Course Information

Below you will find out all the information regarding the content and form of the course, if you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch.

At St Paul's Theological College Malaysia we offer a part time Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Ministry, and Mission. This takes three years to complete. On top of the BA in Theology, Ministry, and Mission students may choose to undertake training towards ordination in the Anglican Church or Church leadership in other denominations. 


Term & Intensive Teaching Week Dates for 2019-20

Term Dates:

Term 1: 26 August - 12 December 2019
Term 2: 2 January - 9 April 2020
Term 3: 30 April - 18 July 2020
(Christmas Break 13 Dec 2019 - 1 Jan 2020) (CNY Break 24 Jan - 12 Feb 2020) (Easter Break 10 Apr - 29 Apr 2020)

*Dates are subject to change
*Dates for 2020-21 Academic Year will be up soon

 

INTENSIVE TEACHING Weeks:

26 August - 30 August 2019
7 - 9 November 2019
2 - 4 January 2020
30 April - 2 May 2020
13 - 18 July 2020

SPTC Retreat: 27 - 29 Feb 2020

The annual SPTC College Spiritual Retreat is a key part of student life at SPTC.

Modules

YEAR 1:

FOUNDATIONS IN THEOLOGY

The word “theology” comes from the Greek words theos meaning “God” and logia meaning “words.” So theology can be understood as essentially meaning “talking about God,” or “words about God.” But how do we know what to say about God? How do we know how to talk about God? This module aims to provide the basic foundations for talking about God by looking at the sources of theological authority: Scripture, Tradition, Reason, Revelation, Experience, and Culture. Each of these foundational sources act like lenses through which we view God, the church, the world, and our place within it, and so paying attention to the role that they play in the construction of our own theologies will help us speak words about God with a much greater sense of depth and meaning.  

Introduction to Church History

Studying the story of the church is so much more than simply looking at a list of dates in history. Learning what God has done through His church throughout the centuries can be a deeply enriching spiritual experience, particularly as we try to locate ourselves within that stream of living history, and see the part that we can play within it. It can also be incredibly helpful for practical ministry in our own day and age, as we look at how our Christian brothers and sisters of the past have at times lovingly agreed, but usually not-so-lovingly disagreed, with each other. Whereas not paying sufficient attention to our Christian past is a dangerous thing indeed, leading to a form of historical myopia and spiritual amnesia in which we are destined to repeat the mistakes of the past over and over again. This course is not designed to be comprehensive, but rather will selectively introduce students to some of the key events, people and ideas of the Christian past, in order to give us a better sense of who we are in the present, and how we might lead and steer the church into her future.    

Introduction to THE old and new testament

The Bible, from Genesis through to Revelation, contains many wonderful, inspiring, life-changing, and yet perplexing and strange words about God and His actions in the world He has made. It is not a simple book, but rather a complex library of writings that together form an essential building block of Christian faith. Whilst at SPTC Malaysia we assume that Scripture is authoritative, trustworthy and life-giving, we believe it is still important to wrestle with it, to discuss and debate issues of hermeneutics and critical approaches to reading the text, and to be aware of critical questions surrounding its historicity and reliability. This module will introduce students not only to the content of major parts of both Old and New Testaments, but also provide important scholarly insights and interpretative methods to Scripture in more general terms.

foundations in Evangelism 

At the very heart of the Christian faith we find the gospel, or the good news of Jesus. It is crucial that Christians, (wherever their context or ministry), are able to both articulate what the gospel is, and to engage with the question of how to contextualise the gospel in a variety of different contexts and situations. This module requires students to experience leading on a current evangelistic course run by a church and write a theological and practical reflection on that experience.

introduction to spirituality

Prayer, devotion, worship, and the cultivation of the “inner life” have always been recognised as foundations of Christian identity and of what it means to be a “disciple.” These disciplines are essential priorities for those called to public ministry and leadership, as indeed they are for all who are called to any form of service within the church. These spiritual disciplines are characteristically defined by the collective term “spirituality.” This module introduces you to some of the key themes, movements, and individual personalities in the history of Christian spirituality. We will examine some of the debate surrounding the popular term “spirituality” itself, and consider its application to contemporary cultural and ecclesial contexts. The module is both theoretical and practical, in that it entails the study of the major spiritual traditions, but will also require you to learn through doing, by engaging in the practical spiritual exercises, models, and techniques associated with those traditions.

