FAQs | Booth College of Mission

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The answers in this section focus primarily on residential training at the Booth College of Mission in Upper Hutt.

What is a Salvation Army Officer?

A Salvation Army officer is a senior soldier who has responded to a calling from God to devote all their time and energies to the service of God as a commissioned and ordained leader of The Salvation Army.

Salvation Army officers enter into the following covenant with God:


  • to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as an officer of The Salvation Army.
  • I bind myself to him in this solemn covenant
  • To love and serve him supremely all my days,
  • To live to win souls and make their salvation the first purpose of my life,
  • To care for the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, love the unlovable, and befriend those who have no friends,
  • To maintain the doctrines and principles of The Salvation Army, and, by God’s grace, to prove myself a worthy officer.
Tell me about Booth College of Mission (BCM)?

Booth College of Mission (BCM) has two Schools for Officer Training - one in Upper Hutt, New Zealand, and one in Suva, Fiji. It provides training for all who respond to the call to officership in The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory.

Booth College of Mission also includes:

  • The School of Bible and Mission, operating in partnership with Laidlaw College and open to anyone who wants to pursue courses in biblical, ministry and mission studies. Diploma courses are accredited with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority in partnership with Laidlaw College.
  • Centre for Leadership Development, offering workshop-based learning experiences for The Salvation Army, especially staff and those who hold leadership and ministry responsibilities within The Salvation Army.
  • William Booth Educare, our on-site early childhood education centre.
  • Heritage Centre and Archives, forming an important research resource for The Salvation Army in conjunction with the BCM library.
  • Youth Mission Training, a faculty of BCM located at Territorial Headquarters in Wellington.
What will I be called during my training period?

During your training, you are referred to as a ‘cadet’ because you are training to become an officer.

You will also have a ‘sessional name’, a name shared by other sessions around the world who are training in the same general time as you.

What facilities are available at Booth College of Mission?

Our Upper Hutt Campus is a purpose-built facility opened in 1983. Today, it includes classrooms, an assembly hall, kitchen/dining area, conference facilities, library and staff offices, along with an early childhood centre.

The Salvation Army Heritage Centre and Archives was added in 2010. The BCM library has more than 18,000 items.

William Booth Educare (WBE) operates five days a week, from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, meaning that cadets with preschool children can attend all their BCM classes. WBE is also open to the public.

A tennis court, sports field, children’s play area and prayer grove are available to the college community.

What is the accommodation like at BCM in Upper Hutt?

You will be provided with partially-furnished accommodation in the form of a unit or house throughout your training. Major items of supplied furniture include lounge suite, dining suite, bedroom furniture, washing machine and refrigerator. Kitchen items are not supplied with the exception of a microwave. Vacuum cleaners are provided.

There is no extra storage space on campus, so you may need to make arrangements for storing some of your household effects while you are training. This will be a personal cost.

If you have any pets, you will need to make other arrangements for their care while at the college.

What personal amenities would I need to pay for?

You will need to pay for your own gas and electricity. Each unit/house has an individual meter and you will be invoiced monthly.

You will not have to pay line rental on your phone line, but you will pay for phone calls.  Wireless routers are installed in each unit/house, giving access to high-speed wireless internet. You will pay around $5 per month for this service.

When would I arrive at BCM if accepted for training?

You are welcome to arrive at BCM as early as mid January (you will be advised of the actual date), which makes it easier for transition for families with school-aged children. All cadets are to take up residence no later than 1 February.

If you do choose to arrive before the last Friday in January, you will need to pay for your accommodation for that period. This is $120 per week (or $20 per day for part of that week). Attendance at William Booth Educare during this early period is also a personal cost.

Who pays the cost of my travel and that of my goods to BCM?

Cost of travel to BCM is a personal cost, as is the cost of moving your personal belongings to the college.

What happens with meals at BCM?

Cadets buy their own food and eat in their own homes. Community meals, fully catered by BCM,are also a feature of college life. This includes lunches on ‘Spiritual Days’ and In-Sundays. You will be asked to advise the Campus Administrator about any medically-diagnosed food allergies.

What schools are in the BCM area?

You may enrol your children at the school of your choice. The closest schools, and those most commonly used by the children of staff and cadets are:

  • Trentham Primary (in zone)
  • Upper Hutt Primary
  • Fergusson Intermediate (in zone)
  • Heretaunga College (in zone)
  • Upper Hutt College
  • St Patricks College, Silverstream
What will my training include?

