The New Zealand Diploma in Christian Studies (Theological Studies) (Level 5) (NZDipCS) is a one-year full-time (or two-year part-time) programme to help you gain experience working in ministry as well as learning the Bible and Theology more, impacting whanau, ministry, the wider New Zealand community and beyond.  This qualification can lead to the New Zealand Diploma in Christian Studies (Christian Leadership) (Level 6), also through Pathways.

Through the combination of excellent academic study, ministry, and mentoring, these programmes focus on discipleship and helping students grow deeper and wider in their relationship with God and practical ministry engagement. 

  • Become focused on doing, being, and serving Jesus Christ
  • Understand and experience the depth of Christ's love
  • Embrace the fullness of life with the Lord on your side
  • 50% Study and learning
  • 50% Practical application (internship)

The way this particular academic year works is pretty unique. You will need to do a minimum of 16 hours of ministry, and 16 hours of study each week. Most students do a lot more than this because they enjoy the ministry and study so much. All of your courses are taught during week-long block courses that run six times each year at beautiful Papamoa Beach, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty.


Mentoring is a key part of our internship programme. All of our internship students are required to meet with between one and three mentors for 90 minutes each fortnight. These mentors will focus on the areas of the Academics, Ministry and Spiritual development of the student.

Each student has an academic mentor, spiritual mentor and ministry mentor. That is a lot of people cheering you on and helping you grow in your year with Internship.


You can start your theology degree in Pathways' highly personalised and practical diplomas, then finish your full degree in three of Aotearoa New Zealand's best theology programmes.

A Pathways diploma can be a stepping stone to a full degree in Theology from Carey Baptist College, Laidlaw College or the University of Otago. You can cross-credit parts of your Pathways NZ Diploma in Christian Studies (Theological Studies) (Level 5) into Carey's Bachelor of Applied Theology, Otago or Laidlaw's Bachelor of Theology.  Or you can continue your studies with Pathways and go onto complete the NZ Diploma in Christian Studies (Christian Leadership) (Level 6).

Is this an NZQA accredited qualification?

This is an NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) approved qualification which means you are eligible to apply for Government loans and allowances. Doing supervised ministry enables interns to benefit by learning from experience leaders in a hands-on practical context within the church or para-church organisation.

Applicants for this qualification may also be eligible for the Government’s Fees-Free programme, making study at Pathways completely free. Visit to check your eligibility.


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