Foundations in Worship

Worship forms the very heart beat of the Church. It is a fundamental activity of Christian identity and community. But what worship looks like (and sounds like) in reality will differ greatly depending on the church tradition and denomination to which you belong. This module offers to introduce students to both the theology and practice of worship. Consideration will be given to the person and work of the Holy Spirit in worship, patterns of worship found within scripture, the link between worship and mission, individual and corporate acts of worship, formal and liturgical worship, and spontaneous and extempore approaches worship. Whilst the focus at times will be particularly Anglican, in light of the “generous orthodoxy” of SPTC Malaysia, and with an awareness that students come from many different worshipping backgrounds, part of our learning in this module will be to listen to one another and to reflect theologically on the variety of experiences of worship reflected within the life of the College.

Foundations in exegesis

This module will require students to engage in the act of exegesis. Exegesis is one of the most important tasks in the study of the Scripture, and yet it can seem like a slippery and tricky concept to grasp hold of. Part of the perceived complexity of the term exegesis is found in the way that it is often used synonymously with other words like hermeneutics and interpretation. But generally speaking, all three terms can be used interchangeably to mean such things as to explain, interpret, report, or describe the text, and to discover its meaning through reflection, observation, examination or investigation. It can also be helpful to understand the term exegesis more broadly defined as a normal, everyday activity of listening, reading and seeking to understand what has been said.  This module requires students to draw on their own everyday skills of ordinary exegesis, along with equipping students in the more technical skills of engaging in biblical exegesis, for the purpose of either preaching a sermon or leading a small group bible study.

YEAR 2:

Systematic AND DOCTRINAL Theology

The study of Systematic Theology, sometimes called Doctrinal Studies, is a structured overview of the agreed essentials of the Christian faith. The systematic element implies taking a methodical and organized approach to the doctrinal element, whereas the word “doctrine” here can simply be defined as “teaching.” Thus one could say that this module is a methodological examination of the teachings of the Church. Here we build on the basic foundational sources of theological authority examined in the first year of study, but apply those theological lenses to the ordered and logical attempt to understand something of the Triune God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, something of creation, human nature, and the church, and something of the life and hope of the world to come. Such a “scientific” approach to the Scriptures and to the Creeds, done in the context of both theory and as a way of life, of doxology and devotion, of praise and practice, will save us from the perennial problem of saying too much or too little about God, and remind us of the good news of what it means to be one of His creatures in the world today.

THEMES IN BIBLICAL STUDIES

This module seeks to build upon the first year module “Introduction to the Old and New Testament,” but takes a broader academic overview of the theology, themes, historical-critical analysis, and hermeneutical approaches to Scripture. Students will examine not just a variety of approaches to how the texts could have been read in their original Sitz im Leben, but also pay attention to the afterlife and continuing use of the texts in various social, cultural and historical contexts through looking at the history of interpretation. In other words, this module is designed to offer a fuller, more mature and robust handling of Scripture, and provide students with the critical skills necessary to further develop their own practice of biblical interpretation. It is anticipated that this broad and wide module will be a key preparation for third year biblical studies which take a more narrow and focused approach.

Christian Ethics

An integral feature of Christian life and witness is, in the language of Romans 12, living according to God’s ‘good, perfect and pleasing will’ in joyful response to what God has done for us in Christ (‘in view of God’s mercy’). This requires ‘discernment’. That is, it is not an automatic process, but an intentional one to which Christians individually and the church corporately must give their attention. All of this is then brought to bear on a range of contemporary moral issues including medical, sexual, economic, and environmental ethics. Not that these are the only moral issues which matter – but by studying several in depth, students will be equipped to apply what they have learned to other areas.

