A Word from the Dean

A fresh beginning. Thereís somthing about the start of a new calendar year that wakes us up to a reassessment of what on earth we are doing with our life. What are our goals in life? How are we addressing these goals? Are we just chugging along living from day to day, or can we be more strategic in re-orienting our life in the direction of how we perceive Godís calling.

BGST exists to train and guide you in equipping yourself to obey Godís calling. And obey we must or we shall incur Godís consternation on the wastage of our time and our life.

Our Faculty Line-up. Our resident faculty for 2007 comprise Dr Philip Satterthwaite (returning from a half-sabbatical), Dr Augustine Pagolu, Dr Ng Peh Cheng, and myself. In addition we have local Adjunct Lecturers who are scheduled to teach in 2007: Dr David Wong (Pastoral Ministry), Mr Yam Keng Mun (Counselling), Rev Ng Seng Chuan (Speech Communications), Mr John Chong Ser Choon (Spiritual Theology), and Mr Song Cheng Hock (Counselling).

Rev Ng SC (Speech Communications) will take a term off to deal with some personal work. We are glad to note that he will continue teaching at BGST as an Adjunct Lecturer. We welcome back Cheng Hock as an Adjunct Lecturer: he is now full-time in his pastoral ministry. We are glad to announce that we have added to our pool of competent Tutors, Mr Lai Pak Wah, who is also a Faculty member under training. Pak Wah has completed his ThM at Regent College and will spend 8 months at BGST tutoring church history and theology before commencing his PhD studies at the University of Durham in September this year.

Over the years our students have enjoyed the widened perspectives provided by distinguished lecturers from overseas. In 2007 the following will add their special training and passion to the course offerings at BGST: Prof. Paul Stevens (Marketplace Theology), Prof. James Houston (Spiritual Theology), Prof. Alan Millard (Archaeology and Old Testament), Dr David Ravinder (Counselling), and Dr Douglas Milne (Systematic Theology).

Required Courses. All programme students working towards the Grad DipCS, MCS and MDiv are advised to give priority to the required courses indicated in the Prospectus, which is available on our website. Required courses should be taken first before the elective courses.

Elective Courses. As announced earlier, our academic year now begins in July rather than January each year. From January to June this year therefore we have the luxury of an Interim Semester to introduce interesting and important electives. At BGST students can begin their studies at any time, especially for those who prefer the private study arrangement.

Courses for the remainder of 2007 & Convocation. You may log on to our website for details of Term 2 courses (of our Interim Semester) from April to June as well as the First Semester (July to December). You will see that we have laid out for you a wide selection of courses and we hope these will enable BGST to fulfill our training Mission.

Registration is compulsory before the commencement of any course. At BGST we allow students who are uncertain about taking a particular course to attend the first session without charge. Simply register by calling our Admin Office at 6227 6815 and ask for Anthony or Kok Wee who will have the latest information on the status of each course. Payment for all courses can be made at registration or at the second lecture. Registration is still open for all courses.

Commencement Dates. Do pay attention to the starting dates of all courses. The initial lectures are very important in orienting students to the purpose and essence of what is to be taught. I wish to draw attention to the time sensitivity of the starting point of each course. The particular dates for the lectures in some courses have been fixed. But for others, particularly courses in Theology, Church History and Archaeology, the commencement of these courses are determined by the required number of registrations received or the availability of the tutor (as in the case of private study courses). The dates for the lectures and tutorials are negotiated at an orientation session which those interested should attend (without charge) for an understanding of what is to be taught, the requirements in terms of assignments, and especially the dates of the lectures and tutorials to be arranged to suit the availability of the lecturers, tutors and students. After the orientation session, students can decide whether or not to proceed to firm up their registration for the particular course. So we emphasize again, look out for the dates and venues of these orientation sessions.

Credit, Audit, and Private Study Courses. We encourage students to take courses by credit where possible. But we acknowledge that some students still prefer simply to attend lectures "by audit" without having to do assignments, take exams or write papers. Note that courses marked with an asterisk are not offered on an audit basis. Check with Dr Ng Peh Cheng on our available private study courses, for those who prefer to study on their own with a tutor.

Gideonís Army Appeal. To support the massive efforts we are making to offer this broad spectrum of training for the laity and clergy who may be interested (see below), we are appealing to all who support the vision of BGST to come behind us financially. I shall highlight this in a special write-up in BTW next week. Pray and give to help us get off on a good start financially for 2007! And donít forget to sign up for a course also!

New Convocation Date. Our Convocation, usually held in January, has been postponed to June 25, 2007. This should be good news to our graduating students who need the extra time to complete their course work.

Courses commencing this week

  • The Gospel of Isaiah (Isa 40-55) (OT363, 1.5 credits), starting Fri., Jan 5, 7.30-9.30pm. Lecturer: Dr Augustine Pagolu.

  • *New Testament Textual Criticism (BG253, 1.5 credits), starting Sat. , Jan 6, 8.30am at 4 Bishan St 13. Lecturer: Dr Quek Swee Hwa.

    Courses commencing next week

  • *Biblical Hebrew Exegesis I (BH 211, 3 credits), starting Mon., Jan 8, 7.30 - 9.30pm. Dr Augustine Pagolu.

  • *The Counsellor as a Person: Self-Awareness & Maturity in Christ (CO101, 3 credits), starting Wed., Jan 10, 7.15-10.15pm. Lecturer: Mr Yam Keng Mun.

