Bobby Sng Scholarship for Theological Studies
Terms of Reference
On 29 October 2019, the President of The Bible Society of Singapore, Dr Lee Soo Ann, mooted the proposal to set up the Bobby Sng Scholarship for Theological Studies (BSSTS). The Board endorsed the proposal on 31 October 2019 and decided to launch the Scholarship during the memorial service of the late Dr Bobby Sng.
A meeting was held on 4 March 2021 to discuss the plans for BSSTS. The Bible Society of Singapore will help to coordinate fundraising efforts. A Scholarship Committee will be formed comprising of leaders from The Bible Society of Singapore and other invited organisations to make awarding decisions.
BSSTS was initially scheduled to be announced on 17 May 2021, however the COVID-19 situation and Heightened Alert measures delayed the launch. It was decided eventually to launch BSSTS on 15 October 2021, a day after the Anniversary of the late Dr Bobby Sng.
Bobby Sng Scholarship for Theological Studies (BSSTS)
The scholarship uses the name of the late Dr Bobby Sng to celebrate his life and ministry, especially in the three areas he is most passionate about: in Bible missions, in community service, and in youth work. Hence, the scholarship aims to fund students pursuing theological studies who aspire to serve or already involved in the above three areas.
Students pursuing theological studies involved in the following works:
- Bible Missions
- Community Service
- Youth Work
The BSSTS is awarded to deserving persons who fulfil the following criteria:
- Wish to pursue first degree in theological studies (undergraduate or postgraduate) in a Singapore theological institution. The relevance of the chosen courses will be decided by the Scholarship Committee.
- The current approved Singapore theological institutions are:
- ACTS College
- Baptist Theological Seminary (BTS)
- Biblical Graduate School of Theology (BGST)
- Discipleship Training Centre (DTC)
- East Asia School of Theology (EAST)
- Singapore Bible College (SBC)
- TCA College
- Trinity Theological College (TTC)
- Commit to work or serve in the following areas for at least three (3) years after graduation:
- Bible Missions
- Community Service
- Youth Work
All applications to BSSTS must fulfil the following criteria:
- Applicant must be Singaporean or PR
- Applicant must be an active member of a local church
- Applicant must be in financial needs
- Applicant must complete the application forms and submit all the required documents
Application to BSSTS is open throughout the year, however the Scholarship Committee will usually deliberate and make the awarding decision at least once a year.
Detailed Terms and Conditions
- Scholarship is prioritized to be awarded to those who are about to enter their theological study. Exception will be decided by the Scholarship Committee.
- There is no age limit for the applicant. Grant will be given based on the applicant’s potential, character, and commitment to the scope of the scholarship.
- Scholarship will only be disbursed to those who are already admitted to the undergraduate program of one of the above theological institutions, either full-time or part-time (official admission letter is required)
- Scholarship will cover academic/tuition fees and book allowances, excluding accommodation, meal plan, and other expenses (like mission trips, insurance, etc.)
- The scholarship recipient must sign and undertake the following:
“I solemnly declare that should I be awarded a Bobby Sng Scholarship for Theological Studies (BSS TS); I will undertake the following:
- That on completion of the degree/studies for which the BSS TS has been awarded, I shall be involved in full time work in the area of bible missions, community service, or youth work, for at least 3 years, failing which I shall return the scholarship award in full to the scholarship committees
- That during the period of my studies, I shall send written reports to the Scholarship Committees at the end of each term/semester, informing of my academic progress as well as personal developments. The Scholarship Committees reserve the right to cease further scholarship payments or demand return of the scholarship award if academic results or other factors do not justify further support
- That I shall do my utmost, God being my helper, to complete with merit or better, the course of study for which the BSS TS has been awarded, so as to be a faithful and responsible steward of God’s gracious provision.
- The scholarship recipient is encouraged to do their ministry internship, as required by their theological institution, at the organizations related to the scope of the scholarship.
- The scholarship recipient is not allowed to change their theological institution or course of study.
“And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above;
and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
— Daniel 12:3 (ESV)
Our beloved advisor and former President, Dr Bobby Sng, was called home to be with the Lord on 14 October 2019.
Leaving for missions only a year after graduating as a doctor, his life of 83 years was lived to the fullest for God as he served in many different ministerial capacities. In fact, he was on the committee which headed the Billy Graham Crusade in 1978, which was a defining chapter in the local Christian history for sparking revival in the local Church.
He was also a prolific author, having written many staples in Singaporean Christian literature. Some prominent titles—published by The Bible Society of Singapore—are ‘Changing Times, Unchanging Word’, ‘In His Good Time’, ‘Listen to Him! The Last Word of Jesus from the Cross’, ‘The Story of the Old Testament’, ‘The Story of the Church’, and ‘The Story of Jesus’.
As the President of The Bible Society of Singapore from 2002—2012, Dr Sng spearheaded the shift towards regional holistic missions that has heavily contributed to Singapore serving its call of being the Antioch of Asia.
