Student Handbook

The information on these tabs can also be found in the student handbook found here. This website should be considered the latest version of this information.

Application for Admission

Application for Admission forms are available from the college website (here) and should be filled out completely and returned to the Academic Dean for consideration. Applicants are asked to provide the following information;

  • Personal information
  • Recent photograph
  • Christian ministry experience
  • Personal salvation testimony and reasons for studying at TSBC
  • Past education and employment
  • Pastor/Church leader reference and employer reference
  • General acceptance of TSBC doctrinal essentials (it is not mandated that the finer points of the Statement of Faith be agreed upon)
  • Standard of Conduct Agreement
  • Spouse’s information and testimony (if applicable)
  • Application fee

Admission to The Shepherd’s Bible College is accomplished through a self-managed application process. It is designed to put the student in control of gathering the necessary information and credentials to complete the application. Students are asked to collect the above information, fill out the application forms, add any relevant documentation, and submit it to the Academic Dean in a single oversized envelope along with the appropriate fee.

Interviews

Applicants are also required to participate in an interview, and are encouraged to visit the campus for the interview. If circumstances do not allow a campus visit, a phone interview will be conducted.

Applicants will be notified in writing when their application has been accepted or declined.

Enrolment and Programme Requirements

Full-time students must complete the one-year programme beginning in February and ending in December, i.e., they cannot enter the programme midway through the academic year. Part-time students can enter the programme at the beginning of any semester, provided they complete all prerequisite classes in the order prescribed in the programme requirements and class schedule.

Orientation Day

All credit students are required to attend Orientation which is attached to the first classes of the year. During this time, students are given a tour of the campus and are introduced to The Shepherd’s Bible College community.

Enrolment Policy

It is the college’s policy that training is made available to all applicants, regardless of gender, race, or physical disability, provided the other entry criteria are met. The Shepherd’s Bible College therefore enrolls both male and female students of different ethnic backgrounds and welcomes the cultural diversity that such a mixture brings.

Entry Criteria

There are no formal academic requirements for entry into the Diploma programme.

Applicants are selected to be enrolees based on the following criteria;

  • A minimum age of 18 (exceptions are made in some cases at the discretion of the Academic Dean)
  • The ability to read and write proficiently in English
  • A personal testimony of salvation
  • A general acceptance of The Shepherd’s Bible College Statement of Faith (it is not mandated that the finer points of the Statement of Faith be agreed upon)
  • An agreement to live in accordance with the Rules and Regulations
  • A supportive home/sending church and/or positive pastoral reference
  • A positive employee (or teacher) reference
  • A supportive spouse (if applicable)
  • An ability to meet the cost of the selected programme

If other checks (i.e. police check) are deemed necessary, The Shepherd’s Bible College will notify applicants of such before continuing the application process.

Specific Student Learning Needs

When the student application is received, if it is found that an applicant has indicated a specific learning need, then the enrolment personnel will communicate with applicant to discuss whether The Shepherd’s Bible College is able to meet the required needs. If The Shepherd’s Bible College is unable to meet the learning need(s) then the student will be invited to apply for a more compatible programme. If The Shepherd’s Bible College can meet the need then the application process will continue.

Health and Safety

The Shepherd’s Bible College is committed to providing an environment which is safe. Safety issues may include something which should be occurring and is not, or, if it is occurring is not up to standard. Students, staff, and faculty are made aware of the following instructions;

  • Take all practical steps to ensure that you are safe on-site and that you do not harm other people.
  • You must eliminate if practicable, or otherwise isolate or minimise, all significant hazards and report these to the college Administrator IMMEDIATELY.
  • If you witness an accident or incident where someone was or could have been injured, you MUST report it as soon as you can. For serious harm accidents, the accident scene must not be interfered with until authorised by an inspector unless absolutely necessary to save property, life, etc. If you received an injury on-site, it MUST be reported to the college Administrator. The accident will be recorded in the accident register.
  • Watch out for visitors and keep them safe. They may not be aware of the hazards that exist on the site.
  • A First Aid kit is kept in the Riverbend Bible Church kitchen.
  • The emergency assembly point is on the tennis courts.

At enrolment, students are required to offer information concerning any personal medical conditions or other information needed in an emergency situation.

