Missiology in Asia

Missiology in Asia

From academic year 2022–2023 (beginning Sept 2022) NIM will be offering an M.A. (Theology) Missiology-Asia program.*

About the program:

  • Specially designed for Asian Christians and Church leaders, especially those who cannot go abroad and those who have no access to theological education.
  • Follows the adult and distance education learning models, with Intensive Seminars held mostly in Asia and also in the Netherlands.
  • Employs blended pedagogical methodologies, combining online and onsite learning, Western and Eastern theologies, global and local perspectives, high-tech and high-touch approaches.
  • A curriculum with a contextual, ecumenical and Asian emphasis, delivered through Radboud University’s state-of-the-art academic, technological, and library resources.
  • While studying mainly from home without the need of a resident student visa, candidates will graduate with an M.A. (Theology) degree from a prestigious European university.

Expressions of Interest:

Please email nim-asia@nim.ru.nl to register your interest or ask questions about the program. We will keep you posted when new information is available.

* Subject to sufficient funding and expressions of interest, as well as the resumption of safe international travel.


  • The M.A. (Theology) Missiology-Asia specialization consists of two components, i.e., the Pre-Master’s and the Master’s, each requiring a total of 60 European Credits (EC).
  • Below is a sample study plan:

P R E – M A S T E R

Intensive Seminars


Sem. 1

Philosophy of Religion (5 EC)

Pastoral Theology (5 EC)

Exegesis: Old and New Testament (5 EC)

Academic Skills and Writing (0 EC)

2-Weeks (Asia)

Sem. 2

History of the Church and Theology (5 EC)

Contemporary Christianity (5 EC)

Theological Ethics (5 EC)

2-Weeks (Asia)


Sem. 1

Fundamental Theology (5 EC)

Liturgical Studies (5 EC)

Dogmatic Theology (5 EC)

2-Weeks (Netherlands)

Sem. 2

Religions of Asia (5 EC)

Final Pastoral Reflection Paper (10 EC)

2-Weeks (Asia)



Sem. 1

Practical Theology (10 EC)

Social Justice and Liberation Theology (10 EC)

Interreligious and Ecumenical Dialogue (10 EC)

2-Weeks (Netherlands)

Sem. 2

Christian Mission and Inculturation (10 EC)

Master’s Thesis (20 EC)

2-Weeks (Asia)


  • Students meet for one Intensive Seminar every semester. Each Intensive lasts 2 weeks, meeting Mon–Fri for 6–8 hours/day.
  • After the Intensive Seminars, students complete the rest of the requirements online, through Radboud University’s Brightspace digital online platform and by webinars (Zoom, WebEx, etc.)
  • The online classrooms require students to:
    • write and post reflection papers and engage in discussion forums.
    • participate in oral conversations and presentations via video-conference calls.
    • do online quizzes and other written assignments, including research papers.
    • read widely, think critically, and engage in contextual theologizing.


  • The structure of the program is premised on the first two years being the formative phase where students gradually develop foundational learning skills and progressively master the art of reading analytically, thinking theologically, and writing academically.
  • By the time students reach the third year they would have all the necessary competencies to progress confidently, but will be expected to work harder so as to successfully complete the Master’s studies in a timely fashion.


  • Upon successful completion of the first two years of studies, students graduate with a Pre-Master’s (Theology) Certificate.
  • Upon successful completion of the third year of studies, students graduate with an M.A. (Theology) Degree.


  • The M.A. (Theology) Missiology-Asia specialization is an integrated three-year part-time continuous program, with English as the medium of instruction.
  • For admission into the program, candidates need to have a B.A. or equivalent degree in any area of study (preferably related to theology) from an accredited university.
  • Those who have had other forms of post-secondary college-level education (including vocational training, professional studies, religious novitiate, and seminary studies) will also be considered provided they have at least two years of ministry or pastoral experience.
  • Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by taking standardized exams such as the TOEFL or IELTS before progressing on to the Master’s level in Year 3. For entrance into the first year of studies, the English proficiency is demonstrated during the admission interview.
  • Candidates can continue in their work and ministries at home but must be able to attend the Intensive Seminars each semester and dedicate 20–25 hours each week to their studies.
  • Candidates will need to have their own laptop computer and a mobile phone, with regular access to reliable internet connection.


Tuition Fee for Pre-Master’s (Year 1 and 2)*

€  2,168

Tuition Fee for Master’s (Year 3)*

€  16,000

Annual Missiology-Asia Specialization Fee

€  800/year

Application and other administrative fees

(minimal only)

* The Tuition Fees above are the 2021-2022 rates

  • Students will have to take care of their own expenses related to attending the Intensive Seminars, such as for travel, accommodation, meals, visa, etc.
  • The Intensive Seminars that are held in the Netherlands will take place on the campus of Radboud University Nijmegen. Accommodation will either be in the Faculty Guesthouse or an Airbnb in the city.
  • Those held in Asia will take place in a centrally-located Asian city (e.g., Manila, Yogyakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok) with inexpensive accommodation and conference facilities.
  • Examples: Bangkok Christian Guest House or the Redemptorist Retreat Center in Thailand; the YMCA-Kuala Lumpur or Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre in Malaysia; one of the many retreat houses or seminaries in the Philippines or Indonesia.

