Frequently Asked Questions: Master of Theology (Education)/ Postgraduate Diploma in Education

  • ‘Do I have the time?’
  • ‘Who will encourage me through the program?’
  • ‘Is there a program trial period?’
  • ‘Will I go through the program with a peer group?’
  • ‘What happens if I miss on-campus sessions?’
  • ‘Where are the module on-campus sessions held?’
  • ‘Where will I get resources for my program?’
  • ‘Can I use a language other than English?’
  • ‘Do I need my own computer?’
  • ‘Do I need broadband internet access?’
  • ‘How much will my program cost?’
  • ‘Are scholarships available?’
  • ‘Do I need a student visa?’
  • ‘What is the time limit to complete my program?’
  • ‘Can I transfer into the EdD or PhD(Ed) program?’

Do I have time?’

Our MTh(Ed)/Postgrad Dip Ed is not full time, nor a campus-based program. Continue to live at home, and serve in your ministry or work. There’s no need to relocate your family or leave them for long periods.

  • If you plan to attend the modules consecutively, this is equivalent to at least 50% of a typical full-time seminary program load.
  • You need to attend the 5-7 day on-campus sessions, usually held at an AGST Alliance seminary in Malaysia, Singapore, or Thailand.
  • You also need to allocate good quality time for significant pre- and post-campus study.

Good time management is essential. You will need to restructure your work/ministry load and responsibilities for the duration of the program.

  • Some participants have study leave provisions in their church/organisation.
  • Others arrange to cut down their work/ministry load.
  • Others take unpaid leave.

‘Who will encourage me through the program?’

Non-residential, modular programs are a challenge to complete.

We in AGST Alliance will encourage you as much as we can but you also need to be disciplined.

We have two specific encouragement strategies for you:

1. Student support Memorandum of Understanding

You and the major stakeholders in your program – your family, ministry organisation/seminary and/or local church leaders – recognise the potential pressures, and may make a commitment to help you have adequate time and energy for your program.

Click here to download the Student Support Memorandum of Understanding guidelines and form.

2. Pastoral mentor

We work with you to have a pastoral mentor for the duration of your program. The mentor will journey with you, motivate and encourage, be a sounding board, and pray with you.

Is there a program probation period?’

Yes.  MTh(Ed) students enter the program on a two-module probationary basis. To continue, you need to complete the first two modules satisfactorily.

There will be another review after you complete the modules, to confirm that you may proceed with the thesis phase. If your module grades are not sufficiently high, you may be invited to complete the MTh(Ed) by means of four extra credits of modules and the 4-credit educational project, or complete your program with a Postgrad Dip Ed.

‘Will I go through the program with a peer group?’

The MTh(Ed)/Postgrad Dip Ed is a ‘semi-cohort program.’ You may start the program at any module, but we advise you to go through the modules consecutively. Then you will be with a core group of participants.

As you share your experiences and challenges with others, they are likely to become friends and colleagues to network with after the program.

‘What happens if I miss on-campus sessions?’

If you miss some of the on-campus sessions of a module for genuine reasons, you may be given some directed studies to take the place of the missed elements of the module. But if you miss all the on-campus sessions, you are unlikely to be allowed to complete the module.

Where are the module on-campus sessions held?’

Mostly on campuses of AGST Alliance member seminaries in Malaysia/Singapore/ Thailand.

The decision about which campus is used is determined by:

  • The geographical spread of the module participants. More participants from one country may mean more modules taught on campuses in that country.
  • The preference of the person facilitating the module (= the lecturer).
  • The need to share module hosting.

Budget airlines ease the financial load!

Where will I get resources for my program?’

AGST Alliance students have access to the libraries of a number of seminaries – those in our consortium and others. Students also draw on the resources of universities and public libraries.

You should register with at least one seminary library. A list is available.

A growing number of program and research resources are accessible on-line. We will help you find these. And we encourage you to share your discoveries with fellow-students, too.

‘Can I use a language other than English?’

Currently, AGST Alliance programs are conducted in English medium. However, there is scope for some work in our programs to be completed in other languages, subject to special conditions, and on a case-by-case basis.

For example, a dissertation may be written in a language other than English if a suitable supervisor is located. An English translation of the work will be required; and an oral examination is likely to be necessary.

The director of your program will be able to give you further details.

‘Do I need my own computer?’

A reliable computer is an indispensible resource for your AGST Alliance program. If your current computer is not very reliable, or you need to share it with too many other people, or it is placed in a noisy environment, then it may be well worth budgeting to acquire another one at the start of the your study program.

We advise you to revise/enhance your computing/word-processing skills, too; as well as make sure you apply common-sense computer security practices (like backing up your data regularly, and installing reputable anti-virus software and keeping the virus definitions up to date).

Do I need broadband internet access?’

We strongly recommend it.

  • Email attachments are the preferred means of submitting assignments.
  • We are encouraging more on-line student/faculty interaction.
  • Research and access to databases is increasingly common via the internet.

How much will my program cost?’

Click here to see the program fees and other costs of the MTh(Ed)/Postgrad Dip Ed program.

We try to keep the program fees affordable for students, taking into account their home country standard of living.

You will need to factor other significant cost into your program. See the details in the fees schedule here.

Are scholarships available?’

No scholarship money is directly available from AGST Alliance.

However, we support student applications to trusts/foundations for financial assistance.

Do I need a student visa?’

Because AGST Alliance is a regional, non-residential educational institution without its own campus, our students do not qualify for student visas.

Usually, when you travel to another country from your own to attend module on-campus sessions, a social visit pass is adequate. (You are officially attending a short training program.) Likewise, if you plan to spend time at a library or with your supervisor, a social visit pass is usually sufficient.

It is your responsibility to check carefully about immigration regulations well in advance of the on-campus sessions of modules being conducted in a country other than your own, if you are travelling to visit your supervisor, or you are planning time at an overseas library/study centre.

AGST Alliance is able to provide official letters if required for immigration purposes.

What is the time limit to complete my program?’

The MTh(Ed) needs to be completed within 5 years. This gives you time to have a little bit of choice in non-core modules you take and still complete your thesis/educational project in good time.

The Postgrad Dip Ed needs to be completed within 3 years from the first module completed.

If MTh(Ed) participants complete the modules but don’t finish the thesis/project and practicum within the required time, they will be awarded a Postgrad Dip Ed.

‘Can I transfer into the EdD or PhD(Ed) program?’

Yes, this is possible.

If you complete the MTh(Ed) modules, you may request to transfer into the EdD. The request may come anytime before you complete the coursework. To move from the MTh(Ed) to EdD will be subject to an assessment of your progress and approval of your proposed research area.

If you complete the MTh(Ed) modules with sufficiently high grades, you may request to proceed into the PhD(Ed) program without completing the MTh thesis/project.

If you later withdraw from the EdD/PhD(Ed), you will need to request permission to complete the requirements for an MTh(Ed) – otherwise you will be awarded a Postgrad Dip Ed.

Moving from the MTh(Ed) to either the EdD or PhD(Ed) will involve additional program fees.