MTD program

Program Partners

The Asia-based MTD program is offered by AGST Alliance and Malaysian Care in collaboration with Eastern College Australia.

  • AGST Alliance is a SE Asian regional theological education venture offering specialised post-graduate programs for church leaders and theological/Bible college faculty, to equip them for more effective Christian ministry and mission.
  • Malaysian Care is a leading and highly respected Christian organisation committed to serving those who suffer physically, emotionally, intellectually and who encounter social and spiritual problems. Its diverse areas of service include providing relief, development assistance, vocational training and advocacy to needy people irrespective of race or religion.
  • Eastern College Australia is a multi-denominational Christian independent higher education provider and registered training organisation in Melbourne (Australia).

1. Introduction

  • A rigorous program, addressing key questions on transformational development, interacting with significant people in the field;
  • For practitioners in advocacy, aid and development, and social welfare organisations;
  • A 3 year, part-time, non-residential program which blends on-line and week-long face-to-face campus learning.
  • Integrating theology and practice – earthed in participants’ ongoing work/ministry settings.
  • An opportunity to learn with practitioners of transformational development from around Asia in a supportive and collegial community;
  • Offered by AGST Alliance and Malaysian Care in partnership with Eastern College Australia.
  • Graduates will be awarded a Eastern College Australia Master of Transformational Development degree, an Australian government accredited degree.

2. Who for?

The MTD program provides a graduate-level qualification:

– for Asian and non-Asians based in Asia,
– and who are working in the fields of advocacy, aid and development and social welfare.

Participants may be working in either specifically Christian or ‘secular’ organisations and international or local NGOs.

Vocational outcomes

Graduates from this program will be better equipped to perform a role in their work/ministry, having:

  • a well-developed understanding and theology of integral mission;
  • a sound grasp of the complexities of pursuing an effective development program in the midst of oppressive socio-economic-political circumstances;
  • a well-developed understanding of the role and strategies of organisations/NGOs working in the fields of development, social welfare and advocacy.

3. Entry requirements

  • Normally, applicants will hold a tertiary degree from a recognised university and have at least 12 months relevant professional experience in fields relevant to this program.
  • Applicants not possessing an undergraduate degree may seek provisional admission, if they have had a minimum of 7 years relevant experience in fields relevant to this program.
  • English proficiency is required – generally, a minimum of IELTS 6.5, TOEFL 570 (Computer-based score 230; Internet-based score 90).

Students 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

The Asia-based MTD program comprises 6 units, each unit spans 18 weeks (2 units per year). Each unit has 3 phases:

  • 10 weeks guided reading/research (with internet-based interaction);
  • a 5-day intensive residential facilitated workshop session;

7 weeks for further personal reflection and completing a group research project in response to an agency need.

Program content

This Asia-based MTD program provides a unique opportunity for robust theological reflection in which traditional, current and innovative responses to the needs of vulnerable communities are examined and evaluated

The program content seeks to integrate theology with practice, with emphasis placed on the development of a personal theology and spirituality sufficient to sustain and motivate Christians working in the demanding arenas of justice and development.

5. Module topics

Six units are offered on a 3-year cycle:

Entry to the programme can be at any point in the cycle.

In addition, students are required to participate in a journaling activity that will run throughout the entirety of the programme. The focus of this activity is spiritual resilience and longevity. While of considerable importance, the very nature of this activity determines that it will be a non-assessed component in the programme. Students will complete 5 coursework units and the last unit students will complete is a Research Paper in Transformational Development. Guidance for a research topic is provided in the sixth unit the student undertakes.

6. Module Dates

See the Eastern College Australia website for details.

7. Academic expectations

8. Assessment Criteria

See the Eastern College Australia website for details.

9. Fees & costs

We want to ensure the MTD program is affordable to those in our region who would benefit from participating in it. Thus we have a variable program fee framework.

Note: Program fees per unit are set at the end of each calendar year. 2016 fees are expected to be approximately those shown below (MYR/USD exchange rates as at late August 2015)

  • Full-fee paying students: Students sponsored by their organisations/NGOs, especially international organisations; Australian citizens who qualify for government fee-help; and others whose main source of income is derived from higher economic countries.

    Program fees per unit: Approx. AUD3,900 (approx. MYR11,800/USD2,850).

    [Total program fees cost for full-fee paying students (6 units): Approx. AUD23,400 (approx. MYR71,000/USD17,100)]
  • Scholarship-eligible students: Scholarships funds will be available for self-funding students whose main source of income is derived from lower economic Asian countries, and those sponsored by organisations who main source of funding is derived from lower economic countries.

    The program fee contribution for such students: Approx. AUD1,300 per unit (approx. MYR4,000/USD950).

    [Total program fees cost for scholarship-eligible students (6 units): Approx. AUD7,800 (approx. MYR24,000/USD5,700)]
  • Further subsidies may also be available to students, decided on a case-by-case basis.
  • Australian citizens may qualify for government fee-help.
  • Fees/contributions may be paid on a semester-by-semester basis.


  • Students’ costs of travel and accommodation for the 5-day on-campus sessions are in addition to the program fees.
  • We strongly encourage participants to seek the support of their organisation/agency, their church and/or foundations/trusts for the finances needed for the program.
  • Keep in mind that while the program costs are relatively high, this is due largely to program accreditation factors which will greatly enhance the acceptability of the MTD award across the aid and development/social welfare/advocacy sectors.
  • All program fees are paid to Eastern College Australia. See the Eastern College Australia website for details.

For payment methods in Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand, please refer here.

10. Frequently Asked Questions

11. Application Procedures

Application for the Asia-based MTD is completed on-line.

Click here to start your application:

If you have difficulties with your on-line application process, email Mr Steve Bradbury, Program Director, Eastern College Australia.

12. Contact

For more details about general aspects of the program, refer:

For specific enquiries about the Asia-based Master of Transformational Development program contact: