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Laidlaw College
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Graduate Diploma in Theology (GradDipTh)

This course is available

Online, On-Campus

Level of Study

Graduate Certificate or Diploma


1 year

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


Laidlaw College


The Graduate Diploma in Theology (GradDipTh) is designed for those who already have an undergraduate qualification and brings vocational expertise and life experience into dialogue with critical reflection on the Christian faith. Students studying this programme will deepen their theological understanding and discover connections between theology and the wider world, the church and missions contexts. Completion of the GradDipTh provides a potential springboard into further postgraduate study. Graduates from this programme have returned to their vocations, engaged in missions or community development work in local and global contexts, trained as teachers or moved into church leadership.

Students can study towards the GradDipTh on campus in Henderson and Christchurch or by Distance Learning. A selection of GradDipTh courses are available on-site at the Manukau campus. This programme also allows for a range of flexible learning options, including a combination of on campus and Distance Learning courses, as well as part-time study.

The GradDipth caters for:

  • Graduates with a non-theological degree who wish to study for a theological qualification with special emphasis on areas of personal interest;
  • Graduates with qualifications in theology who wish to deepen their understanding of, and competence in, specific areas of ministry or theological study;
  • Those who, although without a degree qualification, have a proven background in experience and academic study deemed to be equivalent to a degree;
  • Those who have completed a degree in a non-theological area but who wish to bridge into postgraduate programmes in theology, such as the Master of Theology offered by the Laidlaw Graduate School.


The GradDipTh is designed to:

  • Extend a student’s understanding and skills in theology through academic instruction
  • Establish a firm base for further study at postgraduate level.
  • Develop the student’s ability to access and utilize a body of knowledge in application to ministries-related situations
  • Facilitate rigorous analysis and independent thinking, together with sound communication skills

Programme Requirements

The GradDipTh is a one year full-time (or part-time equivalent) programme. It is made up of eight level 5, 6 and 7 courses of 15 credits each. For students in the GradDipTh programme, course pre-requisite and co-requisite regulations may be waived.

Career Opportunities

  • Church leadership
  • Associate Pastor
  • Christian Writing
  • Intercultural ministries
  • Pastoral Ministry
  • Para-church Work

Some courses available at Manukau.

Entry criteria

The normal requirement for admission into the GradDipTh programme is a completed undergraduate degree, or higher qualification, as defined in the National Qualifications Framework of the NZQA.


Serious consideration will be given to those who have a combination of relevant experience and non-degree qualifications. This is particularly relevant for those whose qualifications are at a level that, in the current New Zealand environment, is likely to be regarded as having been gained at degree level. Each application will, however, be considered in light of the applicant’s overall background and ability to benefit from the programme. The onus is on the applicant to provide details of all qualifications and experience relevant to the application procedure.

Applicants for whom English is not their first language must have:

  • IELTS (academic): 6.5 or higher with minimum 6.0 in all bands.
  • Pearson Test of English (academic): 58

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