The English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) at Excelsia College are for students who would like to prepare for living, studying and working in Australia. Without English language skills it can be difficult to express oneself, or be successful in higher education and a career while assimilating into a community in Australia. In obtaining entry into an ELICOS course, students not only boost their English language proficiency but also form new connections, discover Australian culture and develop their sense of belonging in a fun and lively environment. 

The courses also help international students to develop learning strategies and critical thinking skills that can be applied to higher education contexts, as well as in the workplace. International students will develop the ability to better understand language nuances and subtexts. By the end of the course students will be able to write well-structured and formatted texts of various types and understand academic texts. High proficiency in English leads to a multitude of opportunities for students that exist locally and globally.  


The College offers three levels of English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) equivalent is mentioned below.  

  1. EAP 1 (4.0–5.0 IELTS equivalent) 
  1. EAP 2 (5.0–6.0 IELTS equivalent)  
  1. EAP 3 (6.0–6.5 IELTS equivalent) 


Students are placed in their proficiency level and the program is designed to continually assess the students progress and adjust according to their needs. Upon successful completion of EAP 2, students are eligible to transition into their undergraduate program, and upon achieving EAP 3, they are eligible to transition into their selected postgraduate program – excluding the Master of Teaching (Secondary), Master of Counselling, Master of Social Work (Qualifying) and Doctor of Philosophy (Organisational Leadership).  


For example, for students who do not meet the English Language Proficiency (ELP) entry requirement for the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Birth to 5), with an overall IELTS score of 6.0, but do meet all other entry requirements and have one of the ELP bands at 5.5, they have the option to undertake a 5 week EAP 2 program starting on 10 June, 2024. If they successfully complete EAP 2, they can commence the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Birth to 5) on 24 July, 2024. This option is also available to those with an IELTS overall score of 5.5 and no band less than 5.5. 
Besides having a multi-level course structure, the ELICOS program will be delivered by highly experienced and qualified Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) teachers. These teachers are dedicated to empowering students and instilling confidence in all aspects of English language proficiency, specifically spoken and comprehension abilities.   


Dr Daisy William is the ELICOS Program Director at Excelsia College. She has a PhD in Financial Management and Corporate Governance from the University of New England. Daisy’s experience spans from management, teaching, lecturing, course coordination, business management and development, private consulting, and ministry.  
In addition to benefiting from experienced academics, students will enjoy access to our excellent facilities, engaging in cultural excursions, participating in language clinics, and labs specifically designed to address language nuances, including pronunciation and context. 
Khanh Linh Pham, a current ELICOS student at Excelsia said: 

‘I love Excelsia College. The friendly teachers are always ready to assist, and the clean, beautiful classrooms create a comfortable learning atmosphere. We also enjoy participating in the various activities like language clinics.’  


Excelsia College seeks to equip students to be successful in their higher education studies by collaborating with academics to provide the best support so that they can seamlessly transition from ELICOS to their degree program.  


Find out more about the ELICOS program here. 

Excelsia College is proud to announce the appointment of Professor Ryan Daniel as its Chief Academic Officer. Professor Daniel brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Excelsia and is excited to contribute to the College’s mission in Christian higher education. His vision for the role is to support the College’s aspirations for growth, develop its offerings, and to enable staff and students to thrive in their work.

‘It is a great privilege to join such a welcoming community of staff and students who are passionate about all that they do.’ – Professor Ryan Daniel, Chief Academic Officer

Professor Daniel holds a PhD in music education, a Master’s in Music Performance, and a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching. His academic journey includes over 60 peer-reviewed scholarly publications, establishing him as a respected figure in the academic field. Notably, he has been honoured twice with the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence from James Cook University, showcasing his dedication to advancing education.

As Chief Academic Officer, Professor Ryan Daniel provides strategic leadership at Excelsia for teaching and learning, scholarship, research, course portfolio development and associated community engagement, aligned with the mission and vision of the College, and achieving optimal outcomes for students.

With over 30 years of experience in higher education, Professor Daniel has held diverse roles encompassing teaching, lecturing, and both operational and academic management. His time at James Cook University, where he served as Professor of Creative Arts and Creative Industries, as well as Head of School, reflects his commitment to academic growth and development. With multiple research publications in tier one journals and with globally reputable publishers, Professor Daniel understands what it is to produce quality research and scholarship.

‘I much prefer quality over quantity, and set high expectations for myself, leading by example, and doing as much as I can to support students and educators to succeed.’ – Professor Ryan Daniel, Chief Academic Officer

Beyond his administrative and research roles, Professor Daniel has a genuine passion for postgraduate supervision. Currently overseeing an Excelsia alumnus, he actively contributes to the academic development of future scholars. His commitment to Excelsia’s faith, community and mission is grounded in his strong Christian values, making him a valuable addition to the college’s leadership team.

