MTh(Theol)/ PostGrad Dip(Theol) program

1. Introduction

AGST Alliance’s Master of Theology (Theology) program is designed to produce graduates who can present Christian truth in churches, theological seminaries and Christian organisations in ways that are dynamically appropriate for Asian contexts. As they are trained to think theologically and contextually, so they will be able to more effectively serve God’s church in Asia.

The programs are non-residential, modular and part-time

  • No need for major ministry and family upheavals for several years.
  • Studies are earthed in students’ current social and church settings.
  • Some flexibility is possible.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Theology is for those who wish to complete the coursework for the MTh(Theol) program but not the thesis/major papers.

See a comparison of our theology programs (PostGrad Dip-Theol, MTh-Theol, and PhD-Theol)

2. Who for?

Our MTh(Theol)/Postgrad Dip Theol programs are likely to suit Christian leaders who are

  • … preaching/teaching in an Asian church, or among Asians.
  • … training/leading an organisation which is bringing Christian perspectives to contemporary Asian society.
  • … teaching in an Asian theological/Bible college, especially theology courses,  and needing a qualification to teach up to the MDiv level.
  • … thinking/writing on theological topics/themes, and need to be better informed.
  • … looking for a sabbatical focus and/or ministry enrichment.

3. Entry requirements

Applicants for the MTh(Theol)/Postgrad Dip Theol need to have:

  • 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).
  • Proficiency to MDiv level in at least one biblical language. [This requisite may be obtained within the first year of the MTh(Theol) program.]
  • Some practical experience in Christian leadership, especially in preaching/teaching.

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

A. Coursework

You complete modules for 21 credits. Each module has a value of 3 credits. Modules span about 4 months:

  • 6-7 weeks pre-campus preparation: reading and assignments.
  • 5-6 day intensive on-campus session.
  • 6-8 week post-campus reading and assignments.

Note: A maximum of 9 credits of coursework from other accredited institutions may replace AGST Alliance modules. Cross-credited courses need to be at the appropriate academic level and fit the focus of our AGST Alliance MTh(Theol).

B. Thesis/Major papers

The thesis is designed to show that you are able to competently focus and integrate aspects of the program with your interests and planned vocation within the Asian context. It will demonstrate your ability to process course content and move beyond it.

Your thesis will require at least 6-8 months work after you complete the modules. But you will not be alone, a supervisor will walk with you through the process. An alternative to the thesis is to research and write two major papers. The decision on whether you complete a thesis or two major papers will be made in consultation with the Theology Programs Director. The expectations of the quality of your work will be similar to those for the thesis (see the paragraph above). The topic/focus of at least one of the two papers should arise from your own unique context.

5. Module topics

1. Theology & Spirituality
… helps students to recognise the features of an authentic evangelical spirituality, to appreciate the historic sweep and distinct categories of the Christian devotional heritage, and to develop with discernment theologically-informed methods for exploring the resources of the classic and contemporary contributions to Christian spirituality.

2. Theology & Church
… leads students to revisit their doctrine of the Church, describes the received ecclesiology, analyses the factors that led to its formulation, and identifies aspects that require re-formulation in the light of current knowledge and societal development. This process will also help students better understand the process of doctrinal formulations.

3. Theology & Contextualization
… enables students to appreciate different historical and contemporary approaches to communicating the Gospel in settings dominated by other faiths, to evaluate, affirm and challenge a given culture in the light of Scripture, and to communicate biblical truth in language and images that are cultural relevant and intelligible.

4. Theology & Worldviews
… helps students examine the elements of a Christian worldview, and provides conceptual tools for cultural analysis. Students are challenged to examine their worldview critically in comparison with other major worldviews, and apply their worldview to personal, cultural and social issues they face.

5. Theology & Anthropology
… enables students to examine the subject of humanity from a classical theological perspective with contemporary and contextual applications for Asia. The scope of this module involves issues related to the origin, nature, and destiny of humanity, along with various theological and ethical issues related to the Christian affirmation of humanity as created in the image of God.

6. Theology & Hermeneutics
… assists students to address two topics: First, in contextual biblical hermeneutics students will appreciate cultural elements within their interpretive contexts, and use them to help read and interpret Scripture. Second, in theological interpretation of Scripture students will go beyond the grammatical-historical method to read biblical texts in light of the canonical and redemptive historical contexts.

7. Contemporary Asian Theologies
… introduces to students the need for biblical and contextual theology in the Asian context and critically reviews attempts so far for doing this. Students are given tools and understanding to begin the process of developing a biblical contextual theology for their own context.

8. Theology & Society
… leads students to explore the relationship between Christian theology and social development, with particular reference to globalisation, theories of development, and children. Students will acquire fresh insights into theology in the light and context of social development, and obtain skills to critique models of social development theologically.

9. Theology & Religions
… provides students with the epistemological background for theology and religion, describes the representative positions in Christian theology of religion, explores Christian discourse with other religions, and discusses current priorities in theology and mission as a result of these various positions.

6. Module Dates

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

2019

2-6 Dec. Location: Bible College of Malaysia (BCM) Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
MTH 5-3 | Divine Providence: A Biblical-Theological- Historical-Pastoral Perspective. Dr Ong Meng Chai

2020 Program Schedule (for MTh (Theol). Across 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 (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.

12. Contact

For further questions about this program:
Dr Sunny Tan
Theology Programs Director
Email: theologydirector@agstalliance.org
Tel.: +60-4-8811245
Fax: +60-4-8811995