EdD (Spiritual Formation & Discipleship) program

1. Introduction

AGST Alliance’s Doctor of Education in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship program is designed to produce graduates who are able to integrate sound educational, social science and spiritual formation theory and their professional practice, by means of original applied research that demonstrates advanced theological reflection and which is designed to enhance informed and improved practice in their organisations.

If they stay in their professional role, graduates are likely to be invited to teach applied courses in theological education institutions. They are also likely to be invited to take up (or continue in) senior leadership positions in these institutions.

As our EdD(SF&D) program is focused on Christian education/spiritual formation, we work hard to integrate theological and educational elements into all the components of the program (rather than having separate theology and education modules), as an avenue for ‘serving God’s people in Asia’. Our EdD(SF&D) program is non-residentialmodular and (for most candidates) part-time.

  • No need for major ministry and family upheavals for several years.
  • Studies are earthed in candidates’ current social, church and vocational settings.
  • Some flexibility is possible.

See a comparison of our education programs (PostGrad Dip-Ed, MTh-Ed, EdD and PhD-Ed)

2. Who for?

Our EdD(SF&D) program is likely to suit leaders who

  • are senior leaders/trainers in their church, denomination or Christian organisation/NGO.
  • or, are in a seminary teaching position majoring in Christian education/formation/ applied theology and/or responsible for field education programs.
  • are seeking an advanced qualification to enhance their practice of ministry and enable them to function more effectively.
  • probably prefer a field-focused, action-reflection approach to learning over a more text-focused philosophical-reflective approach.

3. Entry requirements

Applicants for the EdD(SF&D) need to meet these prerequisites:

  • A first theological degree of a suitable academic level (usually MDiv or its equivalent).
  • English language proficiency: at least IELTS 6.0 or TOEFL 550 (Computer-based score 213; Internet-based score 80).
  • In a significant leadership/training position in an organisation where enhanced perspectives in Christian education, spiritual formation and discipleship play a substantial role. Generally, we expect applicants to have had a minimum of three years such experience.

Secular qualifications in education/management will be a bonus. Participants may live in countries other than those represented by AGST Alliance.

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

Our AGST Alliance EdD(SF&D) is a 36 credit program, with these components:

  • Coursework – 18 credits
  • Critical engagement project – 3 credits
  • Dissertation – 15 credits

[One credit is equivalent to a minimum of 13-14 hours of classroom instruction and 20 hours outside of the classroom. However, for MTh/EdD programs there is likely to be a smaller number of on-campus hours and more time expected to be given to assessable pre-campus and post-campus work.]

A. Coursework (18 credits)

You complete modules for 18 credits:

  • Three core modules @ 3 credits per module
  • A compulsory research methods module @ 3 credits
  • Other modules, for 6 credits.

The modules are common with our MTh(Ed) program. Each module involves

  • pre-campus preparation: reading and assignments.
  • a 5-7 day intensive on-campus session.
  • post-campus reading and assignments.

3-credit modules span about 4 months; and 2-credit modules about 3 months.

Note:
1. Non-core modules are usually for 2 credits. A participant may request to complete extra assignment work for a module, to make it equivalent to a 3 credit module.
2. Up to two approved courses (maximum of 6 credits) from other accredited institutions may replace AGST Alliance non-core modules. Cross-credited courses need to be at the appropriate academic level.

B. Critical engagement project (3 credits)

This personalised field-based project is designed to encourage and enhance critically reflective, creative practice. The process will help you identify and examine the assumptions (personal, socio-cultural, theological, academic, etc.) underlying your educational approach(es), and how these assumptions influence your practice. A mentor-coach journeys with you through the critical engagement project.

C. Dissertation (15 credits)

The dissertation is designed to demonstrate your competence to integrate educational, social science and spiritual formation theory with your professional practice. It will comprise original applied research that demonstrates advanced theological reflection and which is designed to enhance informed and improved practice in your organisation.

