History & Values

Forty years of training church leaders in Southeast Asia in a challenging and interactive class atmosphere that combines the best of contemporary scholarship with a heart for God’s mission. 

Overview of ABTS

Since 1983, ABTS has provided graduate-level theological education with the opportunity to earn master’s degrees from Cornerstone University while remaining in Asia.

ABTS, an associate member of the Asia Theological Association (ATA), aims to accomplish its mission through an integrated program of biblical, theological, and professional studies delivered through a combination of distance education courses and residence seminars offered in selected cities in Asia. Educational activities endeavor to provide training within the context of students’ life, work, and ministry.

Our Educational Values

Centrality of the text

The Bible as our final authority for all we do, functioning as the foundation of our curriculum.

Critical thinking

Careful analysis and evaluation of data, evidence, observations, and experiences to develop thoughtful beliefs and actions.

Importance of theology

Theology as the proper articulation of Scripture for faith and practice, and the guide for each educational discipline.

Lifelong learning

Modeling and promoting a humble pursuit to always learn more and cultivate skills.


Learning through and for reflective application.

Cultural sensitivity

Recognizing that the Gospel is alway made visible in particular people and cultures.

Our History


Filipino missionaries to Thailand recognize the need to establish a Bible school to train pastors for local churches


Dr. John Lillis, working with Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, founds ABTS and offers an accredited In-Ministry Master of Religious Education degree.


The Regional Office begins operating from Singapore after operating out of first Thailand, and then the Phillippines.


The ABTS Regional Office has returns “home” to Thailand, this time to Chiang Mai.