Issue No. 30 30 July – 5 Aug 2012
Revisions to the MCS and the MDiv at BGST

In May I wrote in BTW regarding changes to the structure of the Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies (Grad DipCS). At the time I noted that, in the wake of these changes, there would also be changes to the two masters-level programmes offered by BGST, the Master in Christian Studies (MCS) and the Master of Divinity (MDiv). We are now ready to launch the revised syllabuses for the MCS and the MDiv.

For details, please visit BGST’s web page (http://bgst.edu.sg) and check under ‘Academic Programmes’ (left-hand column). In brief:

  • The revised MCS builds upon the Grad DipCS by including more advanced-level courses in the main theological disciplines, and gives students the possibility of concentrating on one of four areas of study (Biblical Studies, Spiritual Theology, Intercultural Studies, Marketplace Studies).

  • The revised MDiv incorporates all the required courses of the MCS, and builds upon them so as to offer future pastors and lay leaders a broad-based training which will equip them for ministry in the church or the marketplace. Distinctive features of the MDiv are: a biblical language requirement (Biblical Hebrew or New Testament Greek); the opportunity to study in the company of both ministry workers and laity; an integrative reflection paper which allows students to bring their theological training to bear a contemporary issue chosen by them.

The new syllabuses for the MCS and MDiv will come into effect on August 1st. The new syllabuses for all three of our programmes (Grad DipCs, MCS and MDiv) will apply to all new admissions to BGST.

Please be assured that we intend to introduce these syllabus changes with appropriate flexibility and with sensitivity to the particular situations of all our students. Students who enrolled for one of our programmes before the new syllabuses came into effect will be permitted to continue under the old syllabuses. Non-Program students who have already accumulated a substantial number of credits will also be permitted to enrol for the old-syllabus MCS or MDiv if they wish. Having said this, we encourage all our students who are thinking of pursuing the MCS or the MDiv to consider following the revised syllabuses, which we believe have much to offer. We hope that, having examined the syllabuses in more detail, you will agree with us.

Philip Satterthwaite

Upcoming Course - The First Urban Churches: Paul’s Vision of Community, Mission & Leadership
(NT365, 1.5 credits)
Dr Robert Banks
Dates /Day/Time :

Sat, Sep 15, Sat (9am-4pm)
Mon - Tues, Sep 17 & 18 (7.15-10.15 pm)
Thurs, Sep 20 (7.15-10.15 pm)

Venue : BGST, Clarus Centre,
37 Jalan Pemimpin, #06-05, Block B, Singapore 577177
Fees : $225 (Credit); $157.50 (Audit)

Robert Banks, B.A., University of Sydney; Th.L. (Hons), Australian College of Theology; B.D. (Hons), M.Th., University of London; Ph.D., University of Cambridge

Robert was previously Research Fellow, History of Ideas, Australian National University, Canberra; Professor of the Ministry of the Laity and Director of the De Pree Leadership Centre, Fuller Theological Seminary, Los Angeles; Director & Dean, Macquarie Christian Studies Institute; Macquarie University, Sydney and is currently an Associate of the Centre for the History of Christian Thought and Experience there.

His award-winning writings cover a wide field, with a special interest in the relationship between the bible and community, faith and work, apologetics and lifestyle, theology and film, spirituality and everyday life. Over the years he has worked closely with people in business, the professions, education and film industry. In recent years he has spoken to groups coming from workplace, para-church and pastorals settings in Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and Malaysia.

This course investigates the way the earliest Christian communities were founded, nurtured and governed in cities in the first century. It will focus on key images, gifts and qualities, the significant role of meals and conversation, and their innovative approach to gender and ethnic issues. We will also examine the consensual approach to decision-making and the way all members undertook pastoral, educational, and evangelistic responsibilities. During the course we will relate our findings to the situation of churches in urban centres like Singapore today.

The course aims to provide students with an understanding of

  1. how the early churches functioned and multiplied in their urban setting;
  2. the basic principles and structures upon which community is built and mutual ministry encouraged in the church;
  3. a collegial, servant, and relational model of leadership relevant to mission organizations and local churches.

Click here for details / Click here to register

Faculty News
Dr Philip will be preaching at the 8.00, 8.45 and 11.00 a.m. services at Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church on 5 August 2012, on Numbers 1-4.
Chapel News
There will be time of prayer on 8 Aug 2012. Chapel begins at 12 pm. You are welcome to join us.
The BGST community sends its condolences to Mr Ng Zhi-Wen (DipCS Student), on the home-going of his grandmother Mdm Yeo Seok How (age 93) on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. May the Lord's comfort be upon Zhi-Wen and his family at this time.
Upcoming Course— Disarming your Critics: ‘Doing Good’ in 1 Peter
(NT314, 1.5 cr)
Dr Eileen Poh
Day/Time :

Thursday, 2012; 7.15–10.00 pm

Dates Sep 27, Oct 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov 1
Venue : Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church
Fees : $225 (Credit); $157.50 (Audit)


Eileen was a lawyer for a number of years before taking up theological studies at Discipleship Training Centre (DTC). She then went on to do her M.Div at Trinity Theological College. She taught at DTC for about fifteen months before doing her doctoral studies at King’s College, London. Her thesis title is The Social World of 1 Peter: Socio-Historical and Exegetical Studies, in which she examined the social relationships of Christians and non-Christians in Asia Minor in the first century AD, focusing in particular on the theme of “doing good”. Eileen returned to teach in DTC in 1999. She has taught and preached on 1 Peter on numerous occasions. Eileen is married to Dr Philip Satterthwaite, Principal of BGST.


This is a study of 1 Peter, with particular emphasis on the dilemma which first-century Christians in Asia Minor faced in their different relationships with non-Christians (2:11-4:6; 4:12-19). In these relationships, Christians were in a subordinate position: Christian citizens to non-Christian governing authorities (2:113-17), Christian slaves to their non-Christian masters (2:18-25), and Christian wives to their non-Christian husbands (3:1-6). These Christians faced criticism and hostility from non-Christians. It is in this context that Peter encourages his readers to “do good” to disarm their critics and win them over to Christ. “Doing good” is an important theme in the letter, but Peter is silent on the meaning of “doing good”. We will examine how Peter’s readers would have understood “doing good”, and how “doing good” could silence their critics and even win them over to Christ. At a time when Christians in Singapore face criticism and even hostility, can “doing good” be a way to disarm our critics? If so, how would this work out in our social relationships?

Click here for details / Click here to register

Special offer from BGST Book Corner
ministry by the book clouds of witnesses key questions about christian faith key quesitons about biblical interpretation new shape of world christianity

For more information for the books. Please visit our BGST website at : http://www.bgst.edu.sg/book-corner

Course Schedule for 2012-2013 Semester 1
For more information on the Course Schedule, please visit our website: http://www.bgst.edu.sg/media/files/courses/2012-2013-sem1.pdf:

Course Schedule

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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