Outside the realm of academia, Professor Daniel embraces his status as an NRL and Maroons fan, eagerly anticipating the opportunity to cheer on Queensland teams and aiming to secure a win in the Excelsia tipping competition one day. He is incredibly proud of his children Maria and Lachlan and looks forward to the opportunity of one day sitting behind the wheel of a Formula One car!

Excelsia College is excited to welcome Professor Ryan Daniel as its Chief Academic Officer, confident in his ability to steer the institution towards new heights of academic excellence with his extensive experience, leadership skills, and passion for education and community engagement.

Meet Dr Dion Khlentzos, who brings over 15 years’ experience in lecturing, research and management in tertiary institutions. As the Head of School of Counselling at Excelsia College, Dr Khlentzos works towards equipping the next generation of counsellors to manage a variety of emerging needs and mental health issues following the aftermath of COVID-19 and lockdown.


Dr Khlentzos has firsthand experience in the counselling field, having worked with Salvation Army’s crisis telephone counselling service, as Program Director with the Jansen Newman Institute, and as a psychologist and counsellor. As a highly empathetic and hard-working individual, Dr Khlentzos is able to bring a variety of contemporary insights into his teaching and in fostering relationships with his students.


With a thirst for knowledge, Dr Khlentzos has a bachelor honours degree majoring in psychology, and graduate diplomas in education and counselling. As a testament to his hard work and pursuit of knowledge, Dr Khlentzos attained a Doctorate in Psychology and Mental Health from Western Sydney University.


Dr Khlentzos’ PhD research was in the area of developing emotion-focused parenting programs for fathers recovering from alcohol and drug addictions. His current research areas are in gender and domestic violence, as well as how a person’s Christian faith might be related to their attachment relationships.


With a heart for people and for reflecting God’s love to all members of society, Dr Khlentzos also has broad research interests in the areas of mental health in families and communities. Dr Khlentzos is passionate about equipping the next generation of counsellors for a variety of fields such as addiction, anger management, family therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. With his widespread knowledge across psychology, education, counselling and mental health, as well as his practical experience in the field, Dr Khlentzos is able to bring a unique perspective to his teaching.


Outside of work, Dr Khlentzos enjoys playing tennis, singing in choirs and playing board games with his family.


Dr Khlentzos is a registered psychologist with AHPRA and is a member of the Australian Association of Psychologists (AAPi) and Christian Counsellors Association of Australia (CCAA).

Excelsia College is excited to announce its newest program, ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students).


Dr Daisy William is the ELICOS Program Director at Excelsia College. Daisy’s experience spans from management, teaching, lecturing, course coordination, business management and development, private consulting, and ministry. She has a PhD in Financial Management and Corporate Governance from the University of New England, a Master’s in Education (TESOL) from Deakin University, as well as a Bachelor of Theology from the Bible College of Malaysia. As a Christian Program Director, Daisy William is a relational leader that focuses on individuals’ holistic experience. She places importance in relationships by caring and helping students reach their highest potential and be successful in life.


So why should you consider undertaking ELICOS? ELICOS courses at Excelsia College prepare students for living, studying and working in Australia. Languages aren’t just words and grammar, they are a living representation of the culture and the people of a country. It can be difficult to express yourself and be successful in higher education, career and assimilating into your community in Australia without English language skills. Beyond obtaining entry into a course, students not only learn English but also form new connections, discover Australian culture and develop their sense of belonging in Australia. Being a Christian college, we see our students as individuals and not just a number.


The ELICOS courses at Excelsia College also help international students to develop learning strategies and critical thinking skills that can be applied to higher education contexts, as well as in the workplace. International students will develop the ability to better understand language nuances and subtexts, and high proficiency in English could lead to other opportunities that exist locally and globally.


The College offers three levels of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and five levels of General English (GE). Besides having a multi-level course structure, the ELICOS program will be delivered by highly experienced TESOL teachers with postgraduate qualifications. Students will be placed in their proficiency level and the program is designed to continually assess students’ progress and adjust according to their needs. Excelsia College seeks to equip students to be successful in their higher education studies and we collaborate with academics to provide the best support so that they can seamlessly transition from ELICOS to their degree program.


If you want to find out more, please visit School of ELICOS | Excelsia College

Dr Lex Akers, lecturer in Integrative Studies at Excelsia College, is also a pastor and church leader in the Wesleyan Methodist Church (WMC) of Australia. With 25 years of leadership and pastoral ministry, he is able to provide his unique insights in teaching the Christian message to students across all faiths and denominations. As Father’s Day approaches this Sunday 3 September, Lex shares his thoughts about the relevance of fathers from a Christian perspective.


