Introduction And History
STM came into existence as a joint Anglican, Evangelical Lutheran and Methodist venture on the 6 January 1979. For Anglicans and Evangelical Lutherans this marked a further stage in their co-operation in theological education in Malaysia, which had earlier included the Christian Training Centre and Kolej Theoloji Malaysia. Since then, we still holding onto our vision and is thankful to for the many contributions people have made towards the growth and development of STM.
The journey of STM began at the ELCM premises at Brickfields (1979-April 1983). Since then, we have moved to the Methodist High School premise in Sentul (June 1983-1991) and from Sentul, we moved to Xavier Hall in Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya (1992-1997). For nearly twenty years, STM was nomadic. Finally, in 1998 we shifted to our permanent campus at Seremban in time for the new academic year.
During our short history the total number of graduands has exceeded 700 and they are serving in different parts of Malaysia and beyond. Our faculty has increased in qualifications and experience, and we are glad to see that the supporting churches are taking steps to prepare suitably qualified ministers for teaching in the seminary.
Our founding fathers, the late Bishop Emeritus C.N. Fang, the late Bishop E.B. Muthusami and the late Bishop Tan Sri J.G. Savarimuthu, together with the first principal, the Rev Dr Denis C. Dutton (now Bishop Emeritus of the Methodist Church of Malaysia and also a Datuk) have left an indeligible impact on STM. The accreditation of the seminary by the Association for Theological Education in South East Asia (ATESEA) in 1984 was an important milestone. In 2010 we achieve another milestone; we were invited by ATESEA to serve as one of the Centers for Theological Excellence (CTE) to offer Doctor of Theology program.
We are committed to give our best; our curriculum is reviewed frequently, lectures and assignments are brought into a corresponding balance, quality of field education experience and community life is improved continually, and our library resources are expanded perpetually. We also consolidated our administrative procedures and enlisted the basic facilities required by the seminary community.
The seminary, in its life and teaching, seeks to be faithful to the central truths of the Christian Faith as contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and summarised in such historic confessions of the Christian Church as the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed, and the doctrinal standards of the Anglican, Evangelical Lutheran and Methodist Churches. These truths include:
- There is one God. He eternally exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and is the Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of all things. He is perfect in love.
- God has revealed Himself to us through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Living Word. He has also made Himself known through the divinely inspired Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the Written Word, which is our supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
- We were made for fellowship with God, but by disobeying Him we have become sinners and guilty in His sight, alienated from God, ourselves, our fellow human beings and from nature.
- Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless and self-giving life and died on the Cross for us as the perfect sacrifice for sin. By this He revealed the love of God, removed our guilt, set us free from sin and death and their powers, and reconciled us to God.
- We are justified by the grace of God through faith in Christ who was crucified and raised by God from the dead.
- The Holy Spirit leads us to repent of our sins and to trust in Christ. He lives in us, enables us to grow in the knowledge and love of God and empowers us for mission. To these ends he generously provides the necessary gifts to all believers.
- The Church, the Body of Christ, is of Divine origin. Out of every race and nation, the people of God are called to respond to Him, to offer acceptable worship to Him, to follow Christ and to serve Him by proclaiming the Gospel to all nations. The Church is nurtured through the ministry of the Word and Sacrament, and through pastoral care. In the context of a pluralistic society Christians are also called to strive for social justice and the relief of human distress in co-operation with people of goodwill. Within the total ministry of the whole people of God, lay and ordained have their distinct yet complementary roles.
- Jesus Christ the Lord of the Church has called us to live in love. Christians should strive for unity that is not merely spiritual, but also visible, so that the world might believe.
- Jesus Christ will return one day as Lord and Judge and fully manifest His kingly rule over all creation.
God’s people equip for ministry and mission.
To facilitate full time workers and lay people to grow in Christian maturity and to train them for ministry and service in and through the Church.
- To train pastors and Christian workers to meet the growing needs of the Church.
- To enable lay people to be more effective in their Christian witness and ministry.
- To provide training which integrates spiritual formation, academic excellence and development of ministerial skills.
- To provide theological education in a contextually relevant and sensitive manner.
- To develop a centre for research on issues facing the Malaysian Church.
As of October 1984, the seminary has been accredited by the Association for Theological Education in South East Asia (ATESEA) to grant the Bachelor of Theology, the Bachelor of Divinity, and the Master of Divinity degrees. In November 1994, we were accepted as a participating school of the South East Asia Graduate School of Theology (SEAGST) which also offers the Master of Theology degree. In 2010, STM is also a member of the ATESEA Theological Union (ATU) which offers the Doctor of Theology degree. In 2012, the Master of Theology degree is also accredited by ATESEA. This means that degrees granted by the seminary have international acceptance.