Advanced Studies

In today’s fast-changing world, the church confronts the constant risk of obsolescence. In order to apply God’s truth in faithful and relevant ways, pastors and theological educators need focused preparation at an advanced level which will enhance their skills in ministry, advanced research, and critical thinking. SBC’s Advanced Studies programs seek to equip graduates to face contemporary Asian issues with sound biblical theology and practical strategies.

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Why SBC? Our distinctiveness

Master of Theology

Designed to enhance the ability of pastors and theological educators to serve the church through academic excellence and contextual relevance.

  • Partial Residency: Full-time residency in Singapore is strongly encouraged for maximum learning effectiveness, though partial residency is an option during the student’s time of formal coursework (conditions apply and pre-approval required).

  • HyFlex Learning: Being “hybrid,” this learning mode integrates face-to-face (synchronous) and online learning (asynchronous) experiences; being “flexible,” it allows students to choose how best to participate in the course (conditions apply and pre-approval required).

  • Digital Theological Library: massive collection of digital resources to facilitate research anytime, anywhere.

  • Bridging Pathways: To better prepare students for the program, there are various bridging pathways to help students strengthen their areas of weakness as needed.

  • Research Workshops & Mentors: Yearly workshops are conducted to sharpen students’ research skills. In addition, a mentor will be assigned to each 1st-year student during the process of writing the first two research papers in the core courses.

  • Community and co-curricula learning:

    • Students enjoy community learning, which not only enhances knowledge, but also builds relationships and spiritual maturity

    • Students immerse into primary texts through Hebrew, Greek, and Theology reading clubs and are enriched by special lectures which exhibit cutting-edge research from established scholars.

    • Students have opportunities to be exposed to good pedagogical and academic administration practices.

Doctor of Philosophy

Designed to enhance the ability of pastors and theological educators to serve the church through academic excellence and contextual relevance.

  • Partial Residency: Full-time residency in Singapore is strongly encouraged for maximum learning effectiveness, though partial residency is an option during the student’s time of formal coursework (conditions apply and pre-approval required).

  • HyFlex Learning: Being “hybrid,” this learning mode integrates face-to-face (synchronous) and online learning (asynchronous) experiences; being “flexible,” it allows students to choose how best to participate in the course (conditions apply and pre-approval required).

  • Digital Theological Library: massive collection of digital resources to facilitate research anytime, anywhere.

  • Bridging Pathways: To better prepare students for the program, there are various bridging pathways to help students strengthen their areas of weakness as needed.

  • Research Workshops & Mentors: Yearly workshops are conducted to sharpen students’ research skills. In addition, a mentor will be assigned to each 1st-year student during the process of writing the first two research papers in the core courses.

  • Community and co-curricula learning:

    • Students enjoy community learning, which not only enhances knowledge, but also builds relationships and spiritual maturity

    • Students immerse into primary texts through Hebrew, Greek, and Theology reading clubs and are enriched by special lectures which exhibit cutting-edge research from established scholars.

    • Students have opportunities to be exposed to good pedagogical and academic administration practices.

Doctor of Ministry

Designed to enrich mature leaders of church denominations and parachurch organizations for greater effectiveness in leadership and ministry.

  • Learning activities are paced throughout the semester to promote more effective learning.

  • Coursework and the dissertation research project are highly integrated to facilitate timely completion of the program.

  • Blended learning experiences provide flexibility and promote better interactions within the SBC research community.

  • Digital Theological Library that has a massive collection of digital resources to facilitate research anytime, anywhere.

  • Partial residency during the mid-semester breaks (Mar/Sep) is required to help students concentrate on research and make consistent half-yearly progress in writing, promote community learning, and build relationships.

  • Opportunity to upgrade to PhD in Practical Theology is available (conditions apply and subject to approval).

两年文硕课程后进入神硕课程的见证

我的神学装备历程比较复杂和漫长,虽然在我本国的环境中并不陌生,但如此曲折的也未必多见。从2012年辞掉工作全职服事开始,先是在教会有一整年的全职服事,服事过程中发现缺乏神学装备,发觉自己缺乏系统性的神学认识(并非系统神学),于是进入一个圣经基础班,开始为期两年圣经基础学习的密集课程。得益于院长成熟的属灵生命影响,以及对圣经解释的看重,这两年的密集课程使自己对圣经的熟悉程度增进许多。之后我又进入华神分校为期两年的文硕密集课程,但在此两年的课程当中,并没有接触希腊文及希伯来文,只是接触了初步的圣经课程及系统神学课程。不过在这两年期间我认识到中国神学教育的需要是巨大的,而神学教育的师资是极度缺乏的,也正是在这两年期间,我知道并清楚了自己的异象——扎根牧会的基础上为中国的神学教育预备自己,于是坚定自己进入神硕课程的学习。

我神硕的装备方向是圣经科的旧约研究,认识到自己的年龄并不具有优势,很想能够直接进入神硕的学习,然而没有系统性地学习原文课程,学院还是建议我多用两年的时间完成希腊文和希伯来文的课程,并且重新接受全时间文硕课程的学习。虽然当时有些不情愿,但也认识到进入旧约研究若不能掌握基本的希伯来文学习是不可以的,并且在祷告中也平安接受,于是,华神分校毕业当月的一周之后,我就来到了新加坡神学院开始全时间文硕课程的学习。

