Master of Theology (MTh)

Seminari Theoloji Malaysia (STM) is pleased to announce that a newly revised and exciting Master of Theology (MTh) programme that is considerably flexible, individually designed, and contextually relevant is now being offered with effect from 2010. This new programme replaces the Master of Theology offered under the auspices of the South East Asia Graduate School of Theology (SEAGST) of the Association of Theological Education in Southeast Asia (ATESEA) through STM since 1995. STM’s new MTh is now accredited by ATESEA since early 2012.

About the Programme

The MTh degree is an advanced postgraduate research programme specially designed to provide specialised training in effective leadership in Christian ministry, professional pastoral training, and advanced theological research and teaching. It is designed in response to the urgent need for competent theological educators and advanced theological education in the region, and in keeping with the highest tradition of and excellence in Christian scholarship. It allows the students to gain greater competency and skills in an area of specialization by employing the most valuable and latest research methods and resources available for the areas of concentration. Since the MTh is a rigorous and research oriented programme, it also serves as a good preparatory degree for further advanced research degrees such as the PhD or the DTh. The MTh can be taken either on a full-time or part-time basis.

Areas of Concentration

At present, STM offers the MTh programme in the following areas of concentration:

  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Biblical Theology
  • Biblical Interpretation
  • Christian Theology
  • Pastoral Theology
  • Missiology
  • Church History
  • Christian Education
  • Church and Society

The above areas of concentration are offered on the basis of the availability of supervisors. STM reserves the right not to offer any of these areas of concentration at anytime. Please enquire at the time of application.

Degree Requirements

Students participating in the MTh programme must complete a total of 6 modules with a CGPA of 3.2 (or an average B-) or higher (comprising 4 modules in an area of concentration, a core module, and an elective) and a thesis in the area of concentration.

Core Module: “Doing Theologies in Asia” is a required module to be taken by all students. Exemption may be granted if the student has previously taken a similar module as evidenced in the transcript at the time of application. If exemption is granted, the candidate will have the flexibility of taking an additional elective.

Area of Concentration: At least 4 modules will be taken in an area of concentration. These modules will be determined in consultation with the MTh Study Committee, and may comprise both coursework and individual guided research.

Electives: A total of 2 electives (excluding the exempted Core Module, if granted) may be taken in an area outside of but related to the student’s area of concentration subject to the approval of the MTh Study Committee.

Thesis: A thesis with a length of 20,000-30,000 words in English (excluding footnotes and bibliography) (or 35,000-50,000 words in Chinese), written in the area of concentration, is required. The thesis may be required to be defended in a viva voce.

Requirement for Modules: Typically a paper of 5,000 words (or 8,500 words in Chinese) is required for each module. In addition, a written exam, book reviews, or any other suitable format of assessment may also be required as determined by the Module Supervisor. The coursework can be taken based on the combination of any of the following:

  • modules designed exclusively for advanced level of studies,
  • M.Div/M.Min/D.Min courses which are being offered by the Module Supervisor on an advanced level for MTh students,
  • independent guided study, or
  • any other modules approved by the MTh Study Committee

Approved Study Programme Plan: Upon matriculation, students are required to meet with their MTh Supervisor and the Director of Postgraduate Studies to establish a study programme plan. This plan will list all the modules the student intends to complete in order to fulfill his or her own programme requirements. A copy of the study programme plan will be kept by the MTh Study Committee for degree tracking purposes.

Comprehensive Examination: After successful completion of the coursework prior to writing the thesis, the students may be required to sit for a comprehensive examination. The purpose of this examination is to test the students’ ability to integrate what they have studied and to relate it to an Asian setting. The examination format may take a written examination, an oral examination, or a combination of both. Total time allowed for this examination is two periods of three hours each, or a total of six hours. The questions for the comprehensive examination will be set by MTh Study Committee in consultation with instructors involved in the student’s study programme plan.

Postgraduate Research Seminar

All students are required to participate in the Postgraduate Research Seminar, held regularly during the semester. Dates are normally announced in the beginning of each semester.

Medium of Instruction

The MTh is offered in both the English and Chinese tracks. Candidates should indicate their choice at the time of application.

Duration of the Programme

  1. Period of completion of study: A maximum of two years is allowed for full-time students and a maximum of four years is allowed for part-time students for completion of the MTh degree programme. This period of completion of study does not include work on prerequisites, or any pre-MTh requirements.
  2. Full-time students may apply for a maximum of one year extension of their module while part-time students may apply for a maximum of two years extension. The approval for application for extension is subject to the satisfactory progress made in the programme of studies.