Recognition of Current Competency

The Shepherd’s Bible College accepts applications for credit transfer and recognition of current competency. A maximum of 40 credits can be transferred into the Dip.BS programme. When an application for transfer of credit for certain subjects is made, the Academic Dean will consider the ethos and special character of The Shepherd’s Bible College in its assessment of that prior learning.

Credit Transfer

Where required courses are deemed repetitious of previous learning, credits (NQF level 5 or above) can be transferred from registered training organisations or otherwise accredited Bible colleges and seminaries. Credit transfer requires an attempt be made to establish comparability in content covered, learning outcomes, and TSBC distinctives. In all cases the responsibility is upon the student to demonstrate a convincing case for credit transfer in writing. Official transcripts must be supplied by the former training institutions in a sealed envelope before any assessment of prior learning can be accepted. Students may apply for cross credit either prior to or following enrolment. Refer to ‘Student Fees’ for fees relating to credit transfer.

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC)

Competency in certain subjects and practical Internship Experiences can be recognised in special cases where obvious experience has been accumulated by applicants with a history of Christian service. The student is responsible to collect and present the evidence in support of any application in writing. All applications for RCC must be related to an identifiable course.

In assessing RCC applications for Internship Experiences, The Shepherd’s Bible College will consider the following;

  • Demonstration of a substantial and sustained quantity of ministry
  • The degree of supervision and/or training that accompanied that ministry
  • The extent of guided and/or self-reflection that occurred in relation to that ministry

All applications for RCC must include the following;

  • An indication of the nature and amount of ministry undertaken
  • An indication of the degree of supervision and/or training that accompanied that ministry
  • Evidence of guided and/or self-reflection that occurred in relation to that ministry

Students may apply for RCC prior to or following enrolment. Refer to ‘Student Fees’ for fees relating to recognition of current competency.

Student Fees

The following information gives an overview of The Shepherd’s Bible College’s fee structure, and our mutual dependence upon God, who through His people, provides donations for the support of The Shepherd’s Bible College.

Programme Fees

(All amounts include GST)
Per Credit
Full Certificate (60 credits)
Full Diploma Programme (120 credits)
Credit Students
NZ$25 NZ$1,500 NZ$3,000
Audit Students
NZ$12.5 N/A N/A

Application Fees

(All amounts include GST)
Fee
Application for Admission
$40
Late Application for Admission
$80
Credit Transfer and Recognition of Current Competency
$10 per credit

Miscellaneous Fees

(All amounts include GST)
Fee
Registration
$40 per class (not charged separately – included in credit fees)
Class Changes After Registration $15 per change
Student ID / Library Card
Free
Late Fee on Fees Remaining Unpaid by Due Date for Credit Students
10% (max. $50)
Late Fee on Fees Remaining Unpaid by Due Date for Audit Students
$20 per course
Fee for Taking Any Exam at a Re-Scheduled Time
$30
Supplementary Assessment Fee
$30
Initial Transcript Fee (at graduation)
Free
Subsequent Transcripts
$10 each
Library Fee, Student Service Fee, Student Association Fee
Free
Dishonoured Payment Fee
$20 each
Graduation Fee $40

Cost of Training

Students are not charged the full cost of training provided by The Shepherd’s Bible College. In setting fees, The Shepherd’s Bible College takes into account the support of Riverbend Bible Church and the anticipated receipt of donations from other supporters.

Funding Your Way through College

We encourage students to speak to their church leadership about prayer and financial support while training.

Additional Costs

In addition to The Shepherd’s Bible College tuition, students should allow for the following additional costs if applicable to their personal requirements:

  • Basic textbooks – a limited quantity of all required books are in the college library. In some courses, students are expected to purchase prescribed texts and $500 – $800 should be allowed for building a basic personal library.
  • Course Materials – In most courses the class syllabus is included in the normal cost of the course, but in some cases there are required additional costs to cover extra materials. These are noted in the class outlines where applicable.
  • Personal Expenses – Accommodation, meals, travel, telephone calls, postage, insurances, photocopying, stationery, toiletries, clothes and other personal needs.
  • IELTS™ English Language Proficiency Test (Academic version). All applicants whose first language is not English are required to take the IELTS test (Academic version) during their application process. See the British Council website for cost information at www.britishcouncil.org/learning-ielts.htm

Fee Payment Terms

  • Fees are due for payment on or before the dates shown below.
  • Payment is to be made at The Shepherd’s Bible College Finance Office during office hours by personal cheque, bank cheque, electronic bank transfer, or cash. Alternatively, cheques may be posted to the Finance Office. Lecturers cannot receive payment of fees, so please do not bring fee payments to class.

