Completing my MTh(Ed)

MTh(Ed) with AGST Alliance

Finally I received my MTh(Ed) from AGST Alliance in a folder over registered mail. I have graduated. It was an enjoyable, enlightening and enriching journey.

It was fun to meet fellow servants of God from pastors, lay leaders to lecturers of Bible Schools who want to pursue further equipping and increase of knowledge and skills on a part-time basis, while still in their respective job responsibilities or ministries. When you are together in class, and over meals and breaks, over several courses, or even travel together, you are sure to build friendships and acquaintances.

My classmates are mostly from Malaysia and Singapore but there are also those from Australia and USA. They are from different  denominations, Bible Schools and missions. This makes our interactions and fellowship times interesting and exciting.

I learned a lot from the course modules which included spiritual formation and Christian education. Each module comprised a five day 9am to 5pm lecture phase, preceded by reading assignments, and followed by research assignments. The lecturers were helpful and facilitated our learning and treated us with graciousness and thoughtfulness. They knew the kind of struggles and challenges people in ministry faced in trying to juggle assignments and work.

The whole package created a learning environment that befits the degree we pursued. To be a good practitioner would require that I patiently and diligently seek what I learned to what I am doing. It comes from reflection-action-reflection in the journey of change. But the burden and speed of ministry means you do not have the time to reflect sufficiently to design something that is customised. It is always easier to find a package and use it. Besides having time, I only wished I was able to apply the insights gained with a coach’s or mentor’s help.

I must confess that towards the end I struggled a great deal with studying part-time. My grades were above average most of the time. But the tougher assignments at the tail end took a toll on me. I needed to dig deep, ask my friends for prayer support, and cry out to God for grace and wisdom and motivation to get over the line. By the grace of God, I finished the course, and graduated. It gave me a great feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, but it makes me think twice and pray thrice about taking out any further courses.

 

Sending in my MTh research

Carton of books next to my desk

After a few days of concentrated work I was finally able to complete an improved draft of my research. I have been working part-time on my MTh for about six years now. I learned a lot from the several modules run in KL, Petaling Jaya, Penang, Bangkok and Singapore in different partner Bible colleges of the Asia Graduate School of Theology Alliance.

Even the practicum was a useful, reflective process that required the thoughtful practice of the insights I had learned in the modules.

This final bit was a piece of research on how the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius can be adapted for use in a Pentecostal church. I had sent the first draft in and it had required a few added pages and changes. After that was done, I had to format it to Chicago style format and I found the pagination a pain. Thus it was no surprise I felt so relieved and glad when I attached the document and pressed the “Send” button.

I am hopeful that the supervisor will not send it back to me for any more changes except cosmetic ones.

Jurong Lake & Little Guilin Ride

We were supposed to have started our ride at 7.30am. But it rained and so the Brompton Pastors Club had breakfast in my home. A leisurely breakfast. By the time we finally rode off it was 9am. The weather was superbly cool. We rode to the Chinese and Japanese Garden because Then Chee Min came all the way from the east. At the least he should ride through the gardens. Then we were on the PCN to the Little Guilin. The west is where I live, so I guided the group. At Little Guilin the rain fell and we adjourned to a Malay kopitiam for an early lunch and fellowship (and theological discussion abut generational curse) till the rain stopped. Then we headed to the former granite quarry at Bukit Batok Park and from there proceeded to the PCN that links the Bukit Batok to the Ulu Pandan PCN. Our original plan was to do the Ulu Pandan PCN to Ghim Moh for lunch but rain altered our plans and we called it quits after we did the lovely Teban Garden overhead  steel bridge. We reached my home by 12.15pm. A wonderful splendid lovely morning with pastors! God’s way is always better – the rain forced us pastors to spend as much time time seated around the table of fellowship as on our Brompton foldies; and it cooled the day which otherwise would likely have been direct sun on us by mid-morning.

Early morning rains delayed our ride. We were in no hurry.
Unfolding the Brompton folding bikes.
Ready to ride by 9am!
At the Chinese Gardens main building
Riding along Bukit Batok streets
Two oranges, two blues and two greens. Bromptons against Little Guilin.
Wefie.
Shelter from the rain. Might as well have an early lunch!
Old quarry at Bukit Batok Park
Along the way on Bukit Batok PCN to Ulu Pandan PCN
Trouble on beautiful steel bicycle bridge that connects Ulu Pandan PCN to Teban Garden PCN. Brompton toolkit and common sense solved the problem. Thank you Jesus.
One final shot for the road.
Back in my home: 4 folded Bromptons inside a Toyota Wish. Incredible sight.