Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary in Penang. Air Asia and a shared cab brought me here at 1pm. The room is large and for two persons but I asked for a single room and there were none left, so they gave me this double room with a million dollar view from Batu Ferringhi. The AGST MTh(Ed) module I am attending is titled “Curriculum Design and Development in a Christian Faith Community”. In the three quarters- filled plane, I was speed-reading a borrowed book, “Mapping Out Curriculum In Your Church”, and once I settled in, I continued till I finished it at about 6pm. Having a phone camera is useful as I could take pics of some of the useful and more important charts and tables in the book.
Now it is close to 12midnight. I have had my dinner at the street hawker’s and it was cheap and delicious. I had met up with a new student, a mature Singapore pastor who had just joined the program(Welcome to the club of seniors in life long learning!). I had bathed and made sure all my pre-course work had been done. I feel tired and done for the day. Lord, may I awake completely refreshed and energized for the packed days ahead.
The research methods module, held by AGST Alliance at Malaysia Bible Theological Seminary, was like a durian – thorny on the outside but succulent and fragrant on the inside. When I first received the information, the idea of delving in statistics was a thorny No-no. The pleasant surprise was that the lecturers sort of gave us a survey of the statistical tools available. We learned that the best time to actually learn the statistical tools would be after you had actually decided on the research design. However the one week intensive course was immensely helpful on the whole as it introduced you to the world of research methods both quantitative and qualitative. Key research concepts, research design, tools for collecting data, interpretation and ethical and theological issues were all interesting stuff, made engaging by the lecturers Dr Allan Harkness and Dr Jeanie Shim. Now I understand the why the theological, educational and social science journals in the theological library have the rather formal, laborious process and outline.
The campus was located on the granite slopes of Batu Ferringhi, Penang island. The views afforded by such a location was a boost when energies ran low or the classroom became too claustrophobic. All it took was a look outside far into the mountains of Kedah and the fishing boats in the sea, and a breath of fresh sea breeze. What a place to study God’s word and handiwork side by side. Have a look at the video.