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The 'safe' arena established allowed for almost immediate community transparency. The costs were one of the best bargains I've ever seen in school at any level. [American, MTh(Ed)/PhD(Ed)]






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Our history


  • An Asia Graduate School of Theology venture existed in Singapore, offering a DMin program. But this had almost gone into recess by 2000.


  • Dr Lee Wanak (Dean, AGST Philippines) challenged the Asia Theological Association (ATA) member institutions in Malaysia and Singapore to establish a Doctor of Education program.
  • Discussions, encouraged especially by the late Rev Derek Tan (ATA General Secretary), affirmed that a postgraduate program in Christian education would be valuable and viable, and a suitable person was sought to head up the program, as well as to facilitate further specialised postgraduate programs on behalf of the institutions. When Dr Allan Harkness became available, he was endorsed for these positions by members of the ad hoc planning group.


  • Six ATA-linked theological seminaries in Malaysia and Singapore became founding members of the AGST (Malaysia/Singapore) consortium.
  • Dr Allan Harkness commenced as the founding Dean, seconded to AGST-M/S by his mission organisation.


  • The modules of the first cycle of the Master of Theology (Education) commenced; and the first Doctor of Philosophy (Education) candidates commenced their programs.


  • ATA member seminaries in Thailand, looking for suitable postgraduate programs especially for faculty development, recognised the potential of AGST (Malaysia/ Singapore), and requested membership. Two Thai seminaries became full members of the consortium in early 2006.
  • With this came a name-change to reflect our tri-national entity: Asia Graduate School of Theology (Malaysia/Singapore/Thailand).


  • Our PhD(Theology) commenced with its first candidate.
  • The modules of the second cycle of the MTh(Ed) commenced.


  • The modules of the MTh(Theology) program commenced.
  • We welcomed Myanmar Evangelical Graduate School of Theology as a full consortium member, and Phnom Penh Bible School as an associate member.
  • We registered as a company in Malaysia - AGST Alliance Sendirian Berhad (= Private Limited).


  • A request to AGST Alliance from the Middle East Association for Theological Education (MEATE) for help to establish their postgraduate programs was formalised in a memorandum of understanding for a 5-year period.
  • We celebrated the graduation of the first PhD(Ed) candidate (Rosalind Lim-Tan) and the first MTh(Ed) student (Chuah Seong Peng).


  • The third cycle of our MTh(Ed) commenced.
  • We welcomed the first MEATE-sponsored participant into our programs.
  • The ATA accreditation process for AGST Alliance took place. ATA validated (= accredited) these programs:
    • Theology: Postgraduate Diploma in Theology, MTh(Theol).
    • Education: Postgraduate Diploma in Education, Spiritual Formation and Discipleship, MTh(Ed) and PhD(Ed).
  • Chiang Mai Theological Seminary (Thailand) and Malaysia Evangelical College (Sarawak, East Malaysia) became associate members of AGST Alliance.


  • Our Doctor of Education (EdD) program was launched.
  • The second cycle of our MTh(Theol) commenced.


  • The fourth cycle of our MTh(Ed)/EdD commenced.
  • Perry Shaw was recognised as our first EdD graduate.


  • Co-partnering with Malaysian Care and Tabor College (Victoria, Australia), we commenced the Asia-based cycle of Tabor's Master of Arts in Vocational Practice (Aid and Development), with 15 students in the first cohort.
  • We celebrated the graduation of our first PhD(Theol): Paul Woods.


  • We launched our PhD(Bib. Studies).
  • The third cycle of our MTh(Theol) commenced.
  • We launched our EdD(Child & Family Development) program.


  • The second ATA accreditation process for AGST Alliance took place, with a successful outcome. These programs were accredited:
    • Postgraduate Diploma in Education
    • Master of Theology in Education
    • Doctor of Education
    • Doctor of Philosophy in Education
    • Postgraduate Diploma in Theology
    • Master of Theology in Theology
    • Doctor of Philosophy in Theology
  • We launched our Doctor of Ministry in Leadership program, in partnership with Bible College of Malaysia and Malaysia Bible Seminary.
  • Hiew Hoong Cheong graduated with MTh(Theol), our first student to receive this degree.
  • Dr Tan Sooi Ling commenced as Academic Dean, alongside her role as Director of the DMin Program.
  • Dr Allan Harkness relinquished his role as Dean, and relocated to New Zealand. He was appointed Advisory Director from the beginning of 2016.
  • Our AGST Alliance office moved to Penang, Malaysia.
  • We renewed our partnership with Eastern College Australia (formerly Tabor Victoria) and Malaysian Care to offer a second Asia-based cycle of a new-look Master of Transformational Development program.


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