Pastoral Studies

Course Descriptions

PS101 Christianity & Culture

The course will explore the place of culture in Christianity and deal with issues on how Christians can live relevantly in the Malaysian context. Topics include: an introductory study of the cultural values and differences of various people groups; the ways communication and culture relate; how people in different cultures think and express ideas; how to reach people in other cultures with the gospel; how to express Christian faith and worship in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society.

PS201 Christian Spirituality

This course is designed to facilitate spiritual formation of seminarians in theological education. The aim is to discover one’s authentic spirituality that is rooted in the Bible and Christian traditions. The emphasis is on the practice of Christian spirituality with special focus on prayer, meditation, self-examination, listening to God and discerning God’s voice.

PS202 Traditions of Christian Spirituality

This will look at the various traditions of spirituality practised historically in different sections of the Christian Church. Particular attention will be given to the monastic, mystical, Catholic, Evangelical and Pentecostal-charismatic traditions.

PS203 Pastoral Spirituality

The course aims to help pastors develop a deeper spiritual life in the context of a busy ministry. The relationship between spirituality and ministry is studied in light of contemporary society, gifts and graces, spiritual disciplines, and ministerial functions. It explores the spiritual pitfalls inherent in ministry and suggests ways pastor may continue to maintain his or her spiritual passion. The goal is to equip students to function in ministry with the strengths that a sound spirituality provides.

PS204 Discernment Spirituality

After considering the historical perspective to Discernment of Spirits in Scriptures and Church History, there are sessions on the construct of our human personality as the context for Discernment. Practical exercises are used to raise our awareness to these cognitive and affective interior movements in order to identify their origins for Discernment. Particular attention is given to St Ignatius’ Rules for Discernment of Spirits as a basic working tool for discerning God’s will and decision-making in one’s life.

PS205 Spiritual Warfare

Based on the book of Ephesians the course focuses on the works of Satan, the power of indwelling sin, the corrupting influence of the world and the biblical approaches to overcome them. It also examines some recent writings on spiritual warfare.

PS206 Theology of Christian Life

This course introduces students to biblical and theological foundation for Christian life. I seek to help students reflect theologically and seriously on the various aspects of individual Christian life. Among those are God’s relation to man, new birth, God’s will and human’s freewill, suffering, sanctification and factors, which contribute to the sanctification of Christian disciples. Due to the nature of the course, this course is offered to students who have taken 1 year of doctrinal (TH 801 & 802) or theological study (TH101 & TH102 or TH103 & TH104 or TH105 & TH106).

PS301 Homiletics 1

This course is a study of the theory and practice of pastoral preaching in the church; the nature and content of the sermon and principles of sermon preparation are discussed. It covers: ingredients for effective speech communication; basic communication theory and skills; the role of preaching in the church; the qualification of a preacher; the definition and the stages of expository preaching; the introduction, main text and conclusion of a sermon; the use of biblical tools in preparing a sermon; the proper use of illustration; different types of sermons. Students will practice using tools, composing introduction and conclusion, and developing outline and content of a sermon. Students are given opportunity to prepare and deliver sermons in class.

PS302 Homiletics 2

This course is a study of the theory and practice of pastoral preaching in the church; the nature and content of the sermon and principles of sermon preparation are discussed. It focuses on practices. Students will prepare and deliver a variety of sermons in class. Sermons will be critically evaluated by class members and lecturer. Students should be able to demonstrate skills in writing sermons, in methods of oral presentation, in contextualising material so that sermons are exegetically sound, hermeneutically relevant and homiletically stimulating.

PS303 Expository Preaching

This course is an introduction to the strategy of expository preaching. It introduces topics such as definition, methodology of expository preaching, finding and using the “big idea” in the biblical texts for sermons, moving from the exegetical task to the homiletical task. The student will have the opportunity to present sermon messages from selected texts from a New Testament book.

PS304 Preaching Workshop

A more advanced workshop in which students with some experience in the production and delivery of sermons are given practice.

PS305 Bahasa Malaysia Preaching

This is a practical preaching course that emphasises the use of Bahasa Malaysia in effective communication. It aims to help the students develop their language skills.

