Those considering the ministry of Word and Sacraments in the Presbyterian Church of Victoria must initially:
- notify their own minister;
- apply to the clerk of their Presbytery, who shall guide them in their application; and
- confer with the Principal at the Theological College. Please call the College to book an appointment.
An applicant must have been a communicant member of a congregation within the Presbyterian Church of Australia for at least six months prior to applying.
The clerk of the Presbytery may provide the appropriate form, or otherwise this may be provided when conferring with the Principal at PTC.
An explanation of the application process is included in that paperwork.
The process involves interviews with:
- Theological Education Committee (TEC)
A successful outcome results in the applicant being admitted as a candidate, on probation for (usually, and at least) one year.
Following a successful period of probationary training, the candidacy is confirmed.
The candidate will then continue through the rest of the programme, eventually exiting the College.
- Exit students are licensed by Presbytery to preach the Word;
- They are assigned a parish with the Exit Students Committee of the General Assembly of Victoria.
Note that being admitted to probationary candidature is not the same as enrolling at PTC.
To enrol at PTC, the usual procedure must be followed:
- Completion of the PTC application form
- A meeting with the Academic Dean to select subjects
+ Programme of training
The programme involves four years of full-time training.
- Study skills (intensive)
- English Language and Literature (intensive)
- Philosophy (intensive)
- Biblical Theology (intensive)
BIBLICAL STUDIES UNITS
- Hebrew (1 year)
- Greek (1 year)
- Old Testament Introduction (1 year)
- New Testament Introduction (1 year)
- Old Testament Exegesis (2 years: 1 year Hebrew; 1 year Hebrew or English at the student’s discretion)
- New Testament Greek Exegesis (2 years)
- Church History Introduction (1 year, incl. historiography)
- Reformation History (1 semester)
- Systematic Theology (2 years)
- Ethics (intensive)
- Apologetics (intensive)
- Westminster Confession of Faith (1 semester)
- Australian Presbyterian Church History (intensive)
- Ministry Formation
- Pastoral Care (2 semesters)
- Supervised Field Education (4 years - 2 years at degree level)
- Preaching (2 semesters)
- Biblical Theology of Mission (1 semester)1 Cross-cultural unit (1 semester)
- Worship (intensive)
- Presbyterian Polity (intensive)
CHRISTIAN THOUGHT UNITS
The Four-year Programme map can be downloaded here.
+ Supervised Field Education
The Supervised Field Education (SFE) is the element of training in which students are actively involved in ministry and in reflection on this ministry in congregational and other settings.
- Student: A ministry candidate enrolled at PTC or a student enrolled in an SFE subject.
- SFE Trainer: A person requested by PTC to provided personal training for a student during a ministry placement.
- SFE Co-ordinator: The person responsible for organising the SFE program - at present Nello Barbieri, PCV Training Officer.
- Semester: SFE appointments are usually made from year to year.
The year runs from February to November. Semester 1 is from February to June and Semester 2 is from July to November.
The aims of the SFE program are to assist students to develop:
- ministry competencies and skills that are appropriate to their future ministry roles;
- an awareness of issues and dynamics in congregational life and ministry and in the denominational setting;
- and an awareness of the culture and society in which they minister and its impact on ministry.
The goals of SFE relate to ministry formation. The PTC course of training also involves theological formation and spiritual formation. The course is integrated, so SFE will involve aspects of ‘theological formation’ and ‘spiritual formation’, however these are not the primary focus of SFE.
Ordinarily a student is enrolled in SFE over 4 years (8 semesters).
During the first two years, SFE involves having a certain number of sermons reviewed and attending college mission.
In the latter two years, SFE is much more involved: the major element of SFE in the latter two years is training in a ministry placement with an SFE Trainer.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia requires candidates to be trained at degree standard. Candidates are typically enrolled in one or more of the undergraduate or graduate awards of the Australian College of Theology.
Candidates can work towards a combined BTh/BMin, or MDiv/GradDipDiv, by undertaking four degree units per semester over four years.
Candidates are under the supervision of the Faculty, and are required to attend daily chapel, and the annual Ministry Conference, MA intensive, Open Day, Commencement Service and Closing Dinner.
The fees of candidates for the ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Australia are heavily subsidised by funding from the General Assembly of Victoria.
A limited number of small bursaries are available to candidates.
Further information regarding the nature of these bursaries is available on application to the Principal. These bursaries are not normally available to those receiving Austudy.
Full-time candidates working towards combined degrees may be eligible for Youth Allowance or Austudy for the full four years of study.