Father’s Day evokes a spectrum of emotions. For many, it’s an occasion to commemorate and cherish our dads, filling our hearts with family love and joy. For some, it stands as a painful reminder of their inability to have children. Yet for others, it’s a day they’d rather avoid, shielding themselves from memories of a father who brought them pain.


Navigating certain Scriptures on this topic can elicit a similar range of emotions. So, how do we embrace the joys of Father’s Day without overshadowing the pains that some might feel? How can we remain sensitive to everyone’s experiences, while still honoring the essential role of fathers?


For me, the answer lies in the teachings and life of Jesus. In John 14:9b, Jesus proclaims, ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.’ This is as if to say, ‘To understand God, observe me. I’m the purest reflection of the Father.’ Basing our notions of Father’s Day solely on our earthly fathers or just the Old Testament might lead us to a skewed perspective of fatherhood. However, looking to Jesus, the God/man, reveals a richer image. We witness a figure embodying love, compassion, tenderness, and care; someone who uplifts the downtrodden but corrects the proud. Delving into the Gospels, we see Jesus continually shining a spotlight on the nature of His Father – a journey that’s both enlightening and heartening.


While it’s crucial to recognise the sorrow some associate with Father’s Day, Jesus’ example serves as a beacon of hope, nudging us to continually strive for better. Reflecting on Jesus’ portrayal of the Father, here are some fatherly attributes we can all aspire to:


  1. Unconditional love: Fathers should love their children selflessly and unconditionally, independent of their actions or decisions.
  2. Mercy and forgiveness: It’s essential for fathers to forgive readily, avoiding resentment. Being understanding of their children’s errors and granting them another chance reflects divine mercy.
  3. Compassion: Fathers should show empathy and understanding, prioritising support and guidance over judgement.
  4. Desire for relationship: A deep and open relationship with their children is paramount, mirroring Jesus’ closeness with the Father.
  5. Righteousness and justice: Instilling values of morality, integrity, and justice in their children is a father’s responsibility, both within the family and in the world at large.
  6. Teaching and wisdom: Through guidance, shared experiences, and wisdom, fathers play a vital role in shaping their children’s lives.
  7. Humility: Demonstrating humility, acknowledging mistakes, and showing readiness to apologise can leave a lasting impression on children.
  8. Inclusivity: Fathers should foster values of inclusivity, teaching children to respect and love all, irrespective of differences.

On behalf of Excelsia College, we would like to wish all the wonderful fathers and father figures in our lives a happy Father’s Day.

Have you been considering a career in counselling or wanting to integrate counselling skills and mental health knowledge into your current profession? There is set to be a strong job growth in the counselling sector, with positions rising to 27,800 counsellors by 2026, according to Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026. So there’s no better time to consider studying counselling at Excelsia College in 2024. With flexibility in the way you study and the ability to work while you learn, you can fit your studies to suit your lifestyle.


For those curious to see whether counselling could be a suitable career path, Excelsia College offers a Graduate Certificate in Counselling. Students will undertake foundational subjects such as ‘Approaches to Mental Health’ and ‘Counselling Theories and Models’ over six months full-time study. For those set on practising as a counsellor, there is a Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Master of Counselling. Excelsia’s counselling courses are taught from a Christian framework and look at not only the emotional and psychological wellbeing of individuals but also spiritual wellbeing.


Graduate Diploma of Counselling applicants may be admitted if they have previously successfully completed a relevant bachelor degree or bachelor honours degree, but applicants without such undergraduate qualifications can apply for admission via the work and life experience pathway which includes experience in relevant paid or volunteer work or contribution to church life. Graduates can go on to the Master of Counselling and build on their theoretical knowledge. Within the Master’s program, students will undertake 100 hours of placement involving direct client contact hours, undertake 25 hours of clinical supervision, and have free personal counselling. Real-world experience gives graduates the confidence to practise as counsellors within their selected area, including agencies, community health centres, hospitals or in private practice.


Both the Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Master of Counselling are formally accredited by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA), and the Master’s program is also accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).


Excelsia College is also pleased to introduce our new senior lecturer in counselling Lauren Poole. Lauren holds a PhD in Psychology and a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice from Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom. She also holds a Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy from the Australian College of Applied Professions (ACAP) and is a PACFA Certified Practising Counsellor. With over 10 years’ experience in higher education teaching across four institutions in the disciplines of psychology and counselling, as well as experience in curriculum design and course coordination, Lauren is ready to use her experience and expertise to help train and equip our counselling students.