Admission Requirements

  1.  Applicants for enrolment to the MTh must hold a strong first theological degree (usually Master of Divinity or Bachelor of Divinity) or its equivalent from a recognized institution with a CGPA of 3.2 and above (or an average of B- and above based on STM’s academic standard).
  2.  Applicants may be required to sit for an entrance examination.
  3.  Applicants must complete full application formalities.
  4.  Applications specializing in Old or New Testament must demonstrate competency in Hebrew or Greek respectively based on transcript evaluation and/or entrance examination.
  5.  Applicants where prerequisites for the MTh programme are lacking based on transcript evaluation may be required to undertake the Pre-MTh programme in the relevant areas of concentration. Please see the section on Pre-Master of Theology Programme below.
  6.  Applicants for English Language track must demonstrate English language competency as evidenced by: TOEFL – 575 paper-based, 233 Computer-based, 91 internet-based; IELTS – 6.5, or equivalent.
  7.  Applicants for Chinese Language track must demonstrate English language competency as evidenced by: TOEFL – 500 paper-based, 173 Computer-based, 61 internet-based; IELTS – 5.0, or equivalent.

Entrance Examinations

The applicants may be required to demonstrate their potential for advanced postgraduate theological study and their competence in the basic disciplines at the first degree level by passing either a written examination, or an oral examination, or a combination of both, to be decided by the MTh Study Committee.

The written examination may comprise up to three papers from different theological disciplines which should include the area of concentration. These papers may include a combination of research papers and on-site written examination. The typical length of a research paper shall be 12-15 pages, sized A4 in double-spaced typescript. The papers must demonstrate an acceptable level of critical reflection of the subject matter and knowledge of the mechanics of paper writing (e.g. the use of footnotes, bibliography, etc).

The entrance examination may be written in English (for the English track) or Chinese (for the Chinese track).

Pre-Master of Theology Programme

The Pre-MTh provides a bridging programme to upskill prospective students seeking admission to the MTh degree where prerequisites may be lacking based on transcript evaluation or the results of the entrance examination. The subjects and total credit hours to be taken are decided upon consultation with the MTh Supervisor and the MTh Study Committee, and may take up to a maximum of 45-credit hour or an equivalent of 1.5 years of full-time studies. In addition, further requirements such as Critical Reading and Writing, Reading and Reasoning, Thesis Methodology, amongst others, may also be imposed.

Pre-MTh programme does not lead to an award of any degree nor can credits be transferred to the MTh programme.

Submission Procedures

Please ensure that the following are sent together with your application form:

  1. One recent passport-size photograph.
  2. One copy of the official transcript of grades in applicant’s previous post-secondary school studies (i.e. college, university and/or theological college).
  3. One copy of Certificate of English language competency (TOEFL/IELTS), if applicable.
  4. An up-to-date medical report, including chest X-ray report (applicable only for full-time studies).
  5. Statement of intention of approximately 500 words stating your purpose in seeking entrance to Seminari Theoloji Malaysia.
  6. A study proposal for the intended research of approximately 2,000 words in English (or 3,000 words in Chinese).
  7. Application fee: RM150 or US$50 (for international applicants).
  8. Any other documents that may be required by the Director of Postgraduate Studies (MTh).

You may download the full application pack from our website: http://www.stm.edu.my

Letters of Recommendation

Two Letters of Recommendation are required. The recommendations should be provided by someone who knows you well and able to provide all the required information.

The first recommendation letter shall be from the Principal or a faculty member of the seminary/theological college in which the applicant graduated. It should provide information on the applicant’s academic standard, achievement, and ability to pursue the MTh programme.

The second recommendation letter shall be from a senior official (Bishop, Moderator, President, Senior Pastor, etc) of the applicant’s denomination or church. It should provide information on the applicant’s personality, character, strength, etc.

Please request your referees to send the letter of recommendation directly to the Director of Postgraduate Studies (MTh).

Application Deadline

Although the MTh is a research-based programme, and students may begin their studies anytime, it is advisable that application be submitted at least 3 months before the intended date of matriculation for Malaysians and 6 months for international applicants. We strongly advise international students to begin their study at the beginning of our academic year which falls on the first week of January.

Mailing Instructions

Application form, together with all the supporting documents stated in the“Submission Procedures” and the application fee, should be sent to:

Rev Dr Lim Kar Yong
Director of Postgraduate Studies (MTh)
Seminari Theoloji Malaysia
Taman South East
70100 Seremban
Negeri Sembilan
Malaysia.

The application pack may also be email to: karyong@stm2.edu.my.