Diploma in Christian Studies (Level 5)
Offered every second year (even-numbered years e.g. 2022)
This diploma is the perfect starting place, or follow-up to our Diploma in Biblical Studies. This programme provides a comprehensive overview of God’s plan, examining both the Old and New Testament texts, the mission of the Church, and relevant practical ministry skills.
Award upon completion: Diploma in Theological Studies, leading to the New Zealand Diploma in Christian Studies (Level 5), Theological Studies Strand (2793)
Intake Dates: February
NZQF Level: 5 - About NZQA Levels
Length: One year full-time
Accreditation: Approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
Prerequisites: No prior study needed. English Language Requirements apply for international applicants. See SPBC's standard Admission Requirements for all applicants.
Course costs: Tuition fees: $2400 (domestic), $7200 (international) + $40 administration.
Study Options: Flexible study options may be arranged. Learn more.
This diploma is made up of six courses. Each course has multiple modules. See below for details.
TH501 Introduction to Biblical Studies (15 Credits)
As an essential starting place, this course examines the Bible’s roots in Biblical Origins, offers key techniques for understanding and applying Scripture in Biblical Interpretation, and teaches students the elements of New Testament Greek in Biblical Languages.
TH501.1 Biblical Interpretation
Biblical Interpretation introduces the student to basic principles of how to read and interpret the Bible in its context. This module will guide the student to understand through practice some general principles of interpreting the Bible. An understanding of the Bible as composed of various genres is foundational for reading the Bible robustly and intelligently. In addition, the student will be introduced to the art of exegesis in order to develop skills in reading, understanding and applying the teachings of the Bible in our contemporary world.
TH501.2 Biblical Languages
When the Scriptures first came to us they were in the ancient languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek. This module focuses particularly on Koine and its translation into English, equipping students with a basic understanding as well as some tools to use in their Christian life and ministry.
TH501.3 Biblical Origins
Many use the Bible every day without ever knowing how it came about. Students who have completed Biblical Origins will be capable of explaining why some books were left out of the Bible, how the Old and New Testaments were formed, and how enormously controversial it was to have the Bible in your own language.
TH502 Christian Foundational Studies (15 Credits)
In order to fully grasp God’s mission in the world and in the church, Christian Foundational Studies offers topics like the Drama of Redemption, Missional Vocation of the Church, and Old Testament Themes. These will enable students to explore God’s purposes and their responsibilities within them.
TH502.1 Drama of Redemption
Though Christians often claim that the Bible is one story, understanding how that redemptive plan has been unfolding is one of the most monumental paradigm shifts that theology students experience. Students will discover the myriad ways that the Fall has affected creation to this day and will encounter various facets of God’s salvific story, including redemption, rescue, restoration, and renewal.
TH502.2 Missional Vocation of the Church
Since God’s plan was for His people to come together to join Him on a cosmic mission, this module covers one important aspect of that mission: evangelism. Students will explores ways that God’s mission connects with the church’s and will be involved in evangelistic events.
TH502.3 Biblical Theology: Old Testament Themes
Though the Old Testament is an enormous, world-changing body of text, this module attempts to condense it all down into a few overarching themes. By knowing and understanding these themes, students of the Bible will be better able to follow and apply its message.
TH503 Spiritual Formation and Discipleship (15 Credits)
Part of growing more like Christ means allowing our minds to be transformed. This course exposes participants to knowledge and practices that will encourage them to mature, including Personal Development, New Testament Discipleship, and Communication of Faith.
TH503.1 Communication of Faith
This module begins with a conversation on ‘what is the gospel?’ and moves toward exposing students to various approaches or methods of sharing the gospel with the contemporary world. Practitioners of evangelism will be invited to come into the lecture room to challenge students to find their own voice in sharing the good news about King Jesus.
TH503.2 New Testament Discipleship
This module explores the 1st Century meaning of ‘Discipleship’ and then examines the heart of Jesus along with his core teachings revealing what are the essentials of Discipleship. Attention is also given to other NT Biblical teachings which outline the dynamics involved in the application of Discipleship concepts and principles in the life of the one described as a follower of Jesus.
TH503.3 Personal Development
This module begins by introducing a Christian perspective on what it means to be a human being. Consideration is then given to “who I am” including: what shapes or conditions me in determining who I am; what is my worldview; and how does this influence how I relate to or function in my wider environment(s).
TH504 Journey into Ministry (15 Credits)
As a distinctly practical course, students will be introduced to ministry via Ministry Skills & Practicum, the Art of Preaching, and Biblical Leadership.
