Sunday, November 18, 2007

AGST Dean Needs to See a Doctor


Dr Allan Harkness, Dean of Asia Graduate School of Theology (AGST) met with me in my clinic on Friday so that we can go to lunch together (why do you think he needs to see a doctor, eh?).

Many seminaries in Asia are small and most offers certificate, diploma, Bachelors (BD) and lower Masters (M.Div; MCS) courses. Many are however unable to offer the higher academic degrees such as M.Th and PhD. This has changed recently when some seminaries have began to offer M.Th and D.Min. (not PhD). For students to do their MTh and PhD, Asian students are forced to go overseas. While I know there are some seminaries who advise their students to go overseas for their M.Th and PhD for exposure, there are certain disadvantages.

These students are forced to move overseas for 3-5 years with their family and growing children. However, many after completing their PhDs do not want to come back to Malaysia and Singapore. There are many reasons for this. Of those who do come back, many after a period of teaching in a local seminary or in ministry will decide to go back to the West.

This is one of the many other reasons the Asia Theological Association has decided to set up AGST for various countries so that those who aspire for higher degrees can do it without leaving home and thus remain in community with their society and continue to serve in Asia after they finish. Asia, as we all know, is in great need of theologians who are thinking critically in the Asian context. For example there is AGST (India), AGST (Philippines) and AGST (Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand).

AGST (Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand) offers M.Th and PhD in Education ( already the second cohort) and Theology (intake next year). The course work is done in modules so that the students can do it part time if they want to. More information here on courses on education and theology. I am told that an infamous Malaysian theologian (whom we all know) who is not attached to any seminary will be teaching a module.

This is an additional option for those who want to continue onto M.Th and PhD. without having to resign from their present jobs.


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7 Comments:

Anonymous alwyn said...

had a nice chat w Allan last Monday...small world...he told me about his pediatrician student, Alex (grin)...and he's a wonderful conversation partner, isn't he?

9:18 PM  
Blogger Kar Yong said...

Infamous theologian that we all know? Are you referring to HIM, and you actually mean it's HIM?

Oh boy...Lord have mercy on all the students who will be taking the class...Haha...

10:31 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi alwyn,

he is my sifu...

1:36 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

yes, kar yong, it is HIM

1:36 AM  
Anonymous alwyn said...

Allan told me he attended the Carson seminar as well...i gather he's quite interested to hear your thoughts on it too :)

9:36 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

So in a few years, you will be Dr. Dr. Tang? :-)


Good grief, all this talk of HIM sounds almost like a scene from Harry Potter ... HIM who must not be named? ROTFL

4:44 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi paul,

it is just simple Alex, now and always :)

This is the Christian version of Hogsworth...

4:59 PM  

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