Fee Payment Dates

The Shepherd’s Bible College has two due dates for Registration and Fee Payments – one for each semester as listed below.

Note that the certificate has its own payment dates and terms for 2016. See the “Courses and Costs” tab on the Certificate page for more details.

2016 Registration and Payment
Semester 1 Thursday, 19 February
Semester 2 Thursday, 30 July

Late Penalty Fees

  • A late fee of 10% will be added to all fees remaining unpaid by the due date (minimum $10 – maximum $50), and
  • A late fee of 10% will be added to all fees remaining unpaid at the end of each semester (minimum $10 – maximum $50).

The right of any student to continue their study (attend lectures, have assignments graded, sit exams) or to commence a new term of study may be withdrawn if fees are not paid in accordance with the Fee Payment Terms.

Where a student has not fulfilled their financial obligations (tuition, or any other debt) to The Shepherd’s Bible College, the following shall apply:

  • the person’s academic results may be withheld
  • the person may not be re-enrolled as a student at The Shepherd’s Bible College
  • the person may not be entitled to receive a copy of their academic record
  • the person may not be entitled to have their record transferred to any other academic institution
  • the person who has graduated may not receive their certificate

Payment Default

Should a student be in default of the Fee Payment Terms as outlined above, The Shepherd’s Bible College can at its absolute discretion lodge in the appropriate form a notice of default with a credit bureau, or agency of its choosing, advising of the failure to comply with the regulations. Such notice of default is to include, but not be limited to, failure to make payment of monies due, the status of the account, and the amount involved.

The Shepherd’s Bible College is not liable for any action which may be taken by any party who becomes aware of the default lodged against a student, and the sole responsibility of the college, at the college’s sole discretion will be to arrange for the removal of the default notice, should the default be found to be without substance, or alternatively to arrange for the default to be noted as having been paid, if this is in fact the situation.

Account Collection

The Shepherd’s Bible College may, at its discretion, forward details of any amounts remaining outstanding and overdue for payment, to a recovery agent of the college’s choosing for the purpose of effecting collection of any monies owing under these regulations.

Should The Shepherd’s Bible College utilise the services of a recovery agent, including but not limited to, a debt collection company, private investigator, legal agent, or solicitor, the student undertakes to indemnify and make payment to the college all costs, including all costs between solicitor and client, debt collection costs, or other whether these costs be on a fixed or contingent basis, in regard to the collection of any monies owed by the student. If a decision is made by the college to recover the costs using legal proceedings, these costs may at the discretion of the college form part of the claim against the student, and be added to the amount owed.

If The Shepherd’s Bible College fails or appears to fail to enforce any of its rights under this agreement, it has not waived or minimised those rights, and retains the right to enforce the terms and conditions of these regulations at any point in time of the college’s choosing.

Withdrawals and Refunds

If a student withdraws from a course of study before the semester begins or within ten business days after the first day of class for which attendance is required, a full refund of fees already paid will be given, less 10% or $500 whichever is the lesser. From the 11th business day after the first day of class for which attendance is required, any refund will be at the sole discretion of The Shepherd’s Bible College.

If a student withdraws from a block course prior to the first assignment start date, a full refund of fees already paid will be given, less $20.

Where The Shepherd’s Bible College cancels a class before or during the semester, a full refund of fees already paid will be given, including the Registration Fee.  If the student elects to keep the syllabus (if applicable) the cost of that syllabus will not be returned to the student.

Students who withdraw before the completion of their declared programme and who are unable to exit with an alternative award will receive a full written record of their academic achievement provided all outstanding accounts are fully paid.

Student Fee Indemnification

According to the requirements of Section 236a of the Education Act 1989, The Shepherd’s Bible College has mechanisms in place to protect the financial investment in education made by the students and the government, should the college fail financially. The college has appointed the Public Trust under a declaration of trust for prepaid student fees.