Our students have been deeply impacted by our counselling courses, just ask Anna Greenwell. The 2022 Valedictorian shared in her graduation speech, ‘I am grateful for having chosen Excelsia College. The task of forming courageous, competent and compassionate mental health practitioners is critical for our society and Excelsia has prepared us well. The “Excelsia” approach lifted our gaze and taught us to see our clients beyond a set of behaviours, and beyond the mere need to adapt to an environment or situation, to truly receive the unique individual in front of us.


I am encouraged, inspired, and humbled to be part of my new profession and I hope you, too, share my excitement and sense of privilege, in getting to be a “holder of hope” and witnessing the healing and restoration this brings to people’s lives.’


If you feel inspired to make a positive difference in the lives of others like Anna and want to learn counselling within a Christian framework, why not explore Excelsia College’s counselling courses today?

Gordon Bobin, Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Quality at Excelsia College is responsible for quality and strategy across the College. Having worked previously in secondary education and educational administration for over a decade, Gordon is taking the next step in educational leadership as a Board Member of The McDonald College. ‘What attracted me to The McDonald College was their unique model for learning and teaching, where students have the opportunity to pursue a range of different pursuits and explore their various talents while still maintaining a high-level of focus on their academic development. The college takes a collaborative approach to achieve this, working with parents and students to understand how they learn best, and supporting them in the areas they feel most passionate about.’


Gordon originally had no specific intentions to work in the higher education sector. God changed Gordon’s heart after he felt inspired by the College’s vision of becoming Australia’s first multi-denominational Christian university. ‘It was about wanting to be part of that journey and something greater than myself that really inspired me. Since then, it’s probably been the best decision of my career,’ explains Gordon.


Through taking that first uncertain step, Gordon has learned to trust the path before him and develop the patience for God’s plans for him, even if they aren’t obvious straight away. God was also able to use Gordon’s understanding of education and relating to students in his role. ‘Developing and applying emotional intelligence is something you need to have when you’re dealing with adolescents and students that are going through difficult times.’


Gordon believes the best way to demonstrate his beliefs and values is by example and by being the best person he can be. ‘I like to show people my values through my actions rather than through my words. I hope people would find me to have good morals and ethics by my actions and the way I interact with others. It’s about trying to live that as best I can.’ It is this kindness which Gordon imparts to all that he engages with in his daily life, and he has learned to always try to speak and act with kindness. ‘I was brought up to always be respectful of others, and in my career, I have always done my best to demonstrate this with my team and colleagues.’


When people share a common set of values like staff and students at Excelsia College, including a desire to be Christ-like, innovative and creative, as well as lifelong learners, it is amazing what can be achieved. At Excelsia, Gordon has been blown away at the levels of what people are capable of. ‘Throughout my time at Excelsia, I’ve witnessed a number of achievements in the life of the College, including seeing the College expand from three to five schools, increase its number of courses, and grow significantly in student numbers. None of these things happen without God and without a great group of people all working as one team.’


Reflecting on Excelsia’s 40 years of Christian higher education, Gordon says, ‘The College has come a very long way in these past few years, but I think that even greater things are still to come. This year’s fortieth anniversary celebrations are a perfect opportunity for us to reflect on where we’ve come from and celebrate where we are, but also look to the future and move forward with great optimism.’


If you want to be a part of a workplace where you can grow and develop in your career, why not visit our website for job opportunities?

Professor Jane Fernandez is Provost of Excelsia College and oversees the College’s Research and Partnerships, Registrar and Quality portfolios. In this context, she oversees the regulatory outcomes of the College, including supporting governance and audit and risk functions. Prior to Excelsia, Jane was Vice-President (Learning and Teaching) and then Vice-President (Quality and Strategy) at Avondale (now Avondale University) and led Avondale through its change of provider categories, namely, its self-accrediting and university college achievements and its Joint-Conferral Scheme with Charles Sturt University.


Jane’s influence over Australian higher education is evidenced through her founding role in establishing the Higher Education Provider Quality Network (HEPP-QN), Australia’s first national quality assurance network for the independent sector. Since establishing the network almost a decade ago, she has successfully led several milestones in its development and impact. What started as approximately eight higher education institutions has grown to a membership of 80 institutions. This success she attributes to her shared leadership with her HEPP-QN Steering Group and to the continuing collaboration of member institutions.


The success of the HEPP-QN is notable in that it is recognised by the Australian Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). Jane notes that the HEPP-QN’s success is owed to the generosity of many leaders who reflect its goodwill: namely, TEQSA, the HEPP-QN Steering Group, several reputable sector experts, and the many passionate leaders across HEPP-QN institutions.


