Study with us: Australian Indigenous Theology

In 2019, Whitley College, in partnership with NAIITS, is offering the opportunity to explore theology, history and the practice of ministry from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and world Indigenous perspectives.


Traditionally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities did not compartmentalise their spirituality, or faith. Communities developed their own theologies but these were not necessarily the same as western ideas of theology. Indigenous life is experiential and therefore theology was practice!

In the 21st century, much has changed. We still focus our energies on helping people walk out life in a good way. Now however, it is a path centered in the person, work, life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus that is also rooted in Indigenous cultures and histories. Whether in the development of new theologies or in our forums for dialogue and teaching, it is this understanding that we speak of as our path toward wholeness.

The Indigenous Theology program of units is developed in conjunction with, overseen and increasingly taught by Australian Indigenous peoples. They have been established to continue the theological education of Australian peoples and the development of Australian Indigenous theological scholarship and practice.

This program is part of a wider growing community of theologians who are Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Canadian Aboriginal, Native American and other First Nations and Indigenous peoples. The community is also joined by non-Indigenous theologians who seek to work with, and within Indigenous theological education.

Culturally relevant to both Australian Indigenous peoples in both content and delivery, the programs are also accessible to Indigenous peoples from beyond Australia, and non-Indigenous peoples, as part of an international Indigenous learning community. You are welcome!

More information


Hear from our 2018 students

I began formal theological education twenty years ago, after my divine calling into the Priesthood. All of my formal studies, theological and academic, have been undertaken in mainstream courses within post-secondary settings. I have always been aware that I came from a distinct Indigenous perspective. However, I have experienced that my Indigenous perspective has not been valued nor considered acceptable in past theological studies. NAIITS studies has validated, affirmed and valued my Indigeneity in Christianity. I am grateful that Whitley College and the University of Divinity has been courageous enough to take on these studies, so that everyone in Australia, has the opportunity to learn from an Indigenous theological perspective.
– Aunty Reverend Patricia Courtenay will graduate with the Graduate Certificate in Divinity in March 2019, following her study in the NAIITS program.

“Studying with NAIITS has enabled me to examine my own worldview and theological tradition, and has shed light on aspects of God’s character and purpose that I didn’t fully understand. Learning from Indigenous theological perspectives and methods is for all Christians, and should be a compulsory part of all theological study.”
Andy Mitchell (Non-Indigenous)

“Doing courses that were delivered by NAIITS was great! I was stimulated by the content and encouraged by the delivery. The experience was also enriched by the learning community that gathered from different faith communities, and backgrounds to share perspectives and learn together. I whole-heartedly encourage you to attend.”
Adam Gowen (Indigenous – Wiradjuri)

Customise your own award with an Indigenous emphasis

NAIITS units can be taken towards internationally recognised awards within the University of Divinity, such as:

  • Graduate Certificate (3 units)
  • Graduate Diploma (6 units)
  • Master of Theological Studies (12 units)

Choose one or more of the NAIITS Masters level units to begin accredited studies with a focus on Indigenous theology and ministry. This can be your first step towards a Masters degree, with the potential to lead to PhD studies.


Explore the units on offer in 2019

In these units, you are invited to:

  • Learn about the Bible when reading it using the insights of an Indigenous Perspective
  • Discover perspectives on history and church history from the experience and perspective of Indigenous peoples
  • Engage in the process of doing theology led by Indigenous Scholars
  • Reflect on the implications for ministry practice, not only amongst Indigenous communities but in all of our church and ministry contexts

We are proud to be offering introductory units again in 2019, as well as introducing new units for continuing students. Indigenous and non-Indigenous people are welcome to study these units.

Click on the brochures below to find out about each unit offered in 2019 through the Australian Indigenous Theology program.






More information Apply Contact a Course Advisor


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