This will give you a clear understanding of all of the required documents and the process to follow to enable you to enrol.

Upcoming Intakes

25 Jul 2022
25 Jul 2022


Domestic Fees

International Fees *

Fees listed are indicative only and may vary with course selection. Exact fees can be confirmed when you enquire or apply.
* International learners are required to pay additional costs to attend one of our courses or programmes. These additional costs include medical and travel insurance cover.

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Theology 1 - God and Creation

  • This theology course will systematically analyse, examine and explain the main doctrines of the Christian faith in light of the Scriptures. The course will provide an overview of the theological topics ranging from God and creation to humanity and sin.

Theology 2 - Christ and Salvation

  • This theology course is a historical and systematic investigation of the Christian understanding of Jesus Christ and his significance as proclaimed by the Christian Church. Topics include the historical Jesus, the humanity and divinity of Christ, the development of New Testament Christology, and the decisions of early church councils. Emphasis is placed on the crucial aspects of this doctrine as it faces the challenges of contemporary options.


  • The ability to effectively communicate the word of God is vital within ministry contexts. This communication course will help you to develop the skills needed to confidently research and interpret the bible, as well as to communicate those truths effectively to those you are leading.


  • Effective leadership is needed in order for any organisation to progress towards its desired goals. This leadership course will develop an understanding of a number of different aspects leadership from a biblical perspective, as well as examining the various functions of leadership that will enable the organisation to meet its stated objectives.

Ministry Environment

  • Ministry does not happen in a vacuum but is impacted by the culture and environment that it operates in. In this ministry course students will gain an understanding of varying cultural drivers as well as a deeper knowledge of Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique bi-cultural society.


  • No organisation can afford to stand still, we must continue to meet the needs of a constantly changing world. This course will look at the process of innovation, the different levels of innovation as they apply to the local ministry context, as well as both the people and process aspects of change management.

Spiritual Formation

  • The purpose of this spiritual foundation course is to provide students with an opportunity to explore, through inquiry and engagement with community professionals and group discussion, issues of spirituality and spiritual development as they impact their personal spiritual growth and how to foster that growth and/or recognise it in others. The student will look at spiritual experiences, and personal disciplines and how to implement them in a personal way.

Biblical Overview

  • This Bible course will unpack the narrative of the biblical story so that the learner gains an appreciation of the relevance of the entire bible in the life of the believer. From Genesis to Revelation we will examine God’s unfolding plan of redemption for the world. Learners will develop an understanding of the various literary genres of both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and will learn the importance of each part for life and faith.

New Zealand Diploma in Christian Studies (Level 5)

  • For students aged 17+.
  • All applicants will be required to produce two current character references, undergo a police check, and produce two essays; one outlining their journey of faith and one demonstrating their ability to meet the written requirements of this course.
  • A recommendation from a current pastor, or similar.
  • Have sufficient levels of English and computer literacy skills to study at this level, as well as the ability to use the communication and collaboration technologies incorporated in the programme.
  • Short-listed applicants may be required to attend an individual interview as part of the application process (can be through video call).
  • Preference will be given to applicants who have a history of academic success, relevant practical experience, a commitment to undertaking all aspects of the programme and to meeting the learning outcomes.

Provisional Entry:

  • Provisional Entry may be granted to domestic applicants who do not meet the criteria above, but present evidence of ability to succeed and are able to show they are well prepared to study the programme.

International Students:

  • International students must be at least 18 years old and meet Visa requirements to study in NZ. They will also need to find a church placement in NZ.
  • International students for whom English is a second language must have an IELTS Academic score of 5.5 with no individual band lower than 5.0, or a recognised equivalent test.

Internship Requirements:

  • For students wanting to study full-time through an internship, acceptance onto the programme will require evidence of:
    • An appropriate internship in a church or Christian organisation.
    • A clear role within the organisation for the duration of the programme.
    • A Vision College approved mentor and a supervisor who is available to support the learner's progress.
  • The course is full-time but taught within an internship. The placement should be at least 12-15 hours per week.
  • Study can be expected to take 15-20 hours per week.
  • Hours are negotiated with your church/organisation.

Course Videos


Our Christian Ministry programme requires you to bring your own device (BYOD) for study at Vision College.
Below are the minimum specifications required for this programme, anything less than this will not open the programmes required.

  • Windows 10 Operating System (from January 2020 any Windows version less than 10 will not be able to connect to the ATC Vision College wireless network)
  • Intel Celeron
  • 4GB of memory
  • 320GB+ Hard Drive or 128GB+ Solid State Drive

Across our programmes we use Microsoft Windows based applications.

Career Opportunities

Youth Worker - Kaimahi Taiohi

Youth workers support young people, work with them and their families, help them build healthy connections, and give guidance in health, education, training and employment.

Community Worker - Kaimahi Hapori

Community workers support people to develop and implement plans to make improvements in their community.

Social Worker - Kaimahi Toko i te Ora

Social workers provide advice and support to people with personal or social problems, and help with community and social issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

You will need to contact StudyLink for the answer to this. All of our courses have been approved by the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) and, as such, all New Zealand students that enrol in a programme of study, that includes a study fee, can apply to StudyLink.

No, the Diploma in Christian Studies gives you all the knowledge and skills you need through block courses, online learning, individual tutor contact and (if full-time) an internship.

Our students have done a wide range of things for their internships.  The most common would be 24/7 workers, ICONZ leaders, youth ministry or leadership, worship ministry and children’s ministry.  Some churches place their interns in a range of different areas during their year so they can see how the church runs in its various ministries.

Yes, the Diploma in Christian Study is designed so that you can do your internship with your own local church with supervision from one of the leaders from your church.  Vision College values the partnerships it has with local churches through its internship programme.

Yes, Vision College offers the Diploma in Christian Studies (level 5) part-time over 3 years.  Part-time students complete 8 papers and don’t do an internship.  Usually, part-time students are already actively involved in their church, and enrol in the Diploma because they want to gain in knowledge and skills to be able to minister more effectively.

The internship component of the Diploma in Christian Studies works out at about 15 hours a week on average, leaving 25 hours a week for reading and assignments.

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