NZ Diploma of Christian Studies (Theological Studies) (Level 5)

Academic Requirements

Applicants must be 16 or older by the start date of the qualification they are applying for, and have successfully completed one of the following: 
  • NCEA level 2 or higher, or
  • A national or overseas qualification equivalent to or higher than NCEA level 2, or
  • A New Zealand Diploma at level 4 or above, or
  • The Pathways College Internship Preparatory Programme.

International Students

In addition to the above, international students must: 

  • Be 18 or older by the start date of the qualification they are applying for, and
  • Meet the minimum English language requirement, which is an Academic IELTS score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5, or its equivalent.

For more information about applying to study at Pathways College as an International Student, please contact the Pathways College office.

Support from your Church / Ministry Placement Organisation

In addition to the academic requirements for entry into the NZ Diploma in Christian Studies (Theological Studies) (Level 5), applicants must also provide evidence that they have the support of a placement church or para-church or mission. This is necessary because without this support a student will not be able to meet the internship requirements of their study at Pathways. Typically completion of the ‘Internship Placement Form’ by the placement leader at the time of enrolment is sufficient evidence. We will contact the applicant if further information is required.

Other Documentation

As part of the application process, all applicants must provide a copy of their Passport or Birth Certificate, verified by a Justice of the Peace. Find a Justice of the Peace near you by visiting

Special Entry

New Zealand applicants who do not meet the standard entry requirements may apply for Special Entry. This considers a person’s life experiences and employment history to determine their suitability to study at diploma level 5 or above. Students seeking special entry:
  • must be over the age of 20, and 
  • must submit a Curriculum Vitae, or equivalent, that includes work history, or 
  • Provide a written reference and suitable recommendation from a past or current employer outlining work completed (minimum 3 months employment), or 
  • Provide evidence of prior learning that indicates an ability to study at Diploma level 5.

Police Vetting

Consistent with the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014, all applicants must undergo a Police Vetting check as part of the enrolment process. Admission into the programme is subject to a satisfactory outcome of this check. With their enrolment, applicants will need to submit a signed copy of the Police Vetting Service Request & Consent Form, along with one form of ID from each of the following lists: 

Primary ID (Select One)Secondary ID (Select One)
Passport (NZ or Overseas)
NZ Firearms Licence
NZ Full Birth Certificate (issued during or after 1998)
NZ Citizenship Certificate
NZ Refugee Travel Document
NZ Emergency Travel Document
NZ Certificate of Identity
NZ Driver's Licence 
18+ Card
NZ Full Birth Certificate (issued before 1998)
Community Services Card
SuperGold Card
NZ Employee Photo ID card
NZ Student Photo ID card
Inland Revenue Number
NZ issued utility bill (issued not more than six months prior)
NZ Teacher's Registration Certificate
NZ Electoral Roll Record
International Driving Permit

NZ Diploma of Christian Studies (Christian Leadership) (Level 6)

In addition to the requirements for entry into the New Zealand Diploma of Christian Studies (Theological Studies) (Level 5), the following requirements apply to students wishing to enrol into the New Zealand Diploma of Christian Studies (Christian Leadership) (Level 6):

  • All applicants must have evidence of support from a host organisation to carry out practical components of the programme.
  • All applicants must have completed:
    •  the New Zealand Diploma in Christian Studies (Theological Studies) (Level 5) with strands in Chaplaincy, Christian Leadership, Intercultural Studies, Performing Arts, Te Minita Taha Māori, and Theological Studies [Ref: 2793], or
    • The New Zealand Certificate in Christian Studies (Theological Studies) (Level 5) with strand in Christian Ministry [Ref:2771], or
    • have a broad understanding of theology and biblical foundations with a ministry role in a faith-based community.
  • Students aged 18-25 must have experience working with children or young people in a church, camp or community group.

Selection Process
The decision on whether to offer a place in the programme is determined by the Academic Management Committee and takes into account all the evidence supplied to demonstrate the applicant’s ability to study at the required academic level. Once a decision is made the applicant will be advised in writing of the outcome.


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