Fees Protection

The Shepherd’s Bible College has the following mechanisms in place to protect the financial investment in education made by students, should The Shepherd’s Bible College fail financially:

  • Recognition of The Shepherd’s Bible College learning by other providers
  • Prepaid fees of more than $500 are lodged with the Trustees of the Public Trust. This trust exists with the Public Trust office (Student Fee Trust Accounts, Public Trust, PO Box 31543, Lower Hutt. Ph. (0800) 494-733)

Pastoral Care

The Dean of Students is available to all students to discuss personal, family, or pastoral concerns.

Discipleship Labs

Discipleship Labs are required for all Diploma of Biblical Studies students. They focus on discussions relating to the development of Christian living skills and character qualities. Students meet in small groups for two hours weekly with a faculty member or church leader. Individual giftedness, personal and ministry experiences, and goals are discussed and evaluated. Particular emphasis is devoted to the evaluation of relationship styles as these have impact on relationships with God, family, church members, and others.

Student Representation

Student Body President

A Student Body President provides the student body with representation to the faculty and act as a liaison from the faculty to the student body. The Student Body President meets regularly with the Dean of Students. The nominees for this appointment must be affirmed by the faculty.

Student Body Vice-President

A Student Body Vice-President supports the Student Body President in the fulfilment of his/her duties. The nominees for this appointment must also be affirmed by the faculty.

Rules and Regulations

It is the prayer of the college Board that each student will develop godliness in character and conduct. In this spirit, these standards are required of each student attending The Shepherd’s Bible College, in either a full or part-time capacity.

Each student is always to display an attitude of respect and submission to all staff members of the college and cheerfully comply with their requests in relation to their programme and individual classes.

Attendance and Absenteeism

Attendance at all classes and official college functions (i.e. orientation day, Impact Bible Conference, and the graduation ceremony) is required. If because of unavoidable circumstances a student is unable to attend a class or function, it is their responsibility to contact the college or the lecturer directly ahead of time to communicate such an absence. Unexcused absenteeism will result in a failing grade to be awarded where a student misses 20% or more of the required lectures. This also applies to any official function of the college.

Punctuality

A student will be considered late if he/she is not in class and ready by the time the lecturer is ready to commence the lecture. Reoccurring tardiness, without legitimate excuse, will be brought to the attention of the Academic Dean and may result in a grade reduction.

Dress Code

In appearance, dress is to be characterised by cleanliness, neatness, and modesty.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as copying without acknowledging the source or putting your name on someone else’s work. In submitting an assignment for evaluation, a student is declaring that the work is his/her own. All words that are copied from another piece of writing, or recording, must be enclosed in quote marks (” “) and the source mentioned in a footnote. Where significant ideas are borrowed from other sources, these too must be acknowledged.

Cheating

The college expects the highest standards of Christian behaviour from its staff members and students. As an academic institution, the integrity of each student’s educational achievement is a high priority and therefore any form of cheating will not be tolerated.
Dishonesty, including lying, plagiarism, cheating on exams or assignments, copying other people’s work are to be reported to the Academic Dean, who will investigate the matter. A student found cheating will automatically fail that class and may lose the privilege of training at the college.

Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking

Students are required to abstain from such practices as uncontrolled gambling, the use of beverages for intoxication, the misuse of prescription drugs, and the use of illegal drugs.
Smoking is not permitted inside any college buildings.

Pornography

Personal discipline in the discerning use of radio, television, the Internet, and the printed page is expected; this includes total avoidance of pornographic programming, films, and literature.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones should be turned onto silent mode during lectures. Texting is not permitted during class time.

Accessing Wireless Network on Campus

Students may use their own laptops and connect to The Shepherd’s Bible College’s wireless network for study, personal e-mail, and research purposes only. The wireless network is provided free of charge but is a privilege which should not be abused. Therefore, overuse, such as downloading or streaming audio and/or video files, is not allowed.

Family

Family relationships and responsibilities are to be given a place of highest priority. Students are required to maintain a biblical pattern in family relationships, and to abstain from unbiblical sexual activities or relationships.

