Screengrab of the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore’s website.Screengrab of the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore’s website.Registration for the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore’s Certificate in Theology course is now open.

For starters, the CTIS will run the entry-level Certificate in Theology twice in 2014. Semester One will run from Jan 27 to May 23, while Semester Two will run from June 30 to Oct 17. The registration deadline for Semester One is Dec 29.

The Diploma in Theology will start in 2015 while Mandarin courses will be offered in future.

Fr James Yeo, the institute’s rector, said that the courses are “open to all Catholics”.

“The archbishop desires that all who are involved in formation ministries avail themselves of the courses offered by CTIS,” Fr Yeo said. These include the laypeople who give talks, retreats or RCIA sessions, religious coordinators from schools as well as catechists.

Mr Arthur Goh, CTIS’ academic director said, “It’s hard to predict what kind of student population will be drawn to CTIS courses, but we’re hoping to sustain class sizes of around 35 to 50 people.”

Students enrolled in the certificate course will have to complete five compulsory units: Introduction to Christian Philosophy, Introduction to the Bible, Overview of Catholic Theology, Fundamental Moral Theology, and The Second Vatican Council.

Upon completion of the certificate programme, students can further their studies in theology through the CTIS or other institutes of higher learning. The units earned during the certificate course may be credited towards CTIS’ diploma programme.

Those enrolled in the diploma course will have to complete a minimum of 30 credits to graduate. Apart from the compulsory units in the certificate programme, students will need to complete three more compulsory units and two elective units. Students can opt for a research writing unit worth one credit.

Fr Yeo said the compulsory subjects “are fundamental subjects to enable one to have a basic grasp of theology. This core curriculum is demanded by most schools of theology.”

Mr Goh added that the core subjects are well-rounded and cover “what the average Catholic layperson should know for better participation in the mission of the Church”.

The certificate and diploma will be awarded by CTIS. Fr Yeo hopes that CTIS would eventually be affiliated to a university in the future, as this would allow those who have completed the diploma to pursue a degree in theology with the CTIS with an exemption for the first year studies.

CTIS also welcomes audit students – those who wish to attend lectures without sitting for examinations. However, they will not be offered any certification.

The duration of the certificate and diploma programmes for full-time students is one and two semesters respectively. The courses are also available part-time, offering up to four semesters (certificate programme) and within three years (diploma) from the date of enrolment.

Classes will be held at the Catholic Welfare Centre at 55 Waterloo Street from 7.30 to 10pm. Some of the lecturers include Msgr Ambrose Vaz, Fr Henry Siew and Fr David Garcia.

Students can also make use of the CTIS library located onsite.

Prospective students can obtain the registration forms from their parishes in November or from CTIS’ website (http://www.ctis.sg). For more information about the courses and the prospectus, please visit the institute’s website.

By Darren Boon
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