Ecclesiology

Ephesians 1 puts the Church firmly at the centre of God’s activity in Christ. The Church is not an afterthought, something secondary to faith in Jesus Christ, but it is the way that God has chosen to spread the good news. That means that reflection on the theology and practice of Church is vital to mission. The Holy Spirit is the one who enables us to say ‘I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church’.

INTER-FAITH STUDIES

We live in an increasingly diverse and pluralistic society. Migration, immigration, diaspora communities, and globalisation, along with social media and virtual networks have created a world in which an abundance of religious truth claims co-exist, at times compete, and even conflict within our neighbourhoods and communities.

MINISTRY DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH PROJECT

This module is designed to enable students to become critically reflective research practitioners in ministry. Students will be expected to spend a period of around 20 hours over the course of the term in a variety of ministry placement contexts different to their own or current ministry placement. In addition to time spent in the field, students will have taught sessions on social science research skills for ministry to enable them to reflect theologically on the relationship between their experience and practice in a variety of contexts. Students on this module will then be required to draw on their experiences whilst on placement as the substance for a reflection on the biblical, doctrinal, and historical aspects of such areas as leadership, service, collaboration, worship and evangelism.

FURTHER exegesis

This module continues from the first year and will require students to engage in the act of exegesis. Exegesis is one of the most important tasks in the study of the Scripture, and yet it can seem like a slippery and tricky concept to grasp hold of. Part of the perceived complexity of the term exegesis is found in the way that it is often used synonymously with other words like hermeneutics and interpretation. But generally speaking, all three terms can be used interchangeably to mean such things as to explain, interpret, report, or describe the text, and to discover its meaning through reflection, observation, examination or investigation. It can also be helpful to understand the term exegesis more broadly defined as a normal, everyday activity of listening, reading and seeking to understand what has been said.  This module requires students to draw on their own everyday skills of ordinary exegesis, along with equipping students in the more technical skills of engaging in biblical exegesis, for the purpose of either preaching a sermon or leading a small group bible study.

YEAR 3:

New Testament IN FOCUS

Having laid the foundations in previous modules, this module sets to engage in depth with particular NT texts, such as the book of Acts. As a research module, on the basis of their teaching sessions, students will be expected to read widely around the essay questions. The essay options lead students to wrestle with key NT debates and exegetical issues of considerable importance.

Old Testament IN FOCUS

This module will provide an in-depth look at the book of Exodus. Part of the course will be devoted to studying the text alongside various commentaries (both Jewish and Christian) to gain a historical perspective on how interpreters have understood the message of Exodus. We will also examine the text in the light of Biblical theology and contemplate how themes from Exodus are used throughout both the Old and New Testaments. This will enable to student to comprehend the forms and typology of the Old Testament and how they are filled out in the New through the life of Christ and the Church. This will also help the student to engage in thoughtful biblical exegesis that will aid their preaching and teaching in their contemporary contexts.

Political Theology

A Christian vision for society runs as deep as it is possible to go in Christian history. Before they were thought of as a ‘religious’ concern, the earliest church was seen by others and by themselves as a new movement with overt social, ethnic and political implications. After all, if Jesus is Lord, then Caesar is not. This module will consider the early Christian political imagination and its contribution to key socio-political ideas in operation today. We will explore the Christian posture towards such things as powers and principalities, government, human rights, liberty, justice, nationalism, patriotism, war and peace. The module comprises lectures on political theology, interspersed with workshops led by guest lecturers and reading seminars devoted to key texts from the earliest church.

CHURCH History in Focus

Church History is a vital discipline for the study of theology. A deep understanding of the Christian past enables proper and informed engagement with the present, builds a stronger sense of Christian identity and enriches Christian mission by showing how the church has engaged with culture in past times. This module builds on earlier studies in Church History by enabling students to study in greater depth two periods of Church History – the Patristic Period and the Reformation.