我清楚地知道来到新神是为了完成神硕课程,而非只是学习原文或者再完成一次文硕课程,这一目标让我有诸多受益,也有一些遗憾。受益的是,全时间的文硕学习根本上刷新了我对神学装备的认识,一方面我不能通过学习知识来增长我的灵命,但老师们的属灵生命深深影响到我自身的灵命。另一方面我接触到更系统性地神学装备,较为严谨的学术要求,更为广阔的神学视野,与同学们的接触,也认识到不同信仰处境的状况,使得自己对牧会和神学教育有更深层次的认识和想法。再一方面,丰富的图书馆资源,是我之前的神学装备不具备的。遗憾的地方是,因为自己笃定要读神硕的课程,因此并没有重视文硕课程的学习,错失了许多学术方面提前学习的机会,其实也是在文硕课程快要结束的时候才发觉这遗憾的存在。另一个遗憾是,并没有充分利用这两年的时间,将希腊文和希伯来文更扎实的掌握和巩固,这也成为进入神硕预备年的一个遗憾。

进入神硕课程的过程相对比较顺利,毕竟提前超过三个月的时间,预备希伯来文和英文的考试。当然,预备的过程并不轻松,也正是预备的过程中发现自己文硕期间没有多花一些时间巩固希伯来文的遗憾,因此,预备的过程显得较为吃力。英文考试的预备是凭借着前面两年坚持不断每天背诵十几个单词积累下来的,虽然考试并不是很理想,但自己察觉这两年期间,英文水平有所长进。

神硕课程一共两年的时间,第一年为预备年,需要通过一些科目的学习,以及完成旧约指定的阅读,以此来判断学习者是否适合神硕的学习。虽然自己并没有为此过多担心,但却被神硕预备年的课程深深吸引,自己非常喜欢这一年的课程以及指定阅读的书籍。这一年再次刷新自己神学装备的概念,原来神学的装备也需要更严谨、更系统、更有逻辑的学习,原来一篇专文或一篇论文并非完成字数要求及找到支持的资料就算完成,而是需要有合适的主题方向,清晰的结构,严谨的逻辑,充分的一手和二手资料以及有说服力的评论等。另一方面,此时才真正发现,原来神学研究领域有如此深厚及久远的探索和发展,并且有丰富的资源,也有广阔的视野,自己之前的自大甚至自以为是瞬间在这一年被完全淹没,骤然发觉自己在神学认识方面是那么渺小。而这也促使我沉下心来,认真进入神硕的学习和研究中。

总之,在过去长达七八年的神学装备过程中,每一个过程都是神的安排,让我从不同的方面做预备,也从我自身的性格接受塑造,最终才适合进入神硕的学习。每一个过程都不是徒然的,每一个过程都受益匪浅,但神硕课程的接触和学习,才让我更认真地定位自己,也让我更全面地认识自己和神学领域。我所需要继续努力的,是让自己更多沉下心来,丰富自己的阅读,更认真地对待学术研究和对话。

神硕课程衔接见证

在2019年初参加完入学考试后,就一直怀着忐忑的心在等待结果。收到学校的录取通知后,却是一半欣喜,一半忧虑。学校同意录取我为2019年的神硕—旧约方向的研究生,但是需要先读一年预科。来SBC读神硕是我的一个梦想,可是家庭和经济等方面都带给我很大的压力。我和妻子结婚六年,还没有孩子;在新加坡读书需要我和妻子自筹学费。这些都是我需要考虑的因素,每多一年,压力就会额外增加很多。可以说,我是在忧虑中踏上了求学之旅。

刚来SBC之时,我感受到这里的生活、习惯、学习的氛围以及人际关系都和国内很不一样。来之前,我只是考虑到家庭和经济的因素,来到SBC之后,我才明白老师为何需要我在这边先读一年预科。

主要是生活习惯和学习两个方面:

从生活习惯方面来说,我的国家很讲究人情世故、礼尚往来。但到了新加坡,这边的人第一感觉是比较冷漠,强调规矩。我到SBC知道的第一件事就是不可以给老师送礼,除了毕业的谢师宴之外,也不可以请老师吃饭。在新加坡照章办事好像已经成为了生活中的一部分,可以就是可以,不可以就不能通融,让初次来到新加坡的我感觉有一些冷冰冰的不近人情。直到在实际的学习和生活中才慢慢体会到除了照章办事之外,老师们的尽心尽责和额外的付出。每一次当我请教老师问题,不管是学习还是生活中的琐事,老师总是在百忙之中,抽出时间来给予帮助,哪怕这些事并非由老师来负责,但是老师们确实是按照“多走一里路”的爱来陪伴和关怀。

如果说生活习惯方面因老师的爱心和关怀,很快融入了SBC的生活。那么,在学习方面发现自己确实需要先读一年预科。第一,我离开学校已经有很长一段时间,在社会上工作几年后,重新开始学习,需要一段时间来适应;第二,在中国所学习的知识如何来衔接为SBC的课程体系,需要一段时间来转化;第三,在中国所受到的教育是不同老师、不同学者、不同传统所形成的各种神学知识,这些知识是零散的,甚至是互相冲突的,并没有形成一种神学架构,只是以传统和权威来进行统合。来到SBC之后,使我意识到,我必须先在一个体系中形成我的神学架构,在这个架构中将各种神学知识和观点融入到一个体系当中,这需要花很多时间建构;第四,在预科一年结束后,进入到神硕的第一年,我更加明白老师们对我的关爱。没有一年的预科学习,我不会有能力来分析学者们的观点,不会去接受不同的神学观点,不会打开我的心去接纳不同的意见,一年的预科,不止是让我学到了多少知识,更是让我学会了如何去学习、去敞开、去做研究。在来SBC之前,神硕旧约方向研究是我的梦想,但我清楚知道我还欠缺很多,很可能在能力不够的时候转到综合研究,但这一年的预科,在老师们的帮助下,使我在各方面得以成长,这一年的预科,为我在未来一年写论文打下了基础。