PhD (Education) program

1. Introduction

AGST Alliance’s PhD(Education) is an advanced research award, designed to produce graduates who are better equipped to provide significant educational leadership in the wider Christian community in Asia, qualified to function as research specialists in Christian education/spiritual formation.

As the PhD(Ed) is focused on Christian education/spiritual formation, research in this program will most likely have a clear applied focus and an integration of theological and educational elements, as an avenue for “serving God’s people in Asia”. The PhD(Ed) 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.

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

2. Who for?

Our PhD(Ed) is likely to suit leaders who are

  • giving significant educational, formational leadership in their church, denomination or Christian organisation.
  • in a seminary teaching position majoring in Christian education/formation.
  • seeking to build on some years of educational experience in Christian settings with an advanced qualification based on scholarly research.
  • probably comfortable with the relative alone-ness of philosophical reflection on the complex theories that have emerged through the heritage of literature, as is the norm in PhD study.

3. Entry requirements

Applicants for our PhD(Ed) need to have:

  • Either a post-graduate degree majoring in Christian education, spiritual formation or an associated area of applied theology. (The AGST Alliance MTh(Ed) is a suitable pre-requisite degree.)Or a secular post-graduate educational degree supplemented by a sound theological degree.
  • 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.
  • Extensive practical experience in the discipline and administration of Christian education/spiritual formation.
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(Ed) is preparation of a dissertation that reflects original research. The dissertation will be up to 80,000 words (excluding references/ bibliography).

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.

All AGST Alliance doctoral candidates participate in the annual colloquium.

Your completed dissertation will be read by 2-3 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(Ed) will be awarded with one of these classifications:

  • Awarded
  • Awarded with distinction

If the dissertation is not satisfactory a candidate may be permitted to revise and resubmit it, or a MTh(Ed) may be awarded. If a dissertation is failed, resubmission will not be allowed and no degree will be awarded.

5. Academic expectations

6. Assessment Criteria

7. Fees & costs

8. Frequently Asked Questions

9. 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.

10. Contact

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