The officer training programme focuses on:

  • Personal and spiritual development, including worship as a priority (individual and corporate), and the opportunity to develop inter-personal relationship and time management skills.
  • Academic development, including Bible, doctrine, social work, preaching, meeting leadership, counselling and Salvation Army principles.
  • Practical training, including both public and pastoral corps ministries, religious education in schools, and prison chapel services and mission weekends - supported by a substantial teaching component that includes individual and group learning.

At the end of training, the Laidlaw College Diploma in Christian Studies (Theology), the Booth College of Mission Diploma in Christian Studies (Leadership), and the Salvation Army Certificate of Salvation Army Officer Training are awarded to those cadets who have fulfilled the requirements of these awards while at BCM.

What will I study in my first year as a cadet?

In your first year, the usual course of study is the Diploma in Christian Studies.

This includes: biblical studies, Christian thought and history, personal growth, pastoral studies, worship and preaching, mission and Maori studies, spiritual formation, and mission (practical training).

What will I study in my second year as a cadet?

In your second year, the usual course of study is the Diploma in Christian Studies (Leadership).

This includes eight 15-credit modules. Each modules is an integrated and holistic unit of learning, usually four weeks’ long and with six of the eight topics also including a week of fieldwork.

Modules include: The Salvation Army 1: Mission and Ministry; Officership 1: The Work; Mission 1: Evangelism and Disciple Making; Mission 2: Living and Serving in Community; The Salvation Army 2: Organisation and Governance; Ministry 1: Leadership; Ministry 2: Management; Officership 2: The Commission.

What will I wear?

Uniform requirements are governed by the Salvation Army Territorial Uniform Minute (the details of which will be provided to you upon your acceptance into training). All uniform and accessories should be purchased before you commence training at BCM.

You will need to bring one as new ‘formal uniform’ (with blue epaulettes, no white piping) to college, along with approved footwear, and sufficient ‘working uniform’ for classroom and on-campus wear.

Cadets are usually expected to be in uniform during working hours from Monday to Friday (8 am to 6 pm) unless otherwise advised. This means you will need enough uniform blouses/white shirts, etc, for six days.

Men are required to have a uniform tie. An approved navy cap for men is recommended (for use at civic/official public functions).  Slide-on epaulettes (cadet trim) are provided free of charge by BMC.

One new uniform will be supplied free of charge before your commissioning.

Cadets receive 20% discount on all goods purchased from Salvationist Resources - this includes uniforms as well as books.

Do I need to make a financial contribution toward my training?

Cadets are required to make a contribution to help cover the cost of the full two-year course. This contribution is reviewed each year and is refundable on a sliding scale if a cadet withdraws from training.

For the 2018/20 session, the contribution is set as $2819 incl gst (subject to change) These fees are payable on entry to the Booth College of Mission. You are encouraged to speak to the college if this payment would be unduly difficult for you so other options may be explored

What other financial matters should I think about before starting training?

Cadets receive a modest living allowance, but this is sufficient only to cover day-to-day expenses. Therefore, you are strongly advised to have some personal savings to cover additional expenses such as car maintenance and insurance, dental and medical needs, holidays, personal insurance (personal items are not covered by BCM insurance), as well as any emergencies. Recent experience shows some cadets are able to manage with $3000 per person in reserve, while others may require $5000 or more.

BCM is registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority as a private training establishment, accredited to teach approved course. Cadets enrolled in the Laidlaw College Diploma in Christian Studies may be entitled to receive student allowance.

Information and application for Student Allowance is online at www.studylink.govt.nz - it is important to begin the application process at least 8 weeks in advance. Note that Student Allowance begins with the start of the Diploma in Christian Studies programme and is paid in arrears. You will need to allow sufficient personal funds for at least three weeks.

A Living Allowance Scholarship, provided by The Salvation Army, is available to cadets who do not qualify for Student Allowance under certain criteria, to help meet their personal living costs during training. Those who do not qualify for Student Allowance will need to formally apply for this scholarship. This scholarship is also available to top up household income where only one of a couple is eligible for Student Allowance. Those aged under 24 may also apply for a scholarship to be topped up.

Cadets with preschool children are eligible for a Child Care Subsidy from Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ). This covers most of the cost of having your child/ren at William Booth Educare. Children from 3-5 will also be eligible for 20 hours free ECE. All cadets are expected to apply for these funding sources in a timely fashion to minimise costs to The Salvation Army. Once the college session begins, The Salvation Army pays that portion of fees not covered by WINZ or 20 Hours ECE.

Where possible, official travel is by BCM vans. If you are required to use your personal vehicle for official activities, you will be able to claim motor vehicle allowance for this use.