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Issue No. 11 19 - 25 Mar 2012
IMPORTANT NOTICE: REVISION TO BGST COURSE ASSIGNMENTS POLICY

Dear Students,

With effect from 21 Nov 2011, BGST has implemented the following course assignment policies to encourage our students to complete their assignments within the stipulated deadlines.

Essentially, we are (i) granting an ‘amnesty’ of 4.5 months for students to submit all previously uncompleted and overdue assignments, no matter how many years they go back; and (ii) introducing a 1- or 3-month deadline for the submission of all future assignments, with the possibility of one further 3-month extension. In more detail:

First, all students with outstanding assignments from courses taken in the Academic Year (AY) 2010 or earlier (i.e., courses taken before end Jun 2011) will have up to 31 Mar 2012 to submit their assignments. Thereafter, all courses with incomplete assignments will be converted from Credit to Audit status. This conversion, however, will not affect the student’s GPA.

Second, for AY2011 Term 1 and 2 courses (Jul – Dec 2011) that students have just completed, the usual 1 or 3 months deadline for foreign (full-time) and local students respectively will still apply (please refer to your lecturers for the specific course deadlines). If a student is unable to complete his/ her assignment on time, a further 3 months deadline extension will be granted automatically. In this case, there will not be a penalty for the specific overdue assignment(s). At the end of this deadline extension, however, no further extensions will be allowed. The status of the incomplete course will be converted from Credit to Audit. This conversion will not affect the student’s GPA.

Third, for courses commencing from AY2011 Term 3 onwards (i.e., Jan 2012 onwards), the 1- and 3- month deadline for foreign (full time) and local students respectively will still apply. After the first deadline, foreign (full time) students will be granted a further of 1 month while local students will be granted a 3 months deadline extension automatically. The specific overdue assignment, however, will incur a penalty of a 1/3 of a grade deduction. For example, an overdue essay submitted by the end of the 6th month, will be downgraded from B+ to B. At the end of this deadline extension, no further extensions will be allowed. The status of the incomplete course will be converted from Credit to Audit. This conversion will not affect the student’s GPA.

It should be pointed out that BGST’s policies with regard to submission of assignments are considerably more generous than those of other theological schools in Singapore. We are not introducing these new guidelines out of a desire to put pressure on our students, but because we feel that our lenience in past years may have actually done a disservice to many students, by giving the impression that we are not as concerned as we should be that our students should submit assignments and complete their courses. We want all students to enjoy their studies at BGST; we believe that working at assignments can be one of the most satisfying and useful parts of a student’s education; and by introducing these new policies we want to emphasize how important it is to us that students successfully complete their assignments.

Moreover, should there be unavoidable or unexpected circumstances that may prevent you from completing your assignments on time, you can appeal for a course extension and/or a waiver of the penalty by submitting a ‘Course Extension Form’ and/or a ‘Waiver of Overdue Assignment Penalty Form’ respectively. These forms may be submitted to Ms Lucy Ong at assignments@bgst.edu.sg.

For the submission of assignments and other queries regarding the above policy changes, please do not hesitate to contact Ms Lucy Ong at the email given above.

Philip Satterthwaite,
Principal, BGST

Spirituality for Christian Formation (ECF503, 3 cr) EZEKIEL
(OT367, 1.5 cr)
Chong Ser Choon
Date/Time: Tuesday, 7.15-10.15 pm
Dates : Year 2012, Mar 27, Apr 3, 10, 17, 24, May 8, 15, 29, Jun 5, 12
Venue : Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church. Singapore.
Fees : $375 (by credit)
$260 (by audit)

ABOUT THE LECTURER

Ser Choon graduated from Regent College (Vancouver, Canada) where he completed his Master in Theology degree (Spiritual Theology). His ministry experiences included pastoring a church, serving in mission mobilization with OMF (Singapore) and with a Bible College as the Dean of Students, teaching courses on Christian Spirituality. Currently, he is the Director of Trinity Life Centre, a ministry that he started in July 2004. His vision is to serve the Christian community through conducting spiritual retreats, teaching seminars on spiritual formation and holistic Christian living by drawing upon the richness of the spiritual traditions of the Christian Church down through the centuries. He has been a part-time faculty member with BGST since November 2007. He is married to Theng Yoke. They have 2 daughters and a son.

COURSE SYNOPSIS

This is an introductory course to provide a broad understanding to Christian Spirituality. The undergirding conviction and thrust of this course is that to be a Christian is to grow to more Christlike. There are four components:

  1. Survey: Background context and perspectives to understand the growing interest in Christian Spirituality.
  2. Foundation: The Trinitarian foundation for a proper understanding and practice of a spirituality that is Christian.
  3. Framework: the framework of spiritual formation to understand and practice a spirituality that is Christian
  4. Practice: The various spiritual disciplines will be introduced. Some will be practiced during class time.
Prof Daniel I. Block
Day/Time: Friday, 7:15-09:15pm
Dates : Year 2012, Apr 13, 20,
27 May 4
Place : Prinsep St Presbyterian Church, 77 Prinsep St.
Fees : $187.50 (by credits)
$130 (by audit)

ABOUT THE LECTURER

Dr. Block is the Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament at the Graduate School of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He has previously taught at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, at Bethel Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, and at Providence College and Seminary, Otterburne, Manitoba. He has been a guest lecturer in Canada, England, Denmark, China and Greece.

Dr. Block studied at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Illinois, and at the University of Liverpool, where he completed at D.Phil. in Semitics and Classical Hebrew. He has written more than fifty scholarly essays and numerous popular articles on biblical texts and subjects. He has published commentaries on Ezekiel (Eerdmans, 1997, 1998), and on Judges and Ruth (Broadman & Holman, 1999).

