The MASTER OF THEOLOGY program is jointly hosted by Shalom Bible Seminary and Oriental Theological Seminary as a Consortium of the ASIA GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY, NORTH EAST INDIA (AGST-NEI) under the aegis of the Asia Theological Association (ATA)
AGST-NEI Master of Theology: Two-year Program
The Master of Theology (MTh) is a two to four-year study-research program for students who have earned a Bachelor of Divinity (BD) or Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree from a recognized institution and wish to broaden and deepen their theological knowledge and to sharpen their critical-analytical skills through advanced research. This goal is achieved by providing the students the opportunity to take advanced courses in areas previously undertaken and courses that would help them in their preferred field of ministry. The program allows students to become conversant and competent in developing their methodological framework and specialize in their area of interest.
Academic Prospectus - MTh
MTh Programs for 2020-2021
The MTh in Applied Theology is a 2-year research oriented program designed for students who have earned an MDiv degree from a recognized theological institution/seminary. Upon admission, the student is introduced into an environment where a high level of integration of spiritual formation and academic learning is facilitated. The course encourages each student to take initiative and explore personal interaction with dedicated tutors.
This program allows students to concentrate their coursework in the field of Applied Theology to develop a high level of competency in ministry with focus on integrating various practical disciplines. In the end, the course enables students to become conversant with diverse ministerial subjects such as Biblical Theology and Interpretation, Christian Education, Counseling, Missions, Religion, Leadership and Conflict Management, Apologetics, and Ethics.
History of Christianity
The MTh degree program in the field of History of Christianity provides continuing education through the discipline of academic excellence to broaden and deepen theological knowledge beyond MDiv level. The program aims to develop in the students an informed, critical approach to pursue advance training to enhance their knowledge and competence for future ministry, as well as, prepare students for research degree programs. It focuses at the Christian past from both theological and historical perspectives. It provides options for special study of themes from the Early Church period to the present World/Global Christianity. The program will enable the students to understand and reflect critically upon the historical contexts in which Christian thought has developed. It is particularly advantageous to the students of Northeast India, as instructors are well informed of the regional cultures and contexts within which Christianity evolved. Students will be given the opportunity to experience interdisciplinary approach to learning through elective courses offered by historians, theologians and ethicists.
Students will be taught mainly in small seminar environment, and one-to-one directed readings. They will be given training in research methodology which offers a practical approach to postgraduate level skills of critical research and writing. Representative courses in the discipline: Historiography (core), Global Christianity (core), History of Christian Doctrines (core), Asian Church History (Core), Global Missions, Theology of the Reformers, Pentecostal History, Women in Church History and Ministry (core), History of Missions in Modern Christianity. Other elective interdisciplinary courses can be selected at the students’ discretion and in consultation with the assigned academic adviser.
The MTh program in Christian Theology is designed in order to train scholars who can serve the church both locally and globally as teachers, researchers, pastors, and leaders of the church and society. The program aims at nurturing faithful men and women to the teaching of Scripture coupled with a strong Christological emphasis towards strengthening and equipping the church in its mission. Representative courses include: Theological Systems I (God, Christology, and Pneumatology), Theological Systems II (Soteriology, Ecclesiology, and Eschatology), Studies in Christology, and Advanced Readings on Contemporary Theologians.
Theology is a critical reflection on the belief and praxis of faith communities. It requires a critical-ethical analysis, historical awareness, and contextual understanding. Deep theological reflection and burning contemporary issues related to the church and society are brought up and analyzed in the classroom through classes like Christian Ethical Methodologies (integrated course), Theological Readings of Religion and Society, Themes and Issues in Christian Ethics (integrated course), and Contextual Theologies and Contemporary Ideologies. The program is committed to teaching students to recognize the connection between Christian theology and responsible Christian action. Both the Christian faith and practice serve as a basis of the curriculum.
The MTh program in Christian Ethics is designed for offering a disciplined understanding of the moral identity and ethical responsibility of individuals, Christians, Churches and institutions in the twenty first century. It helps students in developing a Biblically grounded, a theologically coherent, a pastorally sensitive and an ethically prophetic framework of Christian life and a visionary mission of socio-political witness for engaging the multiple facets of contemporary public life.
Grounded in both historical and contemporary traditions of Christian ethical methodologies, it draws on the various disciplines of theology in presenting constructive proposals on the personal, spiritual, social and political matters that have a direct bearing on the well-being of Christian communities and the wider society. It employs and critically engages the empirical and qualitative data from human and social sciences for deepening its understanding of the dynamic forces and institutions that shape today’s complex human and planetary situations. These objectives are achieved through a dialogical engagement with analytical tools, such as: foundational texts and figures, methodological and hermeneutical mediation, contextual case studies, social analysis and pastoral reflection on Christian ministry.
Representative courses include the following: Christian Ethical Methodologies, Themes and Issues in Christian Ethics; Contextual Theologies and Contemporary Ideologies; Culture and Social Theory; Community Transformation and Christian Public Witness; Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding; Implications of Key Social and Pastoral Documents; Text Seminar; Theo-ethical Engagement of Contemporary Voices; Spirituality/Stories of Prophetic-pastoral Leadership; and, Integration Seminar.
Duration and Degree Requirements for the Master of Theology Program
The Master of Theology is a two-year full-time research degree program and can be extended up to four years part-time to complete the prescribed requirements for graduation. It should be clearly understood that completion of the two years in residency or whatsoever without fulfilling the requirements does not constitute the completion of the program. A minimum grade of B should be secured to graduate with the MTh degree in all course works and thesis. This time limit may only be extended in special circumstances by petition to the AGST-NEI Academic Council.
Credit Break Down of MTh Program
Admission Requirements for the MTh Program
Applicants should possess an MDiv/BD degree with a GPA of 3.0 in a scale of 4 (B grade). Applications for admission including all transcripts from high school onward to MDiv/BD must be submitted. Decision for admission to the program will be made by the respective departments, based on the evaluation of academic transcripts, performance in the entrance examination and other pertinent factors. Admissions will be given only to graduates of institutions (Serampore and ATA accredited schools) currently recognized by AGST-NEI.
During the application process, applicants are encouraged to contact faculty members with whom they would like to work to discuss their area of interests. Admission to the program is done with good faith but if the faculty find any student lacking the academic capacity and the aptitude for the degree to which he/she is admitted he/she will not claim the right for continuation. This policy is based on the fact that MTh degree, like any other academic degree in the academic pursuit, must be pursued only by those who are capable. Therefore, when such case arises, the decision of the department and AGST-NEI Academic Council shall be final.
Required Readings for M.Th. Entrance Examination
You may download the e-books from the links below:
Hart, David Bentley. The Story of Christianity: A History of 2,000 years of the Christian Faith.Download
Long, D. Stephen. Christian Ethics: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.Download
Grenz, Stanley J. and Roger E. Olson, Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1996.Download