PhD (Theology) program

1. Introduction

AGST Alliance’s PhD(Theology) is an advanced research award, designed to produce graduates who are committed to give significant theological leadership in the wider Asian church, qualified to function as research specialists in theology. Research in this program will have a clear applied focus for the Asian context.

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(Theol) is likely to suit leaders who are

  • giving significant teaching/leadership in their church, denomination or Christian organisation.
  • in a teaching position in a theological/Bible institution majoring in a field of theology, and needing a qualification to teach at a post-graduate level.
  • Christian scholars/writers and majoring on theological themes.

3. Entry requirements

Applicants for the PhD(Theol) need to have:

  • A post-graduate degree majoring in an area of theology. (The AGST Alliance MTh(Theol) 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 MDiv level in at least one biblical language.
  • Proficiency in a research language if appropriate to the proposed research topic (e.g. Chinese, Thai, etc.)
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(Theol) 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 (see further details in the FAQs section: “Who will encourage me through my program?“)

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(Theol) 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(Theol) 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 (correct as at 6 March 2020)
•   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 Sunny Tan
Theology Programs Director
Email: theology@agstalliance.org
Tel.: +60-4-8811245
Fax: +60-4-8811995