Doctor of Philosophy in Transformational Development

The Ph.D. in Transformational Development is one of the three doctoral programs of AGST being hosted by the Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary. The other programs are the Ph.D. in Holistic Child Development and the Ph.D. in Transformational Learning. These three programs share common core courses.


The program seeks to catalyze action among local churches, NGOs and systems in complex societies within Asia and beyond, working with all known resources (especially and including the identified poor) to improve the quality of life and to transform society’s structures and institutions in order to demonstrate God’s love to all.

Core Values:

  1. We intend to treat students as adult learners
  2. We intend to create classroom environments that empower learners, providing a safe open space for dialogue that is not dominated by teacher-talk
  3. We intend to tie theory to practice both within and outside the classroom walls.
  4. We intend to seek student participation and ownership of the program
  5. We will seek strategic and intentional partnerships with seminaries, NGOs and churches
  6. We desire to form long-term sustainability
  7. We will engage Christian Philippine nationals who are eminently qualified to participate
  8. We will engage team-leadership not individual focus.


  1. Training of a cadre of new leaders who see holistically both problems and solutions to the matters of dysfunctional and distressed neighborhoods.
  2. Changing the orientation of church leaders, church communities, and denominations from band-aid approaches of compassionate ministry initiatives, to community development and community organizing.
  3. Changing the orientation of service providers, and NGOs from seeing dysfunctional and distressed neighborhoods as social pariahs to vibrant, creative communities.
  4. Changing the mindset of dysfunctional and distressed communities from seeing themselves as takers, to recognizing and employing their own assets in their own programs of well-being.
  5. Developing communities of scholars and practitioners throughout Asia who mutually are accountable, are a brotherhood and sisterhood of mutual support and stimulation under the  common themes of transformation development.
  6. Developing a body of research and literature that can inform other social movements around the world.

Program Design

Core Course18 Units

Comparative Research Methods

Critical Analysis and Review of Precedent Literature

Dissertation Proposal Writing

Philosophy and Theology of Transformation

Transformational Learning in Practice

Culture, Context, and Worldview

TD Concentration Courses 18 Units

The City in Theology and Perspective

Community Development Principles

Issues and Resolutions in Complex Cultures

Administration, Program Planning, and Managing Change

Psychology of Attitude Formation and Change

Spiritual and Transformational Learning

TD Elective Courses 18 Units

Choose 6 units from the following TD courses, 6 units from HCD or TL programs, 6 units from any accredited PhD program.

Urban Anthropology for Transformational Development

Impacting Urban Systems

Confronting Poverty and the Culture of Poverty

Negotiating Partnerships for Transformation

Conflict Management and Restoration of Justice

Theology of Work

Theology of Compassion

Holistic Witness in the Wesleyan Mode


RE9XX Dissertation – 6 units


Program Committee:

Dr. Fletcher Tink, Program Director

Prof. Larni Sam Tabuena, Asst. Program Director

Dr. Pete Malvicini

Prof. Jeri Gunderson

Dr. Azriel Azarcon, AGST Dean

Application Procedure:

  1. E-mail or write for application packet: Ms. Judy Pabilando ( Registrar, Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary Ortigas Ave. Ext., Kaytikling, Taytay, 1920 Rizal Philippines, Tel. 63-2-284-3741.

    Applications can be downloaded from

  2. Ask an administrator and a member of the faculty of an institution you have attended, as well as your current pastor to provide letters of reference in sealed envelopes and send these to the above address.

  3. Ask all undergraduate and graduate institutions you have attended to send official transcripts of your academic record to the above address. Prepare a statement describing your vocational objectives and explaining how a Ph.D. degree is related to these.

  4. Prepare a statement indicating how your studies will be financed, including specific commitments from any institutions or individuals that may be sponsoring you.

  5. Prepare a health certificate indicating your physical fitness to pursue graduate studies.
  6. Send your completed application for admission, prospective research topic (a 3 to 4-paged essay), the description of your vocational objectives, the financial statement, and the health certificate, along with the nonrefundable application fee of $50 (US) or the peso equivalent, to the above address.
  7. Wait until you have received your letter of acceptance before coming to Manila.

Financial Information

A. For Two-thirds world students:

Application fee (non-refundable): $50 (or peso equivalent)
Library Fee: $40/semester
Tuition fee: $50/credit hour
Comprehensive exam fee: $100
Graduation fee: $35
Dissertation Fee:(residency fee) ($50x9 units) plus $50/semester
Lodging and Food: (A limited number of accommodations are available on campus. Dormitory rooms are $65 per month. Cost for eating lunch at the dining hall is about $2.00/meal.

Note: books and IT expenses are additional.

B. For Students from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand, US, and countries outside the Asia-Pacific Region and South Asia Field:

Application fee (non-refundable): $85 (or peso equivalent)
Library Fee: $75/semester
Tuition fee: $85/credit hour
Comprehensive exam fee: $135
Graduation fee: $70
Dissertation Fee: ($85x9 units) plus $85/semester (residency fee)
Lodging and Food: (A limited number of accommodations are available on campus. Dormitory rooms are $100 per month. Cost for eating lunch at the dining hall is about $2.00 (combo meal).

Note: books and IT expenses are additional.