Diploma of Chaplaincy

The Diploma of Chaplaincy is an accredited qualification for aspiring chaplains in all contexts and endorsed by Chaplaincy Australia.

Course Description

Through this exciting program, you will receive practical and theological training on how to minister to those in need, gain greater understanding of those around you, and be empowered to make a real and lasting difference in people’s lives. 

A dynamic learning environment for chaplains has been created through this award being completed in a mix of online and intensive study. All students completing the Diploma of Chaplaincy attend intensives as a part of the course and complete a practicum component of working in the field.

dip chaplaincy

Course Structure

This course structure is based on two semesters (each of 13 weeks duration), with four subjects taught in each semester. It comprises:

  • 5 subjects (50 credit points) of core subjects
  • 3 subjects (30 credit points) of specialisation OR elective subjects

To qualify for award of the degree of Diploma of Chaplaincy a candidate shall accrue an aggregate of at least 80 credit points, including satisfactory completion of the core subjects.

For more information see the Student Handbook.


Core Subjects (50 credit points)

Specialisation or Elective Subjects / 3 Subjects (30 credit points)


3 subjects taken from accredited AQF Level 5, 6 or 7 subjects offered by AC.

For more details on which subjects you can choose, see the current enrolment guide for this course.


Community Chaplaincy

3 subjects taken from accredited AQF Level 5, 6 or 7 subjects offered by AC in Chaplaincy:

Admission Criteria


Applicants with Recent Secondary Education (within the past 2 years)

Applicants admitted on the basis of their recent secondary education must demonstrate the completion of NSW Higher School Certificate or International Baccalaureate (or the completion of the interstate or overseas equivalent qualification and result) for admission into this course.

Applicants with Vocational Education and Training (VET) Study

Applicants whose highest level of study since leaving secondary education is a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification must demonstrate the completion of an AQF Level 3 Certificate III or higher by an authorised institution or registered training organisation for admission into this course.

Applicants with Higher Education Study
Applicants whose highest level of study since leaving secondary education is a complete or partially complete higher education qualification must demonstrate the completion or partial completion of an AQF Level 5 Diploma (or higher) by an authorised institution for admission into the Diploma of Chaplaincy.

Applicants with Work and Life Experience

If you are under the age of 21 at the time of commencement, you can apply to a prescribed program of non-award study on the basis of provisional entry, and complete the provisional entry qualifying period to become a full candidate of this course.

If you are over the age of 21 at the time of commencement, you can apply for admission into this course on the basis of provisional entry, and complete the provisional entry qualifying period to become a full candidate.


Overseas students are required to demonstrate their English proficiency skills. Such students admitted into our programs must attain an overall IELTS (or equivalent) score of 5.5 (with no score below 5.0 in any of the four skills areas). IELTS (or equivalent) is not required for applicants who have undertaken five years of required higher education study (or equivalent) in English from an approved country or who have completed a Certificate IV or higher qualification awarded in English under the Australian Qualification Framework by an authorised institution or registered training organisation.

Essential Requirements for Admission

A 200-word Statement of Intent, which is a short summary of why you wish to study this program.

A reference from a minister / community leader which endorses your readiness and suitability to complete the chaplaincy training and undertake a chaplaincy work placement in the community. The letter should contain the endorser's letter head, contact details and signature. Examples of appropriate community include: Pastor or Minister, Rotary Member, Council Member, or JP.

AC students are required to complete the Working with Children Check online before they will be allowed to participate in the practicum component. Submit application online and also print a copy and upload as an attachment to your application. Students will be classified as a ‘volunteer’ in Education.

Study Modes

Delivery Mode*: Face-to-Face (Campus class), Online Live (Zoom class), Online Recorded
Online (ACA001 Faith and Purpose also available at Melbourne and Perth Campuses)
Duration: 1 year full-time/4 years part-time
Intakes: Multiple intakes.

* Our study modes are flexible so you can mix-and-match different modes throughout your course to fit your needs. For example, a face-to-face student can choose to attend some classes online or an online student may choose to take some subjects face-to-face.

** Some subjects may only be available in certain study modes each semester. Please check the timetable for the most up-to-date information. Face-to-face classes can be delivered weekly or via intensives, where the subject is delivered in a block over consecutive weekdays and/or weekends. Some subjects must be completed face-to-face to meet professional accreditation requirements.

How is the course delivered?

Diploma content is delivered in an Intensive format, in 5 intensives (2 in Semester 1, 2 in Semester 2, and 1 'summer' or 'winter' school) over 1 calendar year. These intensives are usually held Thursday, Friday from 8:30am-5pm and Saturday, 8:30am-3pm at AC campuses and selected locations. At times it may be delivered in a live Zoom format. For the electives (or 'Intensive 5'), these are usually held Friday and Saturday, 8:30am-5pm, with one topic being covered each day. Throughout the semester you will have additional content to access, view, read, and assignments. Please note our intensives are not recorded, and therefore full attendance is required. Students are welcome to discuss their study load prior to enrolment to ensure the best plan for them.

Fees & Timetable

A complete Fee Schedule for all Alphacrucis programs and courses can be found in our Fees Information section.

For a full list of course dates for new and continuing students, please see our Timetables.

FEE-HELP is available for eligible students to assist you in financing your studies. For more information and other options, please visit the Financing Your Study page. For students who cannot access government loans, an alternative option is Study Loans, a private student loan provider. To learn more about loans provided by Study Loans, click here.

Course Learning Outcomes


  • general understanding of key issues, recent scholarship and practices within the discipline area of chaplaincy, consistent with a Christian worldview;
  • depth of understanding of practical fieldwork;
  • technical and theoretical understanding of basic research principles and methods, and knowledge of research approaches used in the discipline area of chaplaincy.

Demonstrated ability to:

  • identify, analyse and synthesise theoretical knowledge in the discipline area of chaplaincy;
  • examine complex problems or presenting issues using appropriate methodologies and theories from the discipline area of chaplaincy;
  • employ specialist technical and creative skills to express ideas and perspectives related to the discipline area of chaplaincy;
  • communicate effectively to transfer knowledge and specialised chaplaincy skills to peers, clients, and general audiences in diverse contexts;
  • apply theoretical and technical knowledge and skills acquired within the specialist area of chaplaincy in a range of professional contexts;
  • work independently, responsibly and with the level expected in a broad range of professional and chaplaincy contexts;
  • collaborate in team projects to make a positive contribution toward social issues;
  • undertake self-reflection and evaluation of performance for the purpose of vocational development.

Career Opportunities

Your graduate employment opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Church or Worship pastor
  • Youth or Children’s minister
  • Missionary
  • Chaplain
  • Community/NGO worker
  • Church Administrator
  • Pastoral Educator

Alumni Story

“I really liked putting into practice what we were learning in our practical hours. I also liked that our trainers/facilitators/educators could all give examples through their own chaplaincy experiences to illustrate what we were being taught. It was good to be made to self-reflect. It’s an exercise I would usually avoid, but is beneficial – and of course necessary – for the role of a chaplain or pastoral carer.  I felt part of a family within our cohort.”

Alan Findlay,
Chaplaincy graduate


Work-Integrated Learning

As part of the core subject EXP009 Professional Practice in Chaplaincy, students must arrange and undertake a 100 hour chaplaincy placement in an area of their choice and engage in professional supervision as a part of their training.

Student Services

For more information on the suite of student support services available, please see our Student Services section.

Professional Accreditation

All Alphacrucis Chaplaincy training is endorsed by Chaplaincy Australia.

CRICOS Course Code: 094095K