BGST is committed to training students via live classes or by distance learning (that is, by online/digital modes of learning). This document addresses some questions you may have about studying with BGST as an International Student (IS).
1. Who is an IS?
i) Those residing in Singapore may attend any of BGST’s courses (live or online) at the same fees as Singaporean residents, as long as they fulfil the requirements outlined below in points 4-6.
ii) Those not residing in Singapore are strongly encouraged to register for our online programmes.
2. How is BGST’s online education conducted?
(i) Self-Study Online Courses – you sign up whenever you prefer, and study at your own pace, at your convenience.
(ii) Zoom or BlendFlex courses - attending scheduled ‘live’ classes via the Zoom platform or you may choose to attend physically or via Zoom if lecturers make provision for both formats (BlendFlex).
To gain access to these courses, you will need a computer equipped with speakers, and a reliable wi-fi connection. For Zoom or BlendFlex classes you would also need a web-camera, and a microphone for full participation in the classes. You also need to download the Zoom App.
3. What BGST programmes are open to Non-Resident IS (NRIS)?
An NRIS may be admitted to the following programmes:
- Certificate in Theological Studies (CTS, 12 credits)
- Certificate in Biblical Studies (CBS, 12 credits)
- Certificate in Learning and Teaching (CLT, 12 credits)
- Certificate in Spiritual Formation (CSF, 12 credits)
- Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies (GDCS, 30 credits)
An NRIS must be admitted to one of these programmes before they can take any BGST courses for credit. An NRIS may, however, take BGST courses by audit before being enrolled in one of these programmes.
4. What is involved in the admissions process?
To be admitted to one of our programmes you will need to supply:
- Application forms are available on the BGST website (Go to ‘Admissions’, then ‘Programmes’, and choose the programme you are interested in.)
- All the above can be submitted to us in soft copy.
- The admissions process will take about a month.
5. Why does BGST insist on a TOEFL or IELTS transcript?
All classes in BGST are conducted in English. Students are expected to have a high proficiency in English to reap the maximum benefit from the courses. A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score provides an internationally recognised standard of competence in English. The test score must be gained within the last two years.
BGST requires IS to have attained at least the following scores:
- Either: TOEFL: 550 (paper-based test), 213 (computer-based test) or 78 (internet-based test)
- Or: IELTS: 6.0
6. Are there cases where BGST may consider waiving the TOEFL/IELTS requirement?
Yes, if you have studied in English for at least 10 years as part of your foundational educational and university training, and have gained consistently good grades in English.
If you wish to apply for a waiver of the TOEFL/IELTS requirement, you must make a formal application together with the transcripts and any other documents relating to your English studies. We may ask you for further proof of your ability in English: for example, taking an online ‘live’ interview by Zoom or write a brief essay on a topic chosen by us. All waivers of the TOEFL/IELTS requirement are at BGST’s discretion.
7. What is the cost of BGST’s online courses for NRIS?
BGST’s course fees do not cover the whole cost of the theological training we offer and are subsidized by donors. However, some students may still find it difficult to pay these fees (currently S$150 per credit). If this is the case, please write in to the Registrar to discuss how we can assist.
In essence, you will pay fees which are at least the same as what you would pay at a theological school in your own country.
8. Can NRIS come to Singapore to study at BGST?
It is possible for international students to come to Singapore to study at BGST, but we do not encourage this, for the following reasons:
- course fees (currently S$ 4,500 per annum for a full-time student)
- accommodation, living expenses, transport, immigration fees and insurance premiums (S$16,500 per annum). If you bring family members with you, the costs will be even higher. BGST does not offer scholarships to cover these expenses.
BGST’s vision is to equip ‘all Christians [to] grow in Christ-likeness and live out their calling to fulfil God’s creative and redemptive purposes in the Church and the marketplace.’ In view of this, we encourage you to take BGST courses while staying in your country of ministry, so that you can learn while remaining part of your local church and society.