The length of the dissertation will normally fall in the range of 30,000-45,000 words (excluding references and appendices, but including footnotes), depending on the nature of the research. The dissertation is likely to have a significant quantitative or qualitative element to it. The dissertation will probably require 18-24 months work after you complete the coursework. A supervisor will be with you through the dissertation process. Two competent external examiners will be appointed to examine the submitted dissertation.

5. Module topics

Core Modules (9 credits):

Education, Spiritual Formation, and Discipleship (3 credits)
This module is designed to enable leaders in Christian ministries to reflect on spiritual growth in a time of fluidity and change. In this module, we will examine the underlying principles of Christian education, spiritual formation, and discipleship process. We will evaluate the inner life of educators, spiritual formation communities and their missional aspects. We will also look at pedagogy in faith communities in this digital interconnected world.

Educational Theories and Instructional Design (3 credits)
This module explores educational psychology and teaching-learning theories in context of educating the Christian faith communities.  The strengths and weaknesses of a wide range of contemporary teaching-learning strategies are discussed. Topics include relational dynamics in the teaching-learning process, teaching methodologies, communicative tools, and collaboration for empowerment.

Curriculum Design and Development (3 credits)
This module highlights the essence of what it means to be a community of God’s people; and discusses the trends, principles, and procedures of an effective curriculum to educate God’s people in the faith. The discussions cover the biblical, historical, and social traditions that influence the believers’ expressions of faith in worship and congregational life.  

Interest-specific Modules (6 credits)

There are two “interest-specific” modules to provide the students with space to study the areas of interest either class-based, as guided study, or credit transfer.  The AGST Alliance criteria apply, and modules that are cross-credited must have proof of a transcript.

Research Method (3 credits)

This module sets the direction for the research dissertation. All EdD and C&FD majors will enrol in the same module. The learning process will either be conducted online or class-based leading to the annual colloquium. The students attend the colloquium as observers.  For a passing grade, the student must show evidences of understanding the research process and its expectations, and produce an acceptable FOI. 

Critical Engagement Project (3 credits)

This personalised field-based project is designed to encourage and enhance critically reflective, creative practice. The process helps the students to identify and examine the assumptions (personal, socio-cultural, theological, academic, etc.) underlying their educational approach(es), and how these assumptions influence personal practice. A mentor-coach journeys with each student through the critical engagement project. The duration is approximately 4 months.

Dissertation (15 credits)

The dissertation is designed to demonstrate the student’s competence to integrate educational, social science and spiritual formation theories with professional practice. It will comprise original applied research that demonstrates advanced theological reflection and which is designed to enhance informed and improved educational and ministerial practices. 

The length of the dissertation will normally fall in the range of 45,000 words (excluding references and appendices, but including footnotes), depending on the nature of the research. A supervisor will be assigned to the student.

6. Module Dates

These dates may be amended, subject to the availability of the module facilitators and campus facilities.

2019

2-7 May. Location: Hotel Puri, Melaka
MED 5-6 | Education, Church & Society: Educating for Social Responsibility. Dr Peter Rowan, (National Director OMF International UK).

22-27 August. Location: Kuala Lumpur
MED 6-1 | Approaches and Practices for Ministry-based Research. Dr Rosalind Tan and Others.

14-19 November. Location: Hotel Puri, Melaka
MED 6-2 | Education, Discipleship, and Spiritual Formation. Dr Alex Tang.

2020 Program Schedule (for EdDAcross all programs here)

7. Academic expectations

8. Assessment Criteria

9. Fees & costs

10. Frequently Asked Questions

11. Application Procedures

Download and submit these application papers to apply (right-click > “save link as” to save):

•   Application form
•   Commendation form (2 commendations required)
•   Student Support Memorandum of Understanding guidelines and form

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.

12. Contact

For further questions about this program:
Dr Rosalind Lim-Tan
Education Programs Director
Email: edudirector@agstalliance.org