Pioneer batch of students graduate from theology institute
It was an exciting time for 23 students on Nov 21, as they were the first batch of students from the newly set-up Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS), to receive their Certificate in Theology.
“The graduation of our first cohort truly gives CTIS a sense of pride and satisfaction, because it is the culmination of a year of hard work for everyone, students as well as staff and lecturers,” the institute’s rector, Fr James Yeo, told CatholicNews.
The institute which provides theological training to help Catholics develop their religious knowledge, was established on Jan 22. It welcomed its first students at 55 Waterloo Street on Jan 27. Its second intake was on July 7.
The Certificate in Theology course comprises six modules: The Second Vatican Council, Introduction to Christian Philosophy, Overview of Catholic Theology, Fundamental Moral Theology, Introduction to the Bible, and Research Writing. These modules are taught by priests and Religious.
During his keynote address at the graduation ceremony, Archbishop Goh encouraged the graduates to share what they had learnt, and to “be of service” to other Catholics in the New Evangelisation.
Then, two graduates, Ms Ursula Quah and Ms Hannah Lim, went up to the podium to give their sharings.
Ms Lim said that after learning about 2,000 years of Church history, she now feels more “equipped to reach out to Christians in empathy to encourage them to deepen their personal relationship with God”.
CatholicNews also spoke to a few graduates after the ceremony.
Mr Sylvester Singh, 26, shared that the experience was “quite draining but for me, the whole experience was joyful”.
With regard to the course, he said that it has given him a “firm [spiritual] foundation ... It answered a lot of questions about my own faith.”
Sixty-one-year-old Edwin Chan, who is not a Catholic, said that “we had very good teachers whose knowledge and insights made the courses very interesting.” He added that he has a greater sense of appreciation when it comes to the Scripture and he hopes to further his studies at CTIS.
Students who attend the certificate and diploma courses at CTIS are heavily subsidised by the archdiocese. For the certificate course alone, students are subsidised $4,000 – a figure shared by Archbishop Goh during his address.
For those who wish to study theology, the institute will offer a free scholarship to a parishioner from every parish. This is for the Certificate in Theology course.
For those who wish to apply, they can approach their parish priest.
Registration for next semester, which would start in February, is now open. The closing date is end December 2014.
For more information, visit www.ctis.sg
By Lorna O’Hara