A note about the Tuition Fee:

  • Until recently, all students qualify for the domestic legal tuition fee (€2,168) for both the Master’s and Pre-Master’s program. This fee continues to apply for the Pre-Master’s, including for international students.
  • Beginning 2021, the Dutch government implemented an institutional tuition fee (€16,000) for non-European Union residents studying at the Master’s level.
  • However, the Faculty is in discussion with the relevant authorities and is quietly confident of reducing this fee significantly in the coming years. There are no details yet what the fee will look like in 2022 and beyond but the institutional tuition fee only applies to the Master’s program, which begins in the third year of studies, i.e., in 2024 and beyond. The fee for the first two years of Pre-Master’s studies will remain at €2,000-plus.
  • Students who successfully complete the Pre-Master’s program will qualify to apply for a scholarship to complete the Master’s studies.



  • This innovative method of formation that is done in situ rather than in Europe responds to the critique that students who study abroad find a lot of what they learn rather divorced from the realities of their home-continent.
  • Hence, the program features a specific contextual, ecumenical and Asian emphasis, drawing on the teachings of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) and the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA). It emphasizes the triple dialogue with Asia’s cultures (inculturation), Asia’s religions (interreligious dialogue), and Asia’s poor (integral liberation).
  • Because the program is run mainly in Asia, students will have access to local resources and will be reflecting from within their own culture, shaping the way they think about and “do” theology. Thus, the program will be advancing the development of theological approaches that are at once authentically Christian and authentically Asian.


  • The instructors will come from both Europe and Asia, enabling students to benefit from the research philosophies of the West and the East, as well as the educational perspectives that are both global and local.
  • The use of high-tech in teaching is supplemented by the high-touch of interpersonal face-to-face interaction between instructors and students as well as among students.
  • The different cities in Asia and Europe that serve as sites where the Intensive Seminars are held also serve as locus theologicus for the students’ ongoing academic reflections.


  • Radboud University has a state-of-the-art physical library, as well as extensive online resources of e-journals and e-books in theology, philosophy, religious studies and other disciplines that will be accessible to students at any time and from anywhere.
  • Radboud University has some of the best professors in the Faculty of Theology. They are not only good teachers and lecturers, but established scholars and authors of international standing as well.
  • For more than two decades the Theology Faculty has graduated in excess of twenty PhD candidates and a few dozen M.A. students who come from Asia. This M.A. program is delivered in partnership with some of its alumni who will serve as lecturers and mentors in Asia.


  • The program is designed following the adult and distance education learning models, taking into consideration the situations of students who will continue to be working in their professions and serving in their ministries. Students will be regularly mentored by faculty in Asia and those having difficulties will receive timely assistance.
  • Those who excel in this program will be encouraged to pursue a PhD at Radboud, where tuition is free. So, this M.A. program can be viewed as a stepping stone to doctoral studies.


  • This program strongly aligns with the missionary philosophy of Pope Francis who calls on the church to be a “field hospital,” going out to the peripheries to meet the people where they are, rather than expecting them to come all the way to the church.
  • It is especially meant to reach out to those who would otherwise not have access to quality theological formation. In his apostolic constitution Veritatis Gaudium, Pope Francis specifically promoted the use of distance learning as a strategic means of missionary formation.
  • Students will not need a European Union resident visa, thus removing a major hurdle to pursuing higher education in the West, especially for citizens from countries deemed high-risk to illegal immigration.



  • Radboud University Nijmegen was established in 1923 under the name Catholic University Nijmegen. In 2004 the University changed its name to Radboud University Nijmegen.
  • Radboud was the bishop of Utrecht (899 to 917) who devoted his life to studies, especially in the sciences.
  • According to the Dutch university information guide Keuzegids Universiteiten 2020, Radboud University is the best traditional, general university in the Netherlands.


  • The Faculty of Theology was one of the three faculties that the then Catholic University Nijmegen started with in 1923. Until 1964 the Faculty offered only Master’s and PhD programs in Theology. When the seminaries closed in the 1960s, the Nijmegen faculty started its own program in undergraduate theology.
  • Today, the Faculty offers a diverse and ecumenical space for training theologians and scholars of Christianity. Students obtain the necessary skills to discuss intelligently theological influences across a range of perspectives such as economics, law, history, spirituality, health care, politics, and science, covering issues from interfaith dialogue to mission paradigms, comparative theology, social justice and climate change.
  • The Master’s in Theology program of Radboud is ranked top 100 worldwide in its field (Source: QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019). Students will be earning a degree from a world class European university.


