Master of Counselling

Professional Counselling

A new pathway

Develop your counselling skills as a professional counsellor, while pursuing your own spiritual formation.


On Wednesday 19 June 2019, the University of Divinity Council created two new awards: Advanced Diploma in Counselling and Bachelor of Counselling. From 2020 (Advanced Diploma in Counselling) and 2021 (Bachelor of Counselling) these awards will be offered through Stirling Theological College, University of Divinity (UD) in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. They build on the established and growing relationship with the Australian Institute of Family Counselling (aifc) (RTO Provider 88037) that has enabled the offering of the University’s Master of Counselling through Stirling Theological College (Stirling). Senior representatives of the Christian Counsellors Association of Australia (CCAA) and the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) participated in the design of the awards.

From 2020, aspiring counselling professionals will be able to follow an educational pathway with aifc and Stirling/University of Divinity from Diploma right up to Doctoral level, with programs that are academically rigorous while developing professional competence. All levels of the aifc/Stirling/UD pathway are eligible for FEE-HELP for Australian citizens. The University of Divinity is currently rated highest of all Australia Universities by QILT[1] for student satisfaction and post-graduation full-time employment[2]. Significantly, aifc (RTO Provider 88037) takes a comprehensive and balanced approach to counselling training that integrates psychology, theology and spirituality.


Undergraduate Courses

Taught at aifc (RTO#88037), the Diploma of Counselling equips you with the basic knowledge and people helping skills required in professional counselling.

Taught at Stirling Theological College (University of Divinity), the Advanced Diploma in Counselling prepares students to work in a multi-disciplinary environment and significantly enhances their counselling, professional and spiritual foundations.

Taught at Stirling Theological College, the Bachelor of Counselling enables students to form a vision of the counsellor that reflects both individual and relational work, supportive and intensive therapies, psychological competence and theological congruence.

Postgraduate Courses

Taught at aifc (RTO#88037), the Graduate Diploma provides an environment where students will develop in exercising influence and leadership in counselling and therapy, becoming experts in their field. aifc’s aim is to train Christian counsellors who ethically and effectively integrate their faith and practice.

Taught at Stirling Theological College (University of Divinity), the Master of Counselling provides students with advanced professional skills for counselling ministry and for pastoral and spiritual formation. It nurtures the formation of a professional identity and vision suitable for individual and relational counselling.

Undertaken at the University of Divinity, the Doctor of Philosophy will qualify individuals who apply a substantial body of knowledge to research, investigate and develop new knowledge, in Counselling investigation, scholarship or professional practice.

An exciting training pathway for christian counsellors

The 5-phase counselling program marks an exciting new training pathway in professional counselling in Australia. Incorporating VET and Higher Education options into a sequence of courses, the pathway offers students study options from Diploma through to Master level.

Phase 1


Diploma of Counselling

Get prepared to help your peers through established counselling modalities.

Phase 2

Advanced Diploma in Counselling

Deepen your knowledge and skills as a professional counsellor working with clients.

Phase 3

Bachelor of Counselling

Learn advanced cognitive, technical and communication skills and apply well known empirically tested therapies.

Phase 4


Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Integrated Psychotherapy (Spiritual)

Deepen your knowledge and skills as a professional counsellor working with clients.

Phase 5

Master of Counselling

Explore advanced counselling approaches and strategies through supervised practicum and advanced counselling strategies.


Your journey starts with a Course Advisory Session

Which course should I choose?

Applicants with no previous counselling qualifications who wish to commence their studies with year 1 should apply to aifc for entry into the VET CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling.

Students who have completed a Diploma of Counselling either with aifc or another VET college may apply to Stirling Theological College (University of Divinity) for entry into the second year ie. the Advanced Diploma in Counselling (Stirling/UD).

All students who have completed the aifc Advanced Diploma in Counselling during or before 2019 are eligible for entry into the Bachelor of Counselling in 2021. Students who complete the Advanced Diploma in Counselling with aifc by the end of 2019 will also have the option of studying for the aifc Graduate Diploma in Counselling during 2020 and to subsequently complete their Master of Counselling.

From 2021 students with an Advanced Diploma will no longer have the option of bypassing year 3 (the Bachelors) in order to enter the Graduate Diploma and will first need to complete a Bachelor of Counselling.

Students who complete the Bachelor of Counselling with Stirling/UD will be eligible for some academic credit into the two-year Graduate Diploma/Master of Counselling programme, the specifics of which are still to be announced.

The Advanced Diploma in Counselling from Stirling/UD will be available for students to study online all over Australia from 2020. Optional attendance is encouraged at two intensives per semester delivered in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. The same online availability will apply to the Bachelor of Counselling in 2021. Australian citizens are eligible for Fee Help.

 About the Providers


University of Divinity

The University of Divinity promotes the highest standards of scholarship in counselling, theology, philosophy and ministry. With its unique approach to critical engagement with Christian theological traditions, the University aims to address the issues of the contemporary world. Students of the University gain access to world-class academics, extensive and comprehensive resources and library collections. All staff and students join the University through one of its eleven Colleges. Based in the Australian cities of Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, each College offers personalised support and a unique learning community. The Colleges are supported by a range of Christian churches and religious orders, reflecting the wide diversity of traditions that together resource the University.

CRICOS Provider: 01037A

Stirling Theological College

Stirling Theological College is committed to the formation of each member of our learning community.  We support each student toward a Christ Centred life in heart, thought, word and deed as they pursue their vocation on a diversity of areas.  Stirling is committed to giving students the best possible learning and equipping resources for a life of professional service.  We are valued for our diverse learning community and supportive environment.  Stirling is committed to see its Valedictorians go on to make a quality contribution in church, society and marketplace.  The Master of Counselling is housed in the School of Counselling at Stirling and classes are offered at similar times and venues as aifc in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Australian Institute of Family Counselling

aifc takes a comprehensive and balanced approach to counselling training that integrates psychology, theology and spirituality. Theology helps us know and grow in God’s ways and increases our understanding of our need for Him, psychology helps generate an awareness of self and spirituality involves developing your healing relationship. Founded in 1992, aifc’s courses were created out of a growing need for counselling training with a Christian perspective. Almost 25 years on, aifc is the leader in the field. All our courses are: Bible based, taught by professionals, flexible, VET student loan approved, accredited.

RTO Provider: 88037