PS401 Foundation in Christian Education

This course provides an introduction to the Christian Education ministry in the local church, focusing on the ministry and mission of the church as perceived through the concerns of persons at each level of development, and ways and means of relating these concerns through the local church leadership in educational ministry and programme. Areas covered include human development and sociological issues in education, curriculum development and resources, membership preparation and lay training, teaching methods, research and evaluation in the teaching process in the Malaysian context.

PS402 Historical and Philosophical Foundations in Christian Education

This course provides an introduction to the historical and philosophical issues in the Christian education ministry of the church with a special focus on cultural relevance and the development of ministry systems within Malaysia. Areas covered include exploring existing and potential ministry systems in Christian Education, influence of western and Malaysian educators in the field of Education with implications for Christian Education in the Malaysian context, and challenges in the Christian Education ministry in Malaysia.

PS403 Children Ministry

A study of the characteristics, development and needs of children in relation to their spiritual growth; objectives, methods and materials for working with children; administration of children’s division of the local church; the role of adult leadership and development of children’s programme.

PS404 Youth Ministry

A study of the characteristics, development and needs of adolescent in relation to their spiritual growth; objectives, methods and materials for working with youth; youth problems; the role of adult leadership and development of youth’s programme; Bible study, evangelism, worship, recreation, and stewardship; principles and practice of discipleship.

PS405 Adult Ministry

A study of the characteristics, needs and problems of adults of various ages with special attention on principles, methods and resources for developing an effective and creative ministry. The ministry to the singles and senior adults will be considered.

PS406 Senior Citizen Ministry

A study of the characteristics, needs and problems of senior citizens with special attention on principles, methods and resources for developing an effective and creative ministry. The ministry to the singles and widowed will be considered.

PS407 Educational Management

This course seeks to equip leaders with skills on how to manage educational ministries and events in the local church. Areas covered include how to plan, organize, lead and motivate, and ensure the process of bringing an educational strategy to fruition. Practical tools for management will be looked at and the course includes a study on Biblical models like Moses, Joseph, and Nehemiah, and analysis of one’s leadership development, and contemporary case studies.

PS408 Faith Development & Age Level Ministry

The course analyses the developmental theories of some leading developmental psychologists and educationists and examines how their theories and ideas can have implication for Christian education of children, youth and adults. The course is designed to trace the normal stages and to understand the natural processes of human growth and development (from before birth to old age) on various levels: physical, intellectual, relational and emotional.

PS501 Worship & Liturgy

A historical and contemporary study of worship in the Christian Church from New Testament times to the present day. The course aims to help the student understand the development of the various worship forms and the central aspects of the church’s liturgical life and to evaluate their place in today’s church as effective aids of congregational worship and Gospel proclamation. Topics include: the development of liturgy and worship; the development of Malaysian Liturgy; non-Eucharistic aspects of worship including Morning and Evening Prayer, initiation Services, Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Funeral and Ordination services.

PS502 Church Music

An introductory study of the history, basic purposes and functions of music in the life of the church. The course includes elementary theory of music including simple music terms, reading music, sight-singing of hymns and folk-tunes from various countries, and a survey of various types of church music from the Western tradition, including the Jewish and classical heritage, the early church, Renaissance and classical periods. The course concludes with a brief review of Asian church music. Attention is given to the view that the goal of church music is to minister, and its relation to worship, evangelism, education and related ministries.

PS503 Choir

All first year students are expected to join the seminary choir. The choir will practice every week under the conductor and will present items during seminary functions and Graduation Service.

PS504 Choir Conducting

This is a practical course on how to conduct the choir and how to motivate the choir members to sing better. It includes studying the skills of conducting patterns, choral attacks and releases, control of amplitude and tempo.

PS601 Basic Pastoral Counselling

This is an introduction to Pastoral Counseling. The focus is on the counselor as the key to effective pastoral counseling. The emphasis is on the counselor-counseled relationship as the therapeutic dynamic in the counseling process. Therefore, this course is designed to promote and facilitate the personal development of the student counselors besides imparting basic counselling skills.

