We are living in a complex world with unprecedented challenges, which requires us to constantly learn and innovate. An ongoing commitment to holistic learning would ensure that we remain relevant to our contextual realities.
For many Christian leaders, it becomes extremely difficult to take time off from their demanding work and ministry responsibilities to pursue theological studies and be equipped to serve their calling in the public sphere. Recognizing this challenge and to cater to the growing need to train leaders for the church and nation, we are launching our revamped Online programmes, with specialized focus in fields like Biblical Studies, Apologetics, Counselling, Leadership, Creative Arts and Worship, Theological Studies and World Religions.
This online initiative is birthed out of a vision and passion for developing leaders who can engage the rapidly changing, complex, contextual realities by harnessing the power of technology for theological educational purposes.
- Three Key Factors
The three key factors that motivate us:
- Missional Responsibility
Spurred by our desire to equip the whole people of God for their calling to be a witness in multiple settings. online education enables us to reach out to new constituencies and train people without uprooting them form their ministry/work responsibilities. The use of technology also enhances our global appeal as we are able to transcend borders and cater to the needs of people from other parts of the world.
- Contextual Reality
As the world is rapidly changing with huge technological advances, the way people access and process information has also changed. Online education is able to cater to this new contextual reality and train people who prefer online mode of learning due to various reasons.
- Financial Sustainability
As the cost of the residential programme continues to go higher, online education is also seen as a viable alternative to complement the ongoing residential programme. This new initiative will also enhance the greater sustainability of SAIACS in the future.
- Programme Overview
SAIACS offers 2- 6 years online Masters with specialisations in Biblical Studies, Theological Studies, Counselling, Creative Arts and Worship, World Religions, Apologetics and Leadership. The programme is accredited by Asia Theological Association (ATA). Several other specialisations are also under consideration.
The SAIACS MA Online programme is uniquely designed to provide a holistic theological education, focused on the head [cognitive], heart [affective] and hands [behavioural/skills].
The MA Online programme is unique in its pedagogical methodology with regard to the course administration, which is built on a hybrid mode of learning. Several technological tools like Moodle, Zoom, EZProxy, WhatsApp and others are employed for lectures, discussions, seminars and library access.
Each module is for 3 credits and the MA programme consists of 20 modules for a total requirement of 60 credits.
Disciplines Duration Total Modules Total Credit Hours
Mode of Delivery
Creative Arts and Worship
Mostly Asynchronous on Moodle platform with some amount of Synchronous sessions through Zoom or any other online platforms with Course Designers/ Facilitators
Total = 20
Total = 60
- Description of Disciplines
This programme has nine core modules dedicated to the study of the various literary categories in the Old and New Testaments: narrative, poetry, prophetic books, wisdom books, gospels, epistles integrated with Acts (in two parts), law, and apocalyptic books. The student is given preparation towards confidently teaching and preaching from these categories of biblical literature. The modules are designed for both knowledge of the Bible and for personal transformation through the study of the Bible.
MA in Leadership is designed to prepare leaders for success in their current or future roles as leaders in church, parachurch, corporate, marketplace, NGOs, etc., by providing significant learning environments, processes and practice for the formation of identity, knowledge, attitudes, skills and behavioural patterns required for Christ like leadership and service in an increasingly complex and changing global context.
It is natural that one has doubts about one’s faith. If not, we at least know someone who is struggling with questions, and we would like to help answer. The MA in Christian Apologetics programme at SAIACS is designed to help understand the field of apologetics in a systematic way by interacting with the specialists in the field, with the desired outcome of being a better-equipped Christian witness in the contemporary context.
The Master of Arts in Christian Counselling is a non-licensure graduate online programme designed to prepare servant leaders for excellence in service of Christian counselling in the local Church, denominational agencies, ministry-based organizations, NPOs and even in the marketplace. The programme provides a theological and biblical foundation enabling the participants to incorporate biblical principles and themes into a counselling ministry. The courses in this programme will address a variety of topics as well as focus on the person of the counsellor in terms of skill development, personal therapy and Christian formation. This programme will also give counselling strategies, techniques, tools and caregiving activities to help people in all walks of life.
Pastoral Theology and Counselling
The Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology and Counselling programme is designed to prepare servant leaders for excellence in service in the field of pastoral care and counselling in the local Church, denominational agencies and ministry-based organizations. Particular attention is given to preparing pastors and church leaders to integrate theological study with the practice of ministry in congregations as well as broader contexts. The programme provides a theological and biblical foundation for Christian ministry and covers the breadth of ministerial studies to prepare students for a strong vocational ministry.
