Issue No. 01 January 2014
A happy and blessed New Year to all our readers!

2014The period of Christmas is over. In the UK at least, January 6th is by tradition the date by which all Christmas decorations should be taken down, indicating that the annual cycle moves into a new phase.

Christmas is a time of celebration. The theme of Christmas is God’s goodness, faithfulness and commitment to his purposes: how God honoured his promises given to Israel by sending his Son to be born as a man, and to do on our behalf what we could never have done for ourselves ( Luke 1:67–79; Rom. 8:1–17); how God’s purposes of salvation came to their major turning point in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and how (taking the story a little further, as many of our Christmas carols do) God’s salvation is now to be proclaimed to all men and women everywhere (Rom 1:1–6). Christmas is a high point in the Christian calendar.

But now it may seem that the time of celebration is over, at least for a while: if we took a holiday over Christmas, that holiday is probably at an end. Now we must return to the tasks before us, tasks that we perhaps briefly put aside over Christmas; now we return to our jobs, our callings, our responsibilities, our labour for God. Now we remind ourselves, as well, that we are called to seek the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–24), to be clothed with ‘compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience’ (Col. 3:12), to ‘put to death the deeds of the body’ by the Spirit (Rom. 8:13). Now, we may feel, having celebrated God’s goodness at Christmas, having reminded ourselves of the ‘big picture’ of God’s intent to renew his entire creation (and us as part of the creation), we return to the daily, practical duties of discipleship.

At BGST we look forward to a year of fruitful service for God, as we aim to equip as many as possible of God’s people in Singapore to serve him in the church and in the marketplace, and as we seek to extend the work of the school into new areas. You too, Christian brother or sister, will have your aims and goals for this year: you would not be a Singaporean if you did not!

As set about this new year, as we commit our hopes and expectations to God in prayer, let us not forget the message which we heard again this Christmas: let us not forget God’s faithfulness. As we remind ourselves once more that we must ‘work out our salvation with fear and trembling’, let us also remind ourselves that it is God who is at work in us (Phil. 2:12–13). As we take up again the business of serving God where God has placed us, let us do it in God’s strength.

God bless you in this coming year!

Philip Satterthwaite,

Principal, BGST.

Staff Devotion Time

There will be no Staff Devotion Time on 8th January 2014. We will meet again on 15th January 2014, 12 noon at BGST Chapel.

Friends & visitors are welcome to join us for fellowship and devotion together at our school.

Launch of Semester 2 of AY 2013/14 Course Schedule

For the course offerings in Semester 2 of Academic Year 2013-2014, please visit our webpage at http://www.bgst.edu.sg/media/files/courses/2013-2014-sem2.pdf.

For course inquiries, please email us at inquiry@bgst.edu.sg.

BGST 2014 Convocation

scrollclass of 2014

Our 23rd Convocation & Thanksgiving Service is on Sat, May 24, 2014. If you intend to graduate, please kindly submit the Application to Graduate Form before 31 March 2014.

In order to graduate you need to hand in all your assignments for the courses that you need to complete your program by 30 April 2014.

Starting this year, BGST will be offering scholarships to the top 3 Grad DipCS graduates. Graduates who are awarded these scholarships will be required to complete the MCS programme within 3 years. We hope that these scholarships will serve as incentives for all existing Grad DipCS graduants to do their best.

With effect from 1 Jan 2014, there will be an administrative fee of $50 for any request to change from the MCS to MDiv programme or vice versa. This is in view of any administrative effort involved when processing such request. We appreciate your understanding. Thank you so much.

Intensive Course in January 2014

AT/MM264 1.5 credits
[may be used to offset AT257 Introduction to Leadership]

Lecturer: Rev Dr David Wong
Venue: BGST @ 50 Kallang Pudding Road
Dates & Time: Weekdays Jan 14, 16, 23; 7:15 - 10:15pm,
Saturdays Jan 18 & 25, 9:30 am - 12:30pm

Leadership rises or falls at the crossroads of change and transition. When a leader grows tired of the status quo and wants change, how does he or she effect it? How can a leader ensure it is change for the better and not for the worse? Sometimes, change happens unexpectedly, e.g. sudden loss of a leader. How do we manage change and navigate through it? We may want a change in our own life and leadership, e.g. planning succession. Why do successions fail, and how can we put success in succession?

