Master of Arts (Gold Class)

MA Gold Class is a professional development program designed to re-energise ministers by providing engaging and relevant material in a relaxed and collegial environment.

Join over 50 pastors from across Australia and several denominations and be part of this premium training experience, available in a range of delivery modes for increased flexibility. Students enrol in an MA(Theology) or MA(Ministry) degree accredited by the Australian College of Theology. The assessment is designed to be manageable amidst a busy schedule, and the entire experience is readily applicable to your own ministry context.

  Express your Interest                        Course Information

Specially tailored to suit the needs of busy pastors, subjects may be taken in a number of modes:

Online: Semester One 2018

Gospel, Church and Australian Culture
Tim Foster
Weekly online delivery
In Post-Christian Australia, Christians must become missionaries in their own nation, but how might our culture shape the way the gospel is told? This subject pushes students to see, perhaps for the first time, the thick cultural lens through which we view the world. It also challenges us to see the way our understanding of the gospel is framed by our history, background and socio-cultural environment. But far from posing a threat to the gospel we know and love, this new insight allows us to appreciate the richness of the gospel like never before and the capacity to bring it with new power to the Australian sub-cultures which we engage.

In this subject, students will seek to understand how the gospel speaks into and subverts different Australian sub-cultures, including suburban, battler, urban and first generation immigrant cultures. They will also be given the opportunity to conduct ‘cultural exegesis’ in the field, to develop their skills in contextualisation.

This subject is about rethinking assumptions, developing a greater cultural sensitivity and humility when approaching another culture and forcing oneself to stop, look and listen; skills that will stay with you for life. More details.

Extensives: Semester One & Two 2018

Professional Supervision for Church Workers
Richard Trist and Geoff Broughton
16-17 March and 12-13 June at Ridley College

In a time when church ministry is becoming increasingly complex, professional supervision is recognised as a means of assisting church workers to undertake their work more effectively and safely. Supervision of pastoral workers (clergy, lay ministers, chaplains) offers a supportive and consultative relationship to enable (1) growth and development in ministry, (2) the development of skills to deal with the stresses of ministry, (3) regular review of vocation and calling, (4) increased accountability, (5) an overall improvement in ministerial effectiveness.

This MA subject will offer training in the skills of supervision and is useful for any church leader who seeks to be better equipped to support others in their ministry. It will run over two periods: 16-17 March and 12-13 June at Ridley College. More details.

Advanced Professional Supervision for Church Workers
Richard Trist and Geoff Broughton
Prerequisite: Professional Supervision for Church Workers
14-15 June and 12-13 October at Ridley College

This subject follows on from Professional Supervision for Church Workers, and addresses topics such as legal and ethical issues, best practice, group and peer supervision, creative approaches to supervision, and the importance of self-care in the supervisory role. More details.

These two subjects are offered in partnership with St Mark’s National Theological Centre, with students taking the subjects either towards their ACT MA or the St Mark’s Graduate Certificate in Professional Supervision.

June Intensives: Yarra Valley 2018

Personal Identity and the Bible
Brian Rosner

Who are you? What defines you? What makes you, you? Traditionally, a person’s identity was more predetermined than it is today: where you would live, what you would do, the type of person you would marry, your basic beliefs, and so on. In recent years, identity has increasingly become a do-it-yourself project. Despite the attractive possibilities that this raises, many factors weigh against finding a stable and satisfying sense of self. Many people today suffer from identity angst and being true to yourself can seem more like a cruel taunt than a piece of realistic advice.

Along with exploring the process of identity formation in our day this subject considers the teaching of the Bible on the subject of personal identity.  Key concepts include being made in the image of God, being known by God, union with Christ, the role of memory and destiny, and the function of various aspects of the church life in confirming the identity of believers in Christ.  The links between identity and conduct and the task of faithful preaching on personal identity in our day will also be explored.  More details.

Church Systems and Congregational Health
Jeff Pugh
Every pastor/leader knows that the church or organisation they lead has a unique atmosphere or organisational climate. This invisible yet tangible culture is what gives the particular group its distinctive DNA. Any agent of change therefore needs to discern and respond appropriately to the nature of the particular constellation of features that mark out their group. It introduces leaders to a range of grids such as systems theory, organisational culture and psychodynamic theories that enable them to read their situation with more clarity. This subject, originally designed for training church consultants, enables pastors to respond appropriately to those factors which inhibit the mission of the particular church and so move it from dysfunction to health. More details.

Intensive: Semester Two at Annual Preachers’ Conference

Preaching Old Testament Narrative
Paul Barker and Mike Raiter
Each year an MA preaching subject is offered as part of the Ridley Annual Preachers’ Conference in August, with an additional day of teaching for MA students. All conference costs are included in the tuition fee which may be charged to FEE-HELP. In 2018 Paul Barker will be the keynote speaker speaking on Old Testament Narrative, and the MA masterclass will be held with Mike Raiter.

Projects and Capstone Experience

The Master of Arts (Theology or Ministry) includes a compulsory research-based project or a capstone experience. Students may choose a minor project (7000 or 8000 words depending on pathway), a major project (14,000 or 16,000 words depending on pathway) or a capstone experience. Read more about the Capstone Experience.

Study Tours

The Israel study tour requires around $2,000 upfront, and the balance (around $5,000) can be placed on FEE-HELP – all inclusive. Please note that FEE-HELP is only available to Australian citizens.

Biblical Lands Study Tour (25 November – 10 December, 2018)

Take in the view Moses and the Israelites had as they looked out across the promised land; see where David may have hidden from Saul; journey to Bethlehem, Nazareth and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; stand on the shores of Lake Galilee and atop the Mount of Olives, and visit the sites where Jesus may have been crucified and buried. Join an archaeological dig for an afternoon, excavating a cave at the Second Temple level. Spanning 13 days, this trip will transform your understanding and experience of the Bible as you see first-hand the diverse geography and ecology of the land our forebears walked—an invaluable experience to have at any point in your ministry. Full itinerary available separately.

Questions?  Contact Lindsay Wilson

If you would like to receive further information and an application form, please make an expression of interest.

Course Information


This is a course of the Australian College of Theology.

Ridley College

170 The Avenue, Parkville, Victoria, 3052 Australia / Phone 03 9207 4800 / Email

Ridley College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS: 02650E