  • The Nijmegen Institute for Mission Studies (NIM) focuses on the study of Non-Western Christianity, Inter-religious dialogue and mutual Mission.
  • NIMwas established by the major superiors of missionary institutes in the Netherlands in 1992 and follows in the footsteps of the Missiological Institute that was established in Nijmegen in 1948.
  • Its strength is its comprehensive approach, including engaging anthropology, linguistics, religious studies and Islamic studies in the study of mission.
  • The patron of NIM is Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development.
  • The M.A. (Theology) Missiology-Asia specialization is a collaborative project between the NIM and the Chair of Missiology of the Faculty.


  • Important theologians who were part of Radboud’s Faculty in the past include: Bas van Iersel (New Testament Exegesis), Piet Schoonenberg (Systematic Theology), Edward Schillebeeckx (Dogmatics), Sjef van Tilborg (New Testament Exegesis), Catharina Halkes (Feminism and Christianity), and Arnulf Camps (Missiology).


Radboud University’s Theology PhD graduates from Asia and their dissertation topics:

  • Haryani Saptaningtyas (2020). “This is our belief around here”: Purification in Islamic Thought and Pollution of Citarum River in West Java.
  • Petrus Suparyanto (2019). Bhima’s Mystical Quest as a Model of Javanese Spiritual Growth.
  • Angami Keneipfenuo (2018). Copious amidst Chaos. A Tribal Postcolonial Feminist God-Talk from Northeast Indian Perspective.
  • Rasika Pieris (2017). Breaking the Barriers. A Reflection on Suffering in Buddhism and Christianity in the Perspectives of War-Widows in Sri Lanka.
  • Handi Hadiwitanto (2016). Religion and Generalised Trust. An Empirical-Theological Study among University Students in Indonesia.
  • Mohamad Yusuf (2016). Religious Education in Indonesia. An Empirical Study of Religious Education Models in Islamic, Christian and Hindu Affiliated Schools.
  • Atsushi Hayakawa (2014). Circulation of Fire in the Veda.
  • Rita Sanctis (2014). A Quest for Life and Transformative Resistance: An Exploratory Study on Religious and Philosophical Resources of Resistance to Female Foeticide and Infanticide in India.
  • Suhadi Cholil (2014). 'I come from a Pancasila Family.' A Discursive Study on Muslim-Christian Identity Transformation in Indonesian Post-Reformasi Era.
  • Hadrianus Tedjoworo (2013). Keluarga Gerejani, an Ecclesial Family: A Catechetical Exploration of Church-Images among Catholics in Java.
  • Dave Capucao (2009). Religion and Ethnocentrism. An Empirical-theological Study of the Effects of Religious Attitudes on Attitudes towards Minorities among Catholics in the Netherlands.
  • Nasreen Daniel (2009). Woman, Violence & Religion: Pakistani Women's Situations 'Capability Approach'.
  • Marlon Lacal (2009). Living Hope in Fatih and Love. Spirituality of the Catholic Letters.
  • Lito Salazar (2009). Conspiring unto the Good: Bernard Lonergan's Critical Contribution to Theology of Religions.
  • Marina Altarejos (2008). Filipino Basic Ecclesial Communities between Limitation and Self-transcendence. A Lonergan-based Elucidation of Fundamental Spirituality.
  • Yosephine Purba (2008). Spirituality in Context. Vincentian Spirituality Actualized by the Batak Sisters of Charity in North Sumatra.
  • John Romus Devasahayam (2007). Human Dignity in Indian Secularism and in Christianity.
  • Clement Ashley Waidyasekara (2007). Gospel meets Culture. Brotherhood in Punjabi Culture and Gospel Message.
  • GemmaCruz (2006). Into the Deep: A Theological Exploration of the Struggle of the Filipina Domestic Workers in Hong Kong.
  • PaulrajLourdusamy (2006). Ritual Impurity and the Kingdom of God. An additional Chapter to the Emerging Dalit Theology.
  • Rico Ponce (2006). Spirituality and Quality of Life: An Empirical-theological Exploration among Filipino Migrants in the Netherlands.
  • Antonio Sison (2004). Political Holiness in Third Cinema: Crystallization of Edward Schillebeeckx's Eschatological Perspective in Kidlat Tahimir's ‘Perfumed Nightmare’.
  • Edmund Chia (2003). Towards a Theology of Dialogue. Schillebeeckx's Method as a Bridge between Vatican's Dominus Iesus and Asian’s FABC Theology.
  • Oscar Ante (1991). Contextual Evangelization in the Philippines: A Filipino Franciscan Experience.