MISSION AND APOLOGETICS

This module does two things: it helps students develop their understanding of mission and the nature of the missionary task in contemporary culture. It also aims to equip them with apologetical theory and skills to make a reasoned and well-argued defence of their faith and the central truth claims of the Christian faith to non-believers.

Church Planting and creation of new christian communities

This module is designed to help students explore biblical, theological and sociological perspectives on the formation and development of new Christian communities. Students will be introduced to a variety of historical and contemporary perspectives on the practice of Church Planting, and become equipped with a variety of biblical, theological, sociological, practical, strategic, and missiological principles and resources to enable them to engage in the formation of new Christian communities and Church Plants themselves.

ADVANCED exegesis

This module continues from the first and second years and will require students to engage in the act of exegesis. Exegesis is one of the most important tasks in the study of the Scripture, and yet it can seem like a slippery and tricky concept to grasp hold of. Part of the perceived complexity of the term exegesis is found in the way that it is often used synonymously with other words like hermeneutics and interpretation. But generally speaking, all three terms can be used interchangeably to mean such things as to explain, interpret, report, or describe the text, and to discover its meaning through reflection, observation, examination or investigation. It can also be helpful to understand the term exegesis more broadly defined as a normal, everyday activity of listening, reading and seeking to understand what has been said.  This module requires students to draw on their own everyday skills of ordinary exegesis, along with equipping students in the more technical skills of engaging in biblical exegesis, for the purpose of either preaching a sermon or leading a small group bible study.


Formation Training:

For those undertaking training towards ordination in the Anglican Church or Church leadership in other denominations, formation session take place on Thursday afternoons. These classes include critical reflection, as individuals and groups, on the student's ministry placement and theological study combined with lectures by practitioners focusing on formation development preparing the student for Church leadership and focusing on 5 key areas of formation:

Character

Trust, Strength, Courage, Honesty, Integrity, Commitment, Resilience, Moral Courage, Character Awareness, Humility, Being at Peace with One's Self, Biblical Exegesis and Character Study

Chemistry

Relational and Emotional Intelligence, Myers Briggs, Understanding Others, Empathy, Soft Skills, Increasing Your Leadership Impact

Calling

Hearing God’s Voice, Humility, Identity, Presence, Purpose

Charismata

Spiritual Intelligence, Walking in the Power of God, Personal Discipline, Gifts of the Spirit, Biblical Overview, Ministry, Prophecy

Competence

Decision Making, Constructive Feedback, Delegation, Management of Others, Managing Expectations, Ability to Influence, Ability to Present Confidently, Conflict Resolution, Forming Vision, Turning Vision into Action, Communication

Examples Formation Sessions:

Christian Leadership • The Empowering Spirit • Character - The Essential Ingredients • Personal Vision & Calling • Leading Church: Fresh Expression / Mixed Economy • Leading Church in an Urban Context • Being an Evangelist • Formation Groups • Evangelism - Theology of Alpha and How it Works in a Church Setting • The Personal Life of an Evangelist • Understanding Present Day Culture • Leading Church: Parish Church and Church Plant • Men & Women in Leadership (Biblical Perspectives) • Leading Church: Missional Communities • Ordination & Leadership • Leadership, Church and Teams • Developing Teams 1 • Developing Teams 2 • Communicating Vision • Building Christian Community • Mission & Maturity: Group Structures in Church Life • Guarding Your Heart in Leadership • Evangelism • Discerning Vision • Ministry in the Spirit • Designing Effective Structures & Strategies • Leading Church: Parish Planting • Church, Mission and Growth • Dioceses, Mission & Strategy • Engaging Church Structures • Understanding and Developing Organisations • Leading Church: Growing Church • Growth & Change Management • Equipping the Saints for the Workplace • Equipping the Saints for the Home • Equipping the Saints for Family • Conflict Resolution / Management • Discerning Movements of the Spirit • Finances & Fundraising • Integral Mission • Flourishing in Church Leadership