World Religion programme introduces the most interesting, very vibrant and vitally important religious world of people. This is designed to enable students to better understand the practitioners of these world religions, learn their belief systems and perspectives as well as respond appropriately to their queries regarding the Christian faith. The track includes Modules such as introduction to the study of religion, Major world religions, Major religious and secular movements, The Bhagavad Gita and the Bible and The Qur’an and the Bible.
Creative Arts & Worship
The online MA in Creative Arts & Worship Studies (CAWS) programme is an exciting and fresh initiative designed to invite participants from diverse cultural backgrounds into a thorough understanding and study of the practices of various artistic-worship traditions from biblical, historical, theological, cultural, and missiological perspectives. Students are prepared to integrate critical thinking and creative practice in the areas of creativity, cultural exegesis of diverse ecclesial artistic traditions, and the aesthetic role of the arts in strengthening the life and ministry of the people of God. It is also especially suited to develop the skills and capacities for those seeking to undergird their creative gifts and practice with a solid theological foundation and missional orientation for service.
- Entry Requirements
- An applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree, with at least a second-class pass from any recognized university or theological college or seminary that is accredited by Asia Theological Association or the Senate of Serampore College.
- Completion of SAIACS application requirements, interview and examinations.
- CURRICULUM DESIGN
The MA Online curriculum is designed to provide biblically grounded, missionally focused courses, which are relevant to the contemporary socio-cultural issues and realities, from local and global perspectives. The curriculum is intentionally designed with focus on sharpening the intellect, shaping the character and enhancing the ministry skills.
As mentioned earlier, the course comprises of 60 credits, which is spread across 20 modules of 3 credits each. Applicants who hold an ATA accredited BTh degree with a ‘B+’ grade will have a lateral entry to the second year.
- COURSE COMPONENTS
The MA Online curriculum includes the following six components:
- Online Orientation and Research Writing Skills: (1 Module: 3 Credits)
This module is mandatory for every student as it prepares them for the entire programme by enhancing their critical thinking, academic writing skills and library research.
- Specialized Courses: (9 Modules: 27 Credits)
A total of 9 modules will be from the following Specializations:
Biblical Studies, Theology/Ethics, Apologetics, Counselling, Leadership, World Religions and Creative Arts and Worship.
- Foundational Courses: (5 Modules: 15 Credits)
All Students are required to do 5 foundational modules that provides them core competency in theological education.
- Electives Courses: Choice of Modules (3 Modules: 9 Credits)
An additional 3 modules are required as electives as students can choose from a pool of modules, with the help of their Head of the Departments (HODs), which are pertinent for their selected discipline.
- Practicums (2 Modules: 6 Credits)
- Spiritual Formation (year 1)
This module is to ensure that the students are fully engaged in their personal ongoing inner formation that exemplifies biblical ethos and a lifestyle dedicated to service.
- Ministry Formation (year 2)
This module is developed to provide opportunities for practical ministry, to apply their learning to contextual realities. Partnership with the student’s local church and other ministry agencies will be provided as part of their ministry formation module.
No. of Modules
Online Orientation and Research & Writing Skills
Spiritual Formation (Practicum1)
Ministry Formation (Practicum-2)
- DETAILS OF TYPICAL MA ONLINE MODULE
One module is of 8 weeks with 4 units of 2 weeks each. The online classes will include Lecture videos, Paper presentations, Assignments, Quizzes, Forum discussions through the Moodle learning platform. There will also be possibilities for face to face interaction with the respective tutors/ facilitators through Zoom or any other online platform.
Each credit hour requires 2000 minutes of learning. This means that a module will require 6000 minutes of learning, that is 100-120 learning hours. A detailed information of learning hour allocation for each academic activity such as reading, writing, field work, video lectures, etc. shall be sent separately to the registered candidates.
- Completion Requirements
(i) Successful completion of 60 credits.
(ii) Ministry involvement that meets set requirements.
(iii) Character and spiritual development that meets set requirements/standards.
Students can avail guest facilities at SAIACS on the payment of additional costs for boarding and lodging if they desire to visit the campus briefly for educational purposes. SAIACS library catalogue and all electronic resources are now accessible from off campus through EZProxy. It facilitates students and faculty to access library resources from any location.
- Period of Study
MA can be completed within 2 years, but the candidate is allowed up to 6 years. If the student takes beyond 6 years, the registration expires, and the student has to re-register for the programme.
- TUITION FEES
The fee has been kept very reasonable, considering the financial reality of many of our candidates. Also, students will have the facility to pay this in multiple instalments [Minimum 3 Modules package]. Scholarship will be provided for suitable candidates. Please email the Programme Manager, Online Department for more details (email@example.com).