PS612 Counselling (Specialised Area)

This is a more advanced course, in which special aspects of counselling are being explored, usually by an experienced counsellor of that particular field. Topics of interest are those related to common pastoral situations, for instance, pastor-laity relationship; youth counselling; career guidance; counselling people who are sexually abused, with physical handicaps, with AIDS, with emotional or psychiatric problems; pre-marital and marital counselling; crisis counselling; grief counselling, etc.

PS701 Sexuality & Marriage

This deals with the emotional and physical dimensions of human sexual development from birth to adulthood. Particular attention will be given to sexual problems encountered in adolescent years, singlehood, preparation for marriage, and within marriage. Sexual problems experienced by individuals, couples and families will be studied with attention given to treatment of these difficulties.

PS702 Christian Family

This course covers issues concerning the Christian family life that is built upon the foundation of PS701. The emphasis is on enriching family ties, child-training and parenting, nurturing children and bringing them to mature Christian discipleship, family worship, finances, the role of the home in society and family ministry in the church.

PS801 Pastoral Leadership & Ministry

Leadership is an essential dimension of pastoral ministry. This course will introduce various aspects of pastoral leadership and explain how effective leadership in a local church ministry depends on the proper application of scriptural principles. Topics will include principles of pastoral practice; leadership approaches and accountability; pastoral roles and leadership functions within a local church; developing competency in pastoral work; and understanding the changing trends in ministry.

PS812 Church Management & Administration

In addition to providing spiritual leadership to the congregation, the pastor is often expected to be involved in church administration and management of the local church ministry. Topics include office management; managerial skills; congregational budgeting and accounts; time management; property management; public relations; procedures to conduct meetings; record keeping; capacity building; supervision and human relations in the administration and management of a local church; business and financial affairs.

PS803 Theology of Christian Ministry

‘Theology of Christian Ministry’ could be considered as a continuation of ‘Theology of Christian Life.’ This course introduces students to biblical and theological foundation for Christian Ministry. It seeks to help students reflect theologically and seriously on the various aspects of Christian Ministry in the context of religious plurality. Some of the issues raised are Christ’s relation to the Church, the theological meaning of priesthood of all believers, the theological meaning of the Church as a priest, a prophet and a servant (king) and the ministry of the Church to the world. Due to the nature of the course, this course is offered to students who have taken 1 year of doctrinal (TH801 & TH802) or theological study (TH101 & TH102 or TH103 & TH104 or TH105 & TH106).

PS804 Leadership Development

This course will introduce leadership theory for those preparing to lead in church and ministry. Starting right and leadership values are vital factors to shaping a leader’s life and character. These and the life cycle of a leader will be discussed so that one may be able to response to shaping events and activities in the leader’s life. Emphasis will be made on life long learning and mentoring as the leader continues to strive towards reaching their full potential in leading others.

PS805 Small Group Ministry

This course explores the nature and purpose of small groups in the educational ministry of the local church. Learners will acquire skills on how to analyze a small group, identify and apply principles and skills of small group leadership and how to develop small group ministries in the local church. Current trends and issues in small group ministry will be discussed and corresponding prospects explored.

PS806 Developing Team Ministry

This course will help the student learn how the pastor can develop the pastoral skills of the laity to work together to effectively fulfil the various ministries in the local church.

PS807 Visual Arts & Parish Ministry

The course seeks to explore the relationship between visual arts (sculpture, carving, mosaic, tapestry, painting, banners) and parish ministry, to reflect in some aspects of the relationship in a way that will enrich their future pastoral ministry in the parish, and to experiment the use of visual arts in Christian worship and proclamation of the gospel against the backdrop of other religious traditions in Malaysia.

PS808 Vocation, Work & Ministry

This course is designed to give a biblical understanding of vocation, work and ministry and address some prevalent misconceptions. It will look at the implications of all these in the daily lives of Christians in society. It also explores issues like workahalism, rest and sabbath, and homemaking.

PS809 Women in Ministry

The aim of this course is to study from the woman’s perspective the roles and ministry in the church today, whether it is ordained, diaconal or lay ministries. Consideration is given to both the impact of the church on women, and the impact of women on the church, from biblical times to the present. The course is interdisciplinary in its structure, investigating the topic of women in ministry from biblical, historical, theological, psychological, sociological, anthropological and pastoral perspectives.