TH504.1 Ministry Skills & Practicum
In this extremely relevant and practical module, students are tasked with demonstrating how their study is changing them by putting their hand to the Kingdom’s work. Module content will include spiritual giftedness, ministry principles and applications, and actual ministry experience.
TH504.2 Art of Preaching
Even if you don’t intend to become a full-time minister, communication skills are a must in today’s heavily relational, intercultural world. Learning under a gifted preacher and church leader, students of this module will be challenged to prepare and deliver their very own Bible studies.
TH504.3 Biblical Leadership
Although leadership is a spiritual gift that not all of us have, this module will prove to be useful to all Christians. Giving influential biblical leadership models from the Old and New Testaments, students will be exposed to wise strategies, innovative approaches, and conflict management techniques.
TH505 Biblical Theology (45 Credits)
Texts in this course include Matthew & Mark, Hebrews, Galatians, Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Genesis, Wisdom Literature & Psalms, Isaiah, and Exodus. As students examine these texts, they are equipped to better teach and apply the Scriptures to the life of the Church today.
An understanding of the Bible begins with Genesis. As a foundational text for the story of the Bible, this module explores how the story develops and takes shape. Out of the developing story themes emerge that will be enlarged and enriched throughout the rest of Scripture. Questions related to who God is, who we are, and where we are going are introduced and given shape in this important biblical text.
The key to understanding the Old Testament and the intense anticipation for a Messiah lies in between the Exodus and the Exile. As students come to understand and even empathise with Israel’s experience through its highs under David to its lows under Babylonian and Assyrian rule, they will follow the transition from the Israelite Exodus to the Jewish Exile.
TH505.3 Prophetic Literature: Isaiah
Isaiah is the second-most quoted book in the New Testament and a major predictor of Jesus' life and ministry. In this module students will not only learn about the world Isaiah lived in and prophesied about, but will also be introduced to the emphases of the Major Prophets in general.
TH505.4 Wisdom Literature & Psalms
Suffering, foolishness, righteousness, and doubt: the Bible’s Wisdom Literature & Psalms are full of sayings that people of all time can relate to. Students of this module will be instructed in the genres of biblical poetry and wisdom literature through direct analysis of Job and the Psalms.
TH505.5 Pauline Literature: Galatians / Thessalonians & Pastoral Letters
These letters in the Pauline corpus represent the beginning and end of Paul’s writing ministry. Together they give us a glimpse into the life of the early church as it struggled to understand its identity and mission during his time as an apostle. While the settings and issues are very different in each of these epistles, they attest to the diversity of problems the early church faced both externally and internally, giving us a glimpse into how Paul’s theology was being applied to and shaped by his encounters with these early congregations.
TH505.6 Synoptic Gospels: Matthew and Mark
The links between Matthew, Mark, and Luke run extremely strongly. Knowing how the Synoptic Gospels work is a gateway to understanding Jesus’ goal and ministry in a deeper way than ever before. Students will come into contact with the different emphases of Matthew and Mark’s versions of the greatest story ever told.
TH505.7 General Epistles: Hebrews
As perhaps one of the richest and most underappreciated letters in the New Testament, Hebrews demonstrates how incredibly persuasive the Christian message can be. The theme of Hebrews is simple: Jesus is superior to everything that has come before. Students will explore this theme of christology as Hebrews explains Jesus’ links to the Old Testament and the need for perseverance in the faith.
TH506 Bible, Culture and Worldviews (15 Credits)
This introductory course on the perspectives people have held about our world provides insights into a broad range of worldviews both ancient and modern, giving applications for today’s Bible student. Topics covered include surveys of the Old and New Testament World and Mission in the Post-Modern World.
TH506.1 Survey of Old Testament World
Who is God? This survey addresses that question by comparing and contrasting aspects of the cultural, religious, and social world of the Ancient Near East (ANE) against our own contemporary world. Aspects covered include ancient and modern ideas about God, Israel’s concept of reality, and the purpose and design of temples.
TH506.2 Survey of New Testament World
An important module that puts Christians in the shoes of Jesus’ people at the time in which He ministered. Survey of NT World introduces its participants to the Jews, Romans, and Greeks – the people that created the society within which Jesus walked and taught. Students will become aware of how the Jewish people reacted to the titans of Greek culture and Roman occupation.
TH506.3 Mission in the Post-Modern World
For those who are unaware of the worldview that most people hold today, this module will be very informative. Post-modernism insists that every person’s truth is acceptable, no matter if they disagree. So how can a disciple of Jesus prove the exclusive truth of the gospel?