The several national webinars Jane has led have been opportunities to share collective expertise with the sector. Two HEPP-QN highlights include the national webinar with the previous TEQSA Chief Commissioner Nick Saunders on the topic of self-accrediting authority and the more recent interview she held with the TEQSA Commission on TEQSA’s vision in October 2022. These have been opportunities to share the HEPP-QN’s motivation to provide a unifying vision for national-based quality in Australian higher education. Jane believes that sharing the space of leadership and learning from her teams is part of stepping up to lead. This is important to her for both her work with the HEPP-QN and just as importantly, for her Provost role at Excelsia.


Jane explains her leadership drive: ‘My motivation is the future of young people who are entrusted in our care. The outcomes that we want to achieve, as leaders, cannot be done alone,’ she says. Jane values the leadership philosophy ‘rise by lifting others’. This philosophy is also reflected in the HEPP-QN’s motto ‘Achieving Together’.


When approaching leadership from a Christian world view, Jane says, ‘We can look to Christ who beautifully brought together the human elements of leadership including empathy, compassion and forgiveness. Christ’s whole life on earth is graced with elements of humility and compassion: he was born in a stable, embraces sinners, affirms the dispossessed, and washes the feet of His disciples.’


The big lessons of Christian leadership for Jane involve being authentic through self-critique. This involves sharing and growing a vision while connecting to what it means to be human: facing our own flaws; seeking and giving forgiveness; growing through the mistakes we make; sharing the lessons we learn; respecting people; being inclusive and celebrating the talents and gifts that others bring; asking and seeking help; acknowledging that we never achieve anything alone; and always being grateful for the journey, dedicating the success God allows us to a higher purpose.  

The Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) has appointed Excelsia College creative and performing arts lecturer Dr Mark Seton to its Board of Directors. Mark is a passionate advocate for actor health and wellbeing and will serve over a two-year term. PAMA has already incorporated some of Mark’s expertise in its Essentials of Performing Arts Medicine Certification online course.


Mark has a long-standing interest in addressing the wellbeing challenges of actors, musicians and dancers and he is one of the founding members of the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare. The first national study of professional actor wellbeing in the world was conducted through the University of Sydney by Mark, with colleagues Dr Marianna Szabo and Dr Ian Maxwell, in collaboration with the Equity Foundation of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) in 2013. Prior to this ground-breaking quantitative and qualitative research, Mark was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2009 to investigate what was or wasn’t being done for the wellbeing of actors in training and in the workplace in the UK.


Inspired by such experiences, Mark has designed and facilitated various iterations of actor wellbeing training in drama schools across Australia, in workshops conducted at PAMA conferences in the US, and at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in the UK. He also hosts online training in actor identity and resilience through his own website, the Actors Wellbeing Academy.

Excelsia College is proud to have a high calibre of staff who bring their wealth of knowledge to the College, including Mark who is helping to shape the future of actors and make real-world impact.

‘We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back. We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave, to embrace the strength within themselves and realise their full potential.’

– Malala Yousafzai


On 8 March, the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women are  celebrated on International Women’s Day. The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is ‘Embrace Equity’. Excelsia College’s CEO Peter McKeon joined a morning tea to celebrate International Women’s Day. Peter discussed the challenges and barriers women face, including gender discrimination, limited access to education and opportunities and wage inequality.


According to Workplace Gender Equality Agency, there is a 13.3 per cent gender pay gap, a disparity most prominent in the professional, scientific, and technical services sector. On average, for every dollar males earned, women earned 87 cents, amounting to $253.50 less per week (WGEA, 2023).


International Women’s Day also highlights the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions. At Excelsia College, we are proud that women make up 68 per cent of our workforce and 62 per cent of our senior leadership positions.


Another key issue that International Women’s Day addresses is domestic violence, particularly gender-based violence and harassment. Every woman has the right to feel safe and secure in her home, workplace, and community. In his speech, Peter urged everyone to work together to end gender-based violence and to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.


Historically, there is an imbalance of women being able to access quality education. An estimated 15 million girls – mainly those living in poverty – will never set foot in a classroom, compared to 10 million boys (Theirworld, 2017). Furthermore, Unicef reports that 129 million girls across the world are not enrolled in formal education.


At Excelsia College, we are proud to say that 75 per cent of our students are female. Excelsia strives to provide quality learning foundations which create a variety of career opportunities when female students graduate in fields of education, social work, counselling, creative and performing arts and business.


‘Let’s commit to taking action to end gender inequality and create a world where every woman has the opportunity to succeed and thrive. Let’s all choose to challenge and work

towards a more equitable world for women,’ says Peter.