PS810 Healing & Deliverance

The course will begin with biblical world views on the ministries of healing and deliverance. Topics include: the relationship between the Christian faith and the processes of healing for the total personality; prayers for physical healing and deliverance from demonic spirits; sacramental and non-sacramental approaches of healing in the life of a church; discernment and uses of spiritual gifts in the ministries.

PS901 Evangelism in the Local Church

This course examines basic church growth principles and methods in personal and group evangelism to enable students understand their roles as facilitators carrying out evangelism in the parish context. During this course, students will have had opportunities to reflect on the basic church growth principles of evangelism, discuss and evaluate models and approaches for doing evangelism in the local church context and to identify and plan programmes that provide scope for evangelism in a parish context. Care of new converts, follow-up ministry and discipleship will also be discussed.

PS902 Christian Social Ministries

This course seeks to acquaint students with the essential theories and tools of Christian social ministry, which includes a study of the biblical, theological and sociological foundations of the Church’s social responsibilities. It will also familiarise the students with the history of Christian social work in this country and visits to some institutions where specialised ministries are being carried out.

PS903 Short-term Mission Trip

This course seeks to expose students to actual life-situations of peoples either here in Malaysia or elsewhere in a mission context. Assignments include a preparatory study of the place and people before the trip and a reflection paper after the field experience. The students will spend at least four days (which includes a weekend) in the setting under the supervision of the lecturer or experienced ministers approved by the faculty. One main purpose of the course is to strengthen mission awareness and commitment to the task.

PS904 Missiology

This course seeks to provide the student with the essentials of missiological thinking and its relevance for theology today. Topics include: a study of the biblical meaning and purpose of missions; a historical survey of the theological development of Christian mission; evangelism and cross-culture missions; recent developments, crucial issues and future trends. The place of mission in the local church will be explored.

PS905 Rural Evangelism

This course will focus on rural settings in Malaysia and provide appropriate models of evangelism.

PS906 Urban Evangelism

The course examines the context and the factors that facilitates and hinders urban evangelism. It includes an examination of the biblical models of proclamation, presence, and persuasion in Old and New Testament cities; the process and impact of urbanisation; a study of the impact of the inner city’s demographics, racial relations, social and economic problems, and religious factors on the church’s evangelistic ministry. It explores some evangelistic approaches that have been adopted in the Asian urban contexts.

PS907 Urban Ministry

This course seeks to cover issues and problems of urbanisation, models of urban ministry as developed in other parts of the world and to develop a proper response to urbanisation in our local context. A study of complex problems in the urban church with emphasis on understanding the role of the urban pastor, both biblically and socially, emphasising communication, counselling and modelling.

PS908 Tamil Ministry

The primary concern of this course is to understand the Tamil churches in Malaysia with reference to ELCM, TAC, Anglican churches, and others. A brief historical survey of the migrant population, their socio- economic and political life as well as a study of the Tamil cultural life in relation to Christianity will be examined. Current issues and challenges related to Tamil ministry will be discussed. (This is compulsory for all Tamil Students.)

PS909 Church Growth

This course aims to foster an understanding of church growth as a biblical mandate and relevant for our time. Students will be expose to church growth trends especially in the last half-century and the phenomenon of the church growth movement. Some of the recent development of church growth models and trends will be critically reviewed. One of the new church growth movement reviewed will be the Natural Church Development. Emphasis will be made on applying the knowledge gained and students are expected to actively participate in pre-assigned reading, class discussions and working on a project paper in pairs.

PS910 Cross-culture Mission

This course introduces the student to the biblical foundation of mission. That mission has its basis in Missio Dei – all missions are the missions of God. More than crossing geographical barriers, the student will study how the church had been reaching across barriers of language, culture, social-political to disciple people and plant churches. Issues of contextualising the gospel in different cultures and cross-cultural communication will be examined. The course will explore some of the new and critical issues facing the task of mission today and examine new and effective ways of doing cross-cultural mission.

FE101 Field Education

Field education program aims to help the students to develop relational and ministry competencies in the course of training. It promotes integration of academic studies, ministry and life. The field education program commences at the beginning of the first semester of the first year and continues until the student graduates. Type of placement includes church visitation, weekend placement and 8 week residential placement.