PurposeEntry Requirements
The course is intended to further the education of adults in relation to Christian faith and life. Its aim is to stimulate the interest of alert and enquiring minds. What is required is not so much academic scholarship as an understanding of Christian theology and its implication for contemporary life.

The certificate in theology that International Senate for Theological Accreditation (ISTA), offer is the opportunity to pursue master’s-level coursework even though one has not received a bachelor’s degree. The Diploma in Theology provides a quality education in areas of theology, hermeneutics, bible backgrounds, spiritual formation and prayer, preaching and other pastoral courses, and either Greek or Hebrew.

One of the options a minimum of at least two years of college level education is required for admission, unless the requirement is waived by special action of the Admissions Committee. Holders of the Diploma in Theology who subsequently earn a bachelor’s degree may have their credits applied toward a degree program. After successful completion of the prescribed 78 hour program, a student may be awarded a Diploma in Theology.

Open to persons who have satisfactorily completed Year 10 standard (or equivalent); or to such other persons approved by the Board of Directors. The closing date for applications for the First Semester enrolments is March 15; for the Second Semester enrolments, August 15. Late applications will not be accepted after March 31 or August 31 and a late enrolment fee will be applied. Applications must be made on the prescribed form, which can be downloaded from the ISTA website www.istaedu.org

Course Structure

The course consists of the following units
Pastoral Care
The pastoral care must engage with the spiritual and psychological needs of the person. This segment explores the relevant standards and practices that inform and regulate the provision of care
Archaeology and the Bible
  • Introduce students to archaeology.
  • Introduce students to some of the major archaeologists whose work has influenced biblical study.
  • Facilitate a basic understanding of the contribution of archaeology to the study of the bible.
Biblical and Contemporary Theology of Cross Cultural Ministry
  • To introduce candidates to the biblical basis for cross-cultural Christian ministry.
  • To give an outline of some of the issues in contemporary missiology and ministry.
  • To provide an understanding of the theology of cross-cultural ministry and its application.
Children’s Ministry Skills
To equip students with an understanding and practical experience of various approaches to ministering to children.
Christian Belief
To provide an introductory study of the Christian faith, which will give sound knowledge and strengthen faith and commitment to God.
Christian Leadership & Management
Aim: To provide an introduction to the principles and dynamics of Christian leadership applicable in a church or mission setting.
Christian Mission and Missions
  • To give an understanding of the missionary nature of the Church.
  • To give an outline of the history of Christian missions from the 16th to 21st centuries.
  • To study the contemporary situation.
Christian Worship
To give an introduction to the nature of worship and to examine the development of Christian worship and, in particular, its relation to life.
Church History
To give an introduction to formative periods of the church’s past which help us to understand the church today.
Cross Cultural Field Education
To provide candidates with the opportunity to be exposed to cross-cultural ministry and to reflect on their field observations.
Ethics and the Christian Faith Evangelism
  • To introduce candidates to ethical character and decision making in the light of Biblical teaching and Christian principles.
  • To enable candidates to develop a Christian approach to some contemporary ethical issues.
Introduction to Christian Spirituality
To give an introduction to the nature of spirituality and to examine basic spiritual disciplines, their biblical basis and contemporary practice.
Introduction to Pastoral Care
To further an understanding of the pastoral ministry in relation to the personal and corporate needs of individuals and to promote growth in maturity.
NT New Testament
  • To study the New Testament writings in their original context.
  • To discover their meaning for the life of the Christian and the Christian community today.
OT Old Testament
  • To deepen each student’s understanding of the historical framework of the content and the theological insights derived.
  • To introduce students to the different literary forms of the Old Testament.
  • To strengthen their faith in this God who continues to interact with his creation.
Pastoral Evangelism
To provide an introduction to the principles and practices involved in the evangelistic task of the Church today, particularly as they apply to the life and ministry of the laity in the local church.
Preaching
To introduce students to the theological basis of preaching and the elements of sermon preparation and presentation.
Religious Education
To give an introduction to the nature of education, to the psychology of learning and to methods of teaching, particularly as they apply to the education of persons in the Christian faith.
World Religions
To give some understanding of the beliefs, organization and life of the major religions in the world today

Graduating Levels

ISTA Mark
Examinations and Essays
Examinations are held around the second week of June and November each year. A one-hour written examination of three questions in each unit is required (unless stated otherwise). Where the syllabus is divided into sections, candidates should expect to be examined in each section. In addition, a written essay of 1,500 words is required in each unit (except where stated), which is graded on the basis of 50% for the written examination and 50% for the essay. Essays of a length outside the specified range will be penalized. Essay topics are listed according to unit. Candidates are expected to give evidence in their essays that they are familiar with the basic references. When possible, essay assignments should be typed. A bibliography should be attached. Essays must be submitted to the Supervisor at the time of the relevant examination for transmission to the examiner. Candidates are advised to read the guidelines for essays printed in this Handbook.
Passing grades
Candidates who fail the examination but secure a passing mark for the essay will have the essay mark carried forward to the next semester. Similarly, candidates who pass the examination but fail the essay may submit a fresh essay at the time of the next examination but carry forward their former examination mark to the next semester. Marks will not be carried forward for more than one semester. If a student chooses not to complete the unit in the following semester they will receive a fail grade for the unit and must repeat all assessments when re-enrolling. Students can apply to the ISTA Dean to have this regulation waived in exceptional circumstances.