Jesus intended for his disciples to become faithful, skilled and brave - in fact their lives became an adventure in the service of the kingdom of God. He taught them how to serve alongside him, showed them how to live, and then sent them out.  Like an apprenticeship in Christian ministry, mentored internships fit well with the way that Jesus grew His disciples - learning skills, watching and practicing, being encouraged and corrected, and growing into a whole new realm of service. Bishopdale Internships, in partnership with Laidlaw College, provide an excellent and rewarding way to explore ministry further, gain experience and training, all within an NZQA accredited framework. 


Interns complete a one-year Diploma in Christian Studies (DipCS), majoring in Christian Leadership. This is a full-year course with two semesters; we do not offer a mid-year intake. Each week, students complete fifteen hours of supervised ministry, spend five hours in supervision, mentoring and reflection, and complete another twenty hours of theological and biblical study in order to develop foundations that will support effective, sustainable ministry.

This is a standalone qualification equivalent to the first year of a Degree programme, and students can continue into the Bachelor of Ministries – requiring two additional years of study - with further internship courses contributing to achieving the BMin. Students may be based in Nelson, or outside Nelson by arrangement.

Entry into the Level 5 New Zealand Diploma of Christian Studies (Christian Leadership) requires:

  • NCEA Level 3, including three approved Level 3 subjects with 14 credits each, 10 credits of literacy (5 reading/5 writing) at Level 2 or above, and 10 credits of numeracy at Level 1 or above.

  • An equivalent form of University Entrance, including

    • University Entrance (A or B bursary)

    • Overseas equivalent, including IB, CIE, or HSC

    • Other NZQA Level 3 or 4 certificates

    • Evidence of academic achievement through a portfolio of work (for homeschooled students)

    • Support from your employer - we may need you to sit a literacy test for entry assessment.

You must also complete a police vetting process as part of your application - this is required of all internship students.

If English is not your first language, you must also meet one of the following the English language requirements:

  • IELTS (academic) - 6.0 or higher, with minimum 6.0 in all bands - or an equivalent assessment (see www.nzqa.govt.nz/about-us/our-role/legislation/nzqa-rules/nzqf-related-rules/the-table/)

  • Have completed a three-year Bachelors degree from NZ, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the UK or the USA.

  • Have lived as a resident in an English speaking country for at least ten years, and can demonstrate English competency appropriate to the level required.

For more information about entry eligibility, please contact the College Director, Kate Tyler, by emailing kate@bishopdale.ac.nz.



Through our partnership with Laidlaw College, you can apply for student loans, student allowance, and also qualify for Fees Free Study in your first year of tertiary education.

In 2020, limited funding is available for paid internship positions, in the form of a paid internship in a church, community or missional setting in Nelson, from the start of February, until the end of November. This funding is generally targeted towards Anglican students, due to the nature of the grant which has made this possible; however at the discretion of the Bishopdale staff, some scholarships may be made available to students who are not Anglican.

Students may also be eligible for other scholarships, or financial support, from their home denomination - we are happy to provide any documentation required, and to help you explore these options.

For more information about internships, contact our internship enabler, Jude Saxon by emailing jude@bishopdale.ac.nz 

There are two parts to the application process:

1. Bishopdale College Intern Application

2. Once we have processed your application, you will be given the go-ahead to complete the formal Laidlaw application.

  • If you are unsure about your eligibility for study, we can begin processing this at the same time. Even if you didn’t get University Entrance (or equivalent), have a chat to us.