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In the Footsteps of the Fathers: Church History Tour from Rome to Milan

disciplesFor many Protestants, church history basically occurred in ‘leaps and bounds’. Often, we assume that the story of Christianity began with the apostolic period before leaping to the 16th century where the story apparently continues with the Protestant Reformation. As for what transpired during the intervening millennium and a half, we are largely ignorant of, regard it as unimportant, or worse, deem it simply as an expression of corrupted Christianity! Yet, if we study these first 1,500 years carefully, we would discover that the Spirit of God had not abandoned his people after the apostolic period, but continued to lead and inspire them in roads less travelled. It is to the fourth century church fathers (like Athanasius and Basil of Caesarea), for example, that we are indebted to for the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. Among these, it was the fifth century pastor-theologian, Augustine, maskswhom the Reformer, John Calvin, found most influential and admired. And then there are luminaries like Ambrose of Milan, Gregory the Great, Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena and so on, whose faith, dedication and writings would leave an indelible mark in European civilization and a rich legacy for our Christian faith.

But who are these spiritual forefathers? When and where did they live? What were the challenges they faced, even as they sought to live out their faith in Christ? To answer these questions, BGST will, for the first time, conduct a Church History study tour to Italy, where we will attempt to understand the legacy of their spiritual luminaries, and, hopefully, recapture afresh their spiritual vision and love of God.

ruins Held from 3 - 13 Jun 2014, the tour will begin in Rome, where we will consider the history of the Roman Empire and its influence on early Christianity. Thereafter, we will survey the ebb and flow of Christianity in Rome from the apostolic (1st century) to the Baroque or Counter Reformation period (17th century). Following this, we will move northwards to Central Italy (Assisi, Siena, Florence and Pisa). Here, we will examine the key events of medieval Christian and Renaissance history and their leading figures, such as Francis of Assisi and Catherine of Siena, and to explore their spiritual legacy for contemporary Christianity. The tour then continues northwards by visiting the ancient cities of Ravenna, Venice, Verona and Milan, where we will study the legacy of the Byzantium Empire (Ravenna), the Crusades (at Venice) and two leading Latin Church Fathers: Ambrose and Augustine.

ruin 2Included in this tour are visits to Roman and Christian archaeological sites (e.g. Colosseum, and Christian catacombs), key Christian churches and buildings (e.g., St Peter’s Basilica, Baroque churches in Rome, Byzantium churches in Ravenna, Francis of Assisi’s monasteries and the cathedrals of Florence, Milan and Siena) and some of the leading museums and galleries in Europe (i.e., the Vatican Museum, Borghese Gallery and Uffizi Gallery). To add variety to the tour, we will also be visiting a winery at San Donato Fattoria, a glass factory in Venice, the scenic city of Verona (the narrative setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet), the tranquil Lake Como and a Factory outlet in Fidenza (near Milan).

scenaryAll 'lectures' will be conducted by Dr Lai Pak Wah and held in the form of mini-sermons (given usually on the tour bus), where participants (both young and old) will have a better appreciation of the lives of the early Christians and what their teachings may still mean for us, 21st century Christians living in the internet age!