Discrimination and Harassment

The Shepherd’s Bible College is committed to providing an environment which is free from harassment and discrimination. Harassment and discrimination may be offensive behaviour or unwanted attention. It may involve an abuse of power to disadvantage, discriminate, or insult. Any kind of harassment is unacceptable – sexual, racial, academic, religious, or any other form of discrimination.

During training all students are to receive equal opportunity to develop their potential as servants of God and every effort is made to assist them. The Principal is responsible to ensure that no applicant or enrolled student is disadvantaged on account of a lack on the part of the college.

The Shepherd’s Bible College as a Christian organisation requires its staff members to live according to standards of biblical spirituality and morality, which prohibit inappropriate sexual behaviour, including sexual harassment. Any verbal communication or physical attention that is deemed to be sexual harassment by staff members will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action, which may include the loss of employment. Where necessary, such behaviour will be reported to the police authority. This also applies to relationships among the students. All staff members are responsible to report instances of any such harassment to the Principal for action.

Since students must read and accept the doctrinal distinctives of The Shepherd’s Bible College prior to enrolment, religious discrimination does not include TSBC’s right to disallow the graduation of a student who does not agree with the major tenants of the Statement of Faith.

Recording of Lectures

No personal audio or video recordings of any class session may be made without securing the permission of the lecturer. Lecturers may legitimately choose not to allow such recording.

When permission is granted, unless special permission is also secured from the college Administrator, it is understood that the recording is to be used only by the student(s) registered in the class involved. No public use or reduplication is permitted without permission of both the lecturer and the college Administrator. The recording of one class, or several classes, or portions of classes, when absence is necessary, may generally be permitted, but such recordings should not be collected, copied, or preserved for other uses.

In no case should the lecturer be expected to arrange for the recording or be asked to operate the recording devices.

Discipline and Appeal Procedures

The Shepherd’s Bible College reserves the right to discipline or dismiss any student who does not conform to the rules and regulations or any other of the college’s principles, policies, or required procedures. By virtue of enrolment, a student agrees to live within the framework of these standards and principles.

Infractions of the standards of conduct will be investigated by the Dean of Students in the first instance, and then, if necessary, by the Principal. Any decision made by the Dean of Students may be appealed by the student. The whole matter will then be referred to the Principal in light of that appeal by the student, whereupon a final decision will be given.

The student will receive a written statement of the charges against him/her, and has the right to attend (with witnesses) a meeting with the Dean of Students and the Principal. The Principal may, in light of all the evidence, dismiss the charge(s), decide to give the student a disciplinary warning, a disciplinary probation, a required leave of absence, a suspension, or dismissal.

Should it be deemed necessary, further appeal may be made by the student (after being notified by the Principal’s final decision in writing) to the Chairman of the Board of the college. Such an appeal must be made in writing and a personal interview will be granted by the Board, in the presence of the Principal and Dean of Students, to deal with the appeal.

The Shepherd’s Bible College ensures that students have access to a fair and equitable process for dealing with grievances and provides an avenue for students to appeal against decisions which affect their progress. Every effort will be made by the college to resolve students’ grievances.

Where a grievance cannot be resolved internally, The Shepherd’s Bible College advises students to seek further assistance from their sending church leadership, who should approach the college Board on behalf of the student.

As a final step, students can contact New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) on 0800 QAHELP (0800 724-357) or write to;
New Zealand Qualifications Authority
Provider Complaints
P O Box 160
Wellington 6140

Impact Bible Conference

Riverbend Bible Church hosts ‘Impact Bible Conference’ in conjunction with The Shepherd’s Bible College on an annual basis. Full-time students are required to attend this conference in its entirety as a part of their training, and will be called upon to serve in various capacities during the conference. Updated details for Impact Bible Conference can be found at www.riverbend.org.nz/impact

Accommodation

Riverbend Bible Church can sometimes make a limited number of motel units available to full-time students. This accommodation is not guaranteed to students since availability is limited. Arrangements for on-site accommodation should be made directly with Riverbend Bible Church as The Shepherd’s Bible College does not manage the motel facility. The cost of this accommodation is not included in the fee structure of any programme of study.

Members of Riverbend Bible Church sometimes offer boarding accommodation to students. If a student is interested in this option, he/she should indicate this on their Application for Admission form.