Information on NZ Certificate in Christian Studies – Religious Education (NZCCS-RE)

The New Zealand Certificate in Christian Studies (Level 5) – Religious Education (NZCCS-RE) is specifically for those studying at a University College of Education or who are qualified teachers in schools.

The NZCCS-RE will provide you with the knowledge and skill to confidently and competently teach Religious Education and to contribute to the Catholic character of your school.

This qualification is a Level 5 qualification of 80 credits. The programme of study consists of seven papers:

  • six papers are 10 credits
  • one paper is 20 credits.

A full-time student would normally study 120 credits in a year, thus if studying full-time you will be able to complete these 80 credits within a year. This would require studying

  • Semester 1: 4 papers x 10 credits
  • Semester 2: 2 papers x 10 credits + 1 paper x 20 credits

Part-time students will take longer to complete this qualification as there are limits to the number of papers students can take each semester while maintaining a reasonable workload.

Students can study via online learning, in face-to-face classes – depending on the courses offered in their area, or a combination of online and face-to-face classes.

What are the entry requirements?

This is open to students enrolled in University Colleges of Education (or equivalent) and practicing teachers.  There is a pre-service component for teacher trainees and an in-service component for qualified teachers.

What is the structure of this programme?

There are 7 main papers that you must complete in order to receive this award. 6 Courses in Theology, Scripture and Religious Education and 1 Practicum (for trainee teachers) or 1 project/portfolio (for practicing teachers)

  • RE501 Religious Education Today – (10 Credits)
  • RE502 Spirituality for Teachers – (10 Credits)
  • SC502 Interpreting the New Testament – (10 Credits)
  • SC501 Understanding the Old Testament – (10 Credits)
  • TH501 What Catholics Believe – (10 Credits)
  • TH502 What is Theology? – (10 Credits)

Either one of the two following papers

  • RE503 Teaching Practice (trainee teachers) – (20 Credits)
  • RE504 Teaching in a Catholic School (qualified teachers) *capstone paper – (20 Credits)

One of the following papers can be substituted for TH502 What is Theology?

  • TH503 Church and Sacraments – (10 Credits)
  • TH504 Catholic Social Teaching – (10 Credits)
  • TH505 Issues in Christian Ethics – (10 Credits)
  • TH506 He Timatanga- A Beginning – (10 Credits)

Can I get recognition for previous academic study (Recognition of Prior Learning)?

Prior learning from an accredited institution at the same level is recognised by Te Kupenga. Please contact the Assistant Dean, Level 5 and 6, ( for more details on how you can apply for this. Depending on your previous tertiary study, Te Kupenga may credit up to 40% towards a qualification. For any prior study to be considered, it must have occurred within the last 10 years. There is an administration fee for processing an RPL application:

  • RPL for an overseas qualification = $50.00
  • RPL for a New Zealand qualification = $40.00

There is no charge for cross-credit of previous study with CTC (or Good Shepherd College or the Catholic Institute of Aotearoa NZ).

There is no charge for processing pre-requisites for entry into the NZ Diploma in Christian Studies (Level 6).

What is the next step?

Now that you have decided upon the qualification you want to study, the next step is to select which papers you would like to do first. You will need to look at the timetables to see what is available in your area.

Please note, the seven papers for NZ Certificate in Christian Studies – Religious Education are always offered online each year.

Feel free to email our Catholic Theological College team for help or assistance in planning your studying schedule.

If you would like to check out further studies above this Level 5 qualification, check out our Bachelor Degree, Graduate Diploma or Diploma-Level qualifications that we have on offer.

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Enrolment for Certificate and Diploma Programmes is on-going.
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