Dr. Block lectures and preaches frequently at Bible conferences and spiritual retreats. In his church-based teaching two of his major concerns are to make the Old Testament live today and to recover a biblical theology of worship for the church.

TUTOR

Andrew completed his doctoral research in the Old Testament at the University of Gloucestershire, UK. His dissertation, entitled “The Narrative Function of the Song of Moses in the contexts of Deuteronomy and Genesis-Kings,” examines the theological and hermeneutical role of the Song of Moses within its contexts in their final form. Prior to his doctoral studies, Andrew took his MCS and MDiv at BGST. He was formerly a staff-worker of Singapore Youth For Christ, through which he helped supervise the work of youth evangelism amongst secondary school students.

SYNOPSIS

Ezekiel is often considered the lunatic of the Old Testament. Because of the bewildering opening vision, his strange street-theatrical performances, and his bizarre retelling of Israel’s story, well-intentioned people often give up reading, let alone studying, the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel was the only prophet to minister exclusively outside the land of Israel. Although his language and themes are firmly rooted in the literary traditions of the Sinai revelation and the book of Deuteronomy, many of his oracles betray the influence of the outside world, both in their language and in their motifs. At other times, the language he uses is simple Hebrew but his choice of expressions is shocking, bordering on the pornographic (chaps. 16 and 23). Apparently, for him the only way to penetrate the hardened hearts of his audience and to wake them out of their lethargy was to use outrageous language and to reconstruct Israel’s history as God saw it in startling, if not repugnant terms. Perhaps more than in any other prophetic books, when we read this book we must ask a series of serious questions:

  1. What does the text say? (the text-critical question);

  2. What does the text mean? (the hermeneutical question);

  3. Why does he say it like that? (the literary question);

  4. What relevance does his message have for me? (the practical question). When we have explored the world in which Ezekiel lived and the audience to which he spoke, the answers to all these questions will become clearer.
Preliminary Course List for 2012-2013
For more information on the Preliminary Course List, please visit our website:
http://www.bgst.edu.sg/media/files/courses/2012-2013-sem1.pdf
BGST 2012 Convocation
Our 21st Convocation & Thanksgiving Service is on Sat, May 26, 2012. If you intend to graduate, please kindly submit the Application to Graduate Form before 31 March 2012.
For more details, please refer to our website at http://bgst.edu.sg/students-and-alumni/application-to-graduate.
Courses Commencing in Term 4,
2011-2012

Old Testament
Ezekiel (OT367, 1.5cr);(Group Tutorial)
by Dr Daniel Block/Tutor: Dr Andrew Lee
Apr 13, 20, 27, May 4; (Fri, 7.15-9.15pm)
Venue: Prinsep St Presbyterian Church

SPIRITUAL FORMATION
Spirituality for Christian Formation (ECF503, 3cr)
Mar 27, Apr 3, 10, 17, 24, May 8, 15, 29, Jun 5, 12; (Tue, 7.15-10.15pm);
Venue: Telok Ayer CMC
Lecturer: Mr John Chong Ser Choon

For more information, please visit our website:
http://bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events

Chapel News

Faculty News

There will be time of prayer on 28 March 2012. Chapel begins at 12 pm. You are welcome to join us.

Dr Lai Pak Wah will be speaking at the 5.30pm Saturday Chinese Service of Mount Carmel BP Church on 24 March 2012. The topic is "What is Suffering? (何谓苦难?).”
Book Corner News
"Violence in the Bible" by Dr Philip E. Satterthwaite is one of five articles in Church & Society In Asia Today, Vol. 14, No. 3 Dec 2011. This is now available at BGST Book Corner at $6.50 each till 31 Mar 2012 (usual price is $7.00). Hurry, and get your personal copy today! For more information, call the Book Corner at 6227-6815 ext 240.
Chapel Summary
At Chapel last week, Prof Daniel Block spoke on ‘A Fresh Look at Psalm 23’, where he explored what the Psalm could teach us about Christian Leadership. While popular notions of leadership define it as the leading or motivation of followers, 1 Peter 5:1-5 teaches instead that church leaders, or specifically, ‘elders’, ought to lead like shepherds, shepherds who are ‘according to God.’ The interpretative key to ‘according to God’, suggests Block, is to be found in the shepherd metaphors that Scripture frequently used to portray God’s relationship with his people (Ezekiel 34, John 10, etc). For this reason, it is fruitful for us to explore the Shepherd metaphor presented in Psalm 23, so that by knowing how God leads us there, we too may lead others likewise. As Block sees it, there are several ways in which one may lead ‘according to God’ or indeed, ‘according to Christ’. First of all, a spiritual leader is one who nourishes his people with real food, which is the word of God. Second, good leaders are those who lead Christians to rest, to enable them to attain shalom, whether it is from the stress or griefs of life. Third, a good leader knows where his sheep should go, he leads them on paths of righteousness. Particularly, he emobodies spiritual maturity because it is in this way, by way of example, that he best leads his sheep. Fourth, a good shepherd is also one who would walk with his people, particularly in difficult times, to help them through their ‘valley of the shadow of death’. Fifth, a good leader invites his people to celebrate with him and welcome them in his life (Ps 23:5-6).
Finally, a Good shepherd is he who like God, sends his ‘hounds of goodness and mercy’ after his sheep (Ps 23:6). This devotion has been a blessing for us all at BGST and we invite you to listen to it at http://www.bgst.edu.sg/audio-resources/chapel-messages
May God grant us wisdom as we reflect over the spiritual insights conveyed here.

Dr Lai Pak Wah
37 Jalan Pemimpin, #06-05 Block B, Clarus Centre, S(577177).
Tel: 6227-6815 Fax: 6255-3686 Email: inquiry@bgst.edu.sg
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