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Initial stages:

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.

Application form:

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 Session, Presbytery and the Theological Education Committee. A successful outcome results in the applicant being admitted as a candidate, on probation for (usually, and at least) one year. Thereafter, there lies the confirmation of candidacy, moving towards the goal, which is 'exiting' the college, being 'licensed' by the Presbytery to preach the Word, and being assigned to a parish by the Exit Students Committee of the General Assembly of Victoria.

PTC enrolment:

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, and a meeting with the Academic Dean to select subjects.

Programme of Training

The programme involves four years of full-time training.

Background Units

  • 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)

Practical Units

  • Evangelism
  • 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:
Candidates Programme

Degree integration

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia requires candidates to be trained at degree standard. Thus, candidates are typically enrolled in one or more of the undergraduate or graduate awards of the Australian College of Theology. Candidates can work towards acombined BTh/BMin or MDiv/GradDipDiv, by undertaking four degree units per semester over four years.

College involvement

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.

Supervised Field Education

*** The Supervised Learning Experience Handbook is available for download:

Handbook of Supervised Learning Experience

The Supervised Field Education (SFE) is the element of training in which students are actively involved in ministry and inreflection 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 (see below). The major element of SFE in the latter two years is training in a ministry placement with an SFE Trainer.

  YEAR 1
Sermon Review
2 sermons reviewed by faculty 4 sermons reviewed by faculty 6 sermons - 4 reviewed by faculty 6 sermons - 4 reviewed by faculty
Parish Placement Urban Mission  Rural Mission  Urban Mission 
Overseas Mission 
Lectures  Nil
PC442/642  PC443/643 
Summer Placement  Nil  Nil  Nil  Nil 



The total course fees of candidates for the ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Australia are covered by funding from the General Assembly of Victoria.


A limited number of small bursaries (living allowances) 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 (see above) may be eligible for Youth Allowance or Austudy for the full four years of study. The College does not advise regarding Austudy eligibility but a Government information booklet can be provided on request from PTC office.