  • Old Testament Foundations I (OT101, 3 credits), starting Thurs., Jan 11, 7.30pm - 9.30pm. Lecturer: Dr Philip Satterthwaite.

  • *Modern Hebrew (BH215, 1.5 credits). This is a new course starting Thurs., Jan 11, 7.30-9.30pm. Guest Lecturer: Mrs Tsipi (from Israel). MCS students may offer BH215 in lieu of BH214. Those who intend to continue studying Modern Hebrew seriously may carry on into the subsequent semesters.

  • Introduction to Church History (CH101, 3 credits), Jan 13, 10-11am at 4 Bishan St 13. Lecturer: Dr Quek SH. Tutor: Mr Lai Pak Wah.

  • The Christian Faith (TS101, 3 credits), Jan 13, 2.00-3.30pm, at 31 Tg Pagar Rd. Lecturer: Dr Quek SH. Tutors: Dr Quek and Mr Lai Pak Wah.

  • Theological Foundations I (TS211, 3 credits), Jan 13, 3.30-5.00pm, at 31 Tg Pagar Rd. Lecturer: Dr Douglas Milne. Tutors: Dr Quek and Mr Lai Pak Wah.

Courses commencing after next week

  • Children's Spirituality & Ministry Formation (CE502, 3 credits), starting Tues., Jan 16, 7.15-10.15pm. Lecturer: Dr Ng Peh Cheng.

  • Spirituality & Work: Journey Inward-Journey Outward (MM254, 3 credits). Guest Lecturer: Prof Paul Stevens. This intensive course covers 7 sessions on Jan 25, 29, 31, Feb 2 (Weekdays, 7.15-10.15pm); Jan 27, Feb 3, 10 (Saturdays, 2.30-9.30pm)

  • The Books of Kings: An Anatomy of Religious Decline in Israel & Judah ( OT365, 1.5 credits) by Dr Philip Satterthwaite, which is due to start on Tues., Jan 16 has only one registration. It may have to be pushed back to a later date to allow for more registrations.

  • Vocation, Work & Ministry (MM101, 3 credits), Mar 6, 7.30-9.30pm, at 31 Tg Pagar Rd. Dr Paul Stevens: Tutor: Mr John Chong Ser Choon.

  • The Christian Spirit (TS251, 3 credits), Sep 5, 7.30-9.30pm, 31 Tg Pagar Rd. Lecturer: Dr James Houston. Tutor: Mr John Chong Ser Choon.

    Do uphold the work of BGST in your prayer, especially the Teaching Faculty as they prepare their lectures and work together to make the learning environment at BGST a vibrant, enjoyable, and effective experience that is pleasing to God Almighty.

 

CHAPEL NOTES

Dr Quek started the chapels for 2007 with a two-part series of messages focusing on "Light" (Jan 3) and "Life" (Jan 10, next week). In his exposition of John 1:1-9, he reminded those present concerning "Light" as KNOWLEDGE (seeing the Light), RIGHTEOUSNESS (walking in the Light), WITNESS (bearing witness to the Light) and JESUS HIMSELF (surrendering to Jesus, who is the Light of the World). This has important implications for us as individuals and as an institution of higher and biblical learning.

News Bits

  1. We thank God for an anonymous gift of $1000 (cheque POSB200923) received this week. May the Lord multiply this gift for BGST's ministry!

  2. Welcome back to Dr and Mrs David Tan, BGST alumni, who are back to Singapore for their furlough!

  3. BGST Golf Tournament, Friday, Jan 12th., at the Raffles Country Club. Pray for good weather and the success of our objectives in providing healthy fun and raising funds to reduce our Building Loan. The Guest of Honour will be the Minister of State for Health, Mr Heng Chee How. We are grateful to the organizing committee for their tireless efforts and for all who have signed up to participate and to donate to BGST.

  4. Away from Office. Dr Quek Swee Hwa (Jan 14-28, India), Dr Augustine Pagolu (Jan 19-25, IFES meeting in Brazil).

INVITATION TO SAMPLE SEMINAR

Dr David Wong of "Finishing Well Ministries" invites you to sampleówithout fees or obligationsóa "Finishing Well" seminar. The sample seminar lasts 2.5 hours and is designed to give you a taste of the following:

  1. why the Bible, more than any human self-help guides, can give us the wisdom we need to live to the full and finish well
  2. how training can change our lives by putting in place life-transforming attitudes and habits
  3. how learning to finish well can be as enjoyable as it is vital and important

The venue is at the brand new TradeHub 21 at Boon Lay Way (easily accessible from PIE or AYE). The dates for the sample seminars are:

  • Jan 13, Saturday, 3pm to 5.30pm
    Jan 14, Sunday, 3pm to 5.30pm

  • Feb 3, Saturday, 9am to 11.30am
    Feb 4, Sunday, 3pm to 5.30pm

At the end of the sample seminar, you may consider a range of modules we offer: 6 weeks (once a week), 3 weeks (once a week), or the one-day intensive module.

As we are accepting only a limited number, please call Jenny at 9 171 3834 or 6 515 0256. We hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.

A Blessed Birthday toÖ

Mrs Kalene Tey 9/1

Mr Low Keng Shin 10/1

Mr Christopher Lian 10/1

Mr Tong Ming Hung 11/1

Mr Kelvin Kwek 12/1

Mr Koh Chin Kok 14/1

Mr Steven Heng 14/1

Ms Lily Chung 14/1

Mdm Tee Chwee Hoon 14/1

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Last update : Friday, January 05, 2007  
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