One of the greatest needs of the church in Asia is for greater theological depth and training for its leaders and seminary faculty. With resources thinly spread in the region, and training in the West both expensive and culturally not always relevant, AGST Alliance has developed a strategic and creative way forward. To root the Gospel of Christ effectively in Asia, God’s people need perspectives that are well thought through, and processed appropriately in the Asian context. Christian leaders who are trained to open the Bible with people in life-changing ways clearly and contextually while immersed in Asian societies are strategic to helping God’s people align their lives appropriately. Rightly handling the word of truth needs to be more than a cliche!
AGST Alliance’s PhD (Biblical Studies) program is designed to equip such people. Our programs provide tools to enhance leadership for the ministry and mission of the Asian Church.
- Who for?
- Entry requirements
- Program components
- Academic expectations
- Assessment Criteria
- Fees & costs
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Application Procedures
AGST Alliance’s PhD(Biblical Studies) is an advanced research award, designed to produce graduates who are committed to give significant leadership in the wider Asian church as research specialists in biblical studies. Research in this program is likely to have an applied focus for the Asian context. The PhD(Bib. Studies) program is a non-residential program. No need for major ministry or family upheavals for several years. Studies are earthed in students’ current social and church settings. Some flexibility is possible.
2. Who for?
Our PhD(Bib. Studies) is likely to suit leaders who are:
- … giving significant biblical teaching in their church, denomination or Christian organisation.
- … in a teaching position in a theological/Bible institution majoring in a field of biblical studies and need a qualification to teach at a post-graduate level.
- … Christian scholars/writers majoring on biblical issues and themes.
3. Entry requirements
Applicants for the PhD(Bib. Studies) need to have:
- A post-graduate degree majoring in an area of biblical studies. (The AGST Alliance MTh(Bib. Studies) is a suitable pre-requisite.)
- English language proficiency equivalent to at least IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 575 (Computer-based score 230, Internet-based score 90). If an official test result is not available, your English proficiency may be assessed by interview and proficiency exam.
- Proficiency to MTh level in at least one biblical language.
- Proficiency in German or another modern European language, to a level of being able to read/understand biblical/theological literature in that language. The choice of language will depend on the proposed research area. [This language requirement may be acquired in the pre-proposal phase of the PhD(Bib. Studies) program.]
- Proficiency in a further research language if necessary for the proposed research topic. (This may be either a classical or modern language.)
Pre-PhD(Bib. Studies) study may be required before candidates are accepted fully into their research program. Details will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Normally students will be accepted into AGST Alliance programs on the basis of the stated prerequisite qualifications. However, applicants who do not meet the stated entry requirements may be considered for this program if their general education, scholarship, training and experience are deemed suitable, and if they are deemed as well qualified as those who are able to satisfy the normal entrance requirements. Applications based on equivalency will be considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account a portfolio of work/ministry experience, publications and other relevant factors.
4. Program components
The sole work for the PhD(Bib. Studies) is preparation of a dissertation that reflects original research. The dissertation will be up to 80,000 words (excluding references/bibliography).
AGST Alliance is concerned to “train scholars and leaders for the Church and society in Asia.” In this light of this, we encourage PhD(Bib. Studies) candidates to integrate a contextual element into their research focus.
There is no specific coursework to complete. However, there may be courses in another seminary or university which your supervisor(s) will encourage you to attend, to get necessary input/background for your research especially in research methodology.
All AGST Alliance doctoral candidates participate in the annual doctoral colloquium (see further details in the FAQs section “Who will encourage me through my program?”)
Your completed dissertation will be read by three external examiners. An oral defence may be called for, to assess your understanding of aspects of the dissertation and/or to test your general knowledge in areas relating to the dissertation. Upon successful completion of the defence, the PhD(Bib. Studies) will be awarded with one of these classifications:
• Awarded with distinction
If the dissertation is not satisfactory a candidate may be permitted to revise and resubmit it, or a MTh(Bib. Studies) may be awarded. If a dissertation is failed, resubmission will not be allowed and no degree will be awarded.
7. Fees & costs
9. Application Procedures
Download and submit these application papers to apply:
If you prefer to have a set of application papers to be posted to you, please email us. Make sure you include your full postal address.
We prefer that initially you email your application papers to us, in soft-copy format (i.e. as e-documents). When scanning transcripts, photos, etc., please set the resolution to standard/medium, so that files are not too large. As we process your application, we may request hard-copy (i.e. paper) copies of items.
For further questions about our programs:
Dr Tan Sooi Ling