As a bonus, BGST students may wish to take this tour in fulfilment of part of their program requirements. For more details on the course synopsis, please see http://bgst.edu.sg/media/files/courses/CS103-104.pdf The price for each adult (twin sharing) is S$4,950 while the price for each child is S$3,500 (under 12, with or without bed, sharing with 2 adults). This price will cover airfare, accommodation tips, museum tickets and all meals (except those on 3 free and easy afternoons). Please note that this price is based on the prevailing airfares and is valid until Jan 15. Thereafter, the airfares (and hence the tour package prices) are expected to increase. Interested parties, therefore, should register before Jan 15. For more information on the tour, registration form and further terms and conditions, please click: http://bgst.edu.sg/media/files/tours/2014-jun-tour.pdf

Upcoming Courses in January 2014

CH102, 3 credits (blended learning)

[Required course for MCS, MDiv]

Lecturer: Dr Lai Pak Wah;
Tutor: Dr Daniel Jew
Venue: BGST @ 50 Kallang Pudding Road, #07-01
Dates: Fridays, Jan 10, 24, Feb 7, 21, Mar 7, 21
Time: 7:15 - 9:45pm

Dr Daniel JewHistory of Christianity II is intended as the second of a two course survey (3 credits each) of the history of Christianity over the last 2,000 years. In CH102, students will be introduced to the important theological, historical and spiritual movements from 1500-2001. Our journey begins in Europe with the advent of the Protestant Reformation, which will permanently change the face of religion in the Continent and, subsequently, the whole world. This is followed by an analysis of the developments that follow this Reformation: the rise of American & English Protestantism and spirituality, the growth of the evangelical movement, especially in America, and the Catholic Counter Reformation. Attention will also be given to the Enlightenment period, which would significantly influence and also challenge the claims of the Christian faith. Following these, we will turn our attention to the development of Christianity worldwide, with a focus on Christianity in China, in particular, and Asia in general.

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IC101, 3 credits

[Required course for Grad DipCS, MCS & MDiv]

Lecturers: Dr Philip Satterthwaite & Dr Daniel Jew
Venue: St John’s-St Margaret’s Church
Dates: Mondays Jan 13, 20, 27, Feb 10, 17, 24, Mar 3, 10, 17, 24, Apr 28, May 5
Time: 7:15 - 10:00 pm

Dr Daniel JewThe world in which we live is an increasingly complex one. This complexity is seen in the dynamic interplay among socio-cultural phenomena such as ethnicity, religious beliefs, politics, and culture, within the context of a globalized world. Since Christian discipleship occurs in this world, Christians must grapple with this complexity if they are to take their discipleship seriously. This course seeks to equip Christians with frameworks of thought for responsible engagement with socio-cultural realities in our local context.

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NT102, 3 credits
(blended learning)
[Required course for MCS & MDiv]

Lecturer: Dr Oh Boon Leong
Venue: St John’s-St Margaret’s Church
Dates: Thursday, Jan 16, Feb 6, 20, Mar 6, 20, Apr 3
Time: 7:15—9:45 pm

NT 102 is the sequel to NT 101 and both are foundational to the study of the NT at BGST. NT 102 covers the Epistles and Revelation. This course is a general survey of the message of the NT books, their relationships to each other, introductory issues (author, date, occasion, content, etc.), and factors in the first century (e.g. history and religions) that influenced the life and ministry of the early church.

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OT102, 3 credits
(blended learning)
[Required course for MCS & MDiv]

Lecturer: Dr Philip Satterthwaite
Venue: BGST @ 50 Kallang Pudding Road, #07-01
Dates: Jan 22, Feb 5, 19, Mar 5, 19, Apr 2
Time: 7:15 - 9:45pm

OT Foundations I and OT Foundations II together form an introduction to the Old Testament. These two courses aim: (i) to introduce the Old Testament books, and the historical and cultural contexts in which they originated; (ii) to help students reflect on how to apply the Old Testament in the modern world, and to their own lives. Throughout, the Old Testament is interpreted as part of Christian Scripture: Christians cannot afford to neglect this first and larger part of God’s Word. Though questions relating to history and the ancient Near Eastern context will not be ignored, the main emphasis is on the meaning, theology and application of the text. OT Foundations II covers the Prophets, the Psalms, and the Wisdom Literature. Please note that some of the smaller prophetic books are not covered in detail.

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50 Kallang Pudding Road, #07-01, Golden Wheel Industrial Building, S(349326).
Tel: 6227-6815 Fax: 6743-6847 Email: inquiry@bgst.edu.sg
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