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 unloved, 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, Tonga and Samoa 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
  • Petone Corps – An alternative form of ministry used as a training ground for cadets. The corps focuses on building links in the community in order to develop incarnational style ministry alongside their Sunday congregation

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 education centre.

The Salvation Army Heritage Centre and Archives was added in 2010.  BCM has a well-equipped library containing over 20,000 items including books, magazines, CDs and DVD recordings

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.

Located on campus grounds you will find a tennis court, sports field, children’s play area and prayer grove. A gym is also available.

What is the accommodation like at BCM in Upper Hutt?

For the duration of your training, while a resident at BCM, you will be provided partially furnished accommodation.

Major items of furniture supplied include:

  • Dining and lounge suite
  • Bedroom furniture
  • Washing machine
  • Refrigerator/freezer
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Vacuum Cleaner

A dryer is available with a fee, payable into the machine. Each house/unit has a heat pump.

Some household items are not supplied, and you will be required to bring these with you.

  • Bedroom and bathroom linen
  • Kitchen appliances and utensils
  • Television

You are advised not to bring personal items that will duplicate those already provided. If you are intending to bring your own bed(s) or major furnishings, please contact the Campus Services Team Leader.

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.

When would I arrive at BCM if accepted for training?

You will need to arrive at BCM from the middle to the end of January, you will be advised of the actual date, this makes it easier for transition for families with school-aged children.

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?

While living on campus, cadets buy their own food and eat in their own homes. Community meals are a feature of college life. There are also shared lunches on ‘Spiritual Days’ and In-Sundays, which are catered by BCM.

You will be asked to advise BCM about any medically diagnosed food allergies when completing your enrolment form.

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:

  • Spiritual formation, character development and ‘learning to learn’.
  • Academic development including biblical and theological studies, preaching, interpreting, pastoral practice, missional and Salvation Army specific studies.
  • Practical training includes mission placements in Salvation Army corps and social centres, schools and prisons.

At the end of training cadets may be awarded with the New Zealand Diploma in Christian Studies (Theology) (Level 5), the New Zealand Diploma in Christian Studies (Leadership) (Level 6), and The Salvation Army Certificate of Salvation Army Officer Training (CertSAOT).

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

In your first year, the usual course of study is the New Zealand Diploma in Christian Studies (Theology) (Level 5) which runs alongside several CertSAOT courses. This includes biblical and theological studies, pastoral studies, Christian worship and preaching, mission and Maori studies, spiritual formation and mission training.

Semester 1

  • 155.515 Interpreting the Bible for Mission & Ministry
  • 550.515 Preaching for Mission and Ministry
  • 601.515 Mission in Community (including Maori Cultural Awareness, School and Prison Ministry)
  • 801.515 Spiritual Formation
  • M520.505 Christian Worship (CertSAOT Course)
  • M850.515 Applied Formation (CertSAOT Course)

Semester 2

  • 101.515 Introduction to Biblical Theology
  • 150.515 Exploring the New Testament
  • 250.515 Introduction to Systematic Theology
  • 501. 515 Foundations of Pastoral Practice
  • M550.505A Introductory Preaching Experience (CertSAOT Course)
  • M850.515 Applied Formation (CertSAOT Course)

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) (Level 6). This includes eight 15-credit modules. Each module is an integrated and holistic unit of learning, usually four weeks long.  Four of the eight topics also include 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.

Cadets also complete:

  • M550.605B Developmental Preaching Experience (CertSAOT Course)
  • M850.516 Applied Formation (CertSAOT Course)

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 BCM.

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

Cadets receive 20% discount on all goods purchased from Salvationist Resources.

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.

The current fee is $3,185 (GST Inc) per Cadet.  Fees are increased each year by the fees maxima percentage set by the Government.  For the 2025/2026 session, the contribution will likely be in the range of $3,250 to $3,300 (GST Inc) per Cadet. These fees are payable on entry to the Booth College of Mission. You are encouraged to speak to the candidate department 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?

A Living Allowance Scholarship, provided by The Salvation Army, is available to cadets to help meet their personal living costs during training. This is sufficient only to cover day-to-day expenses.

You are strongly encouraged 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.

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.

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