Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Creating Non-Residential Modular Training

This article is one in a series of creative happenings in theological education. This story is from Asia.

Allan Harkness (pictured on the right) is Dean of the Asia Graduate School of Theology (Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand).

He has written a paper that evaluates the different training options that have been tried in Asia and then Allan sets forth a new training model that is being tested through AGST-MST.

Allan describes the non-residential modular study program that has been running since 2004 at the Asia Graduate School of Theology (Malaysia/Singapore/ Thailand), a consortium of many of the theological/Bible training institutions in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand which are linked to the Asia Theological Association (an evangelical network with about 170 member and associate institutions).

Initially, two post-graduate programs in Christian education are being offered by AGST-MST: a Master of Theology (Education) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Education). Further programs are being developed.

Some key features of AGST-MST's ethos in developing its programs:
* The programs are structured to enable participants to study without massive ministry and family upheavals.
* The program fees are set to be affordable.
* AGST-MST is concerned to train Asian Christian leaders in their own context, which means that they run the programs locally.

It would be good to hear from people in the programme. How are you finding this style of training? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Do leave your responses as a Comment.

Link to the paper: How Shall We Train?

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Allan Harkness is on the right with his friend Alex Tang. Alex, among other things, is a doctor, blogger and author, based in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.