In his own words, Dr Sng wrote, “It is my privilege to have been part of this emerging generation. Converted in the late 40s, nurtured in the Varsity Christian Fellowship in the mid-50s, and commencing an active ministry in the early 60s, I have never regretted embarking on this journey. It was a journey that has taken me from ministering in a rural church in Malaysia to engaging with students in tertiary institutions, from preaching to congregations in Singapore to addressing robust campus groups across the cities of Asia.”
“[The Christian community] is a thriving community, attracting worshippers from different ethnic groups, it is also actively engaged in community service and mission outreach. The Gospel has endowed us with a compelling message—love for God and love for our neighbours. The post-War generation of believers, most of whom hailed from non-Christian homes, have sought to remain faithful to God’s Word, addressing issues as they have arisen. But, our journey has not ended. New issues and challenges will present themselves and these must be met. May the coming years witness a new generation of believers who are equally determined to present God’s unchanging Word in changing times.”
Dr Sng was an inspiration to many local Christian leaders for his great passion and zeal for God, especially Rev Ezekiel Tan, General Secretary of The Bible Society of Singapore—who was mentored by Dr Sng.
“He was an anointed Bible teacher and preacher; what impacted me most about him was not his knowledge of the Word of God, but how he lived it out. His life was that of a godly role model. As my mentor, his wise words and fruitful ministry have shaped my life greatly. It was truly a privilege to have served alongside him while he was president of The Bible Society of Singapore.” — Rev Ezekiel Tan
“He has fought the good fight and gone to glory. May we all humbly follow his example, and keep serving his Master and ours until the Lord returns.” — Dr Ernest Chew, Honorary Chair of the National Museum of Singapore
Dr Bobby Sng's oral history interview with the National Archives of Singapore is available here
Bobby and I entered the university at the same but he to study medicine, I to study arts. We were both in the Varsity Christian Fellowship. However he was drawn to medical missions and after graduation and a year in a hospital, he went with his wife Ivy to the Cameron Highlands where he supported himself by setting up a clinic and also began a church which is still there today, very strong and active. His three children were born there but they returned to Singapore for their schooling. He carried his mission work by serving fulltime with the Fellowship of Evangelical Students. He was the one who challenged me to be the founding chairman of St.Luke’s Hospital. By then I had become general secretary of the bible society of Singapore. I invited him to join the committee, and he became president in 2002. His first love was the bible and he gave the society the privilege of printing his collection of bible stamps. God’s Word was preached in the stamps printed in many parts of the world which he meticulously collected. Besides advising and guiding students, he also preached. Twice he spoke at my home in the university: one was on making the mind captive to God and the second was on keeping one’s lifestyle simple. He obeyed both injunctions and was a role model of simple and sincere life as a Christian.
I served under him as bible society president which he continued when Khay Tham succeeded me as general secretary. Under his leadership, Bible House was rebuilt. Many gave generously because he was the president. Ezekiel Tan also served under him. Truly he has been our bible society leader. I am indebted to him for teaching me many lessons in how to preach effectively and write too. His “In his good time” book is a must for all seminary students on the history of the church in Singapore. The society also published another two books written by him.
It is challenging to follow in his footsteps but his example gives me the confidence to do so for he was always willing to help others. He was a man of few but effective words. He said that he was not used to writing as he was a medical doctor but that made him even more effective because of his wise choice of words. I look forward to re-reading what he has written to inspire me to serve our Lord Jesus Christ even better.
Eulogy & Tribute delivered by Rev Ezekiel Tan, General Secretary of BSS
(At Dr Bobby Sng’s Wake Service at Wilkie Terrace Christian Assembly on 16 October 2019.)
A Student leader. Medical doctor. Missionary. Shepherd. Bible Teacher. Preacher. Theologian. Mentor. Social activist. Church historian. Christian statesman. Gentle spiritual giant. Servant of God. The late Dr Bobby Sng played many roles in his decades of ministry.
Although he did not receive any formal training in seminary, he was well sought after for his theological reflections. Although he was not an ordained minister, he had shepherded many pastors and leaders. Although he was a member of a non-denominational church, he was greatly respected by bishops and senior leadership across all denominations. Dr Bobby Sng was truly an extraordinary and exemplary follower of Christ!
In ancient times, priests were called the “cure of the soul”. Dr Bobby Sng was not only a medical doctor who administered medical treatment to those with physical ailments, he was also a physician of the soul—who had brought many to eternal salvation, and had helped restore many to spiritual wellness.
I have known Dr Bobby Sng for more than twenty years. And I was greatly privileged to have been mentored by him, and to have served under his leadership while he was the President of The Bible Society of Singapore. He had served for decades on the board of the Bible Society. From 2002–2012, he served as our President, and thereafter, he continued to contribute towards the Bible Mission as our Advisor to the Board—until he was promoted to glory and returned to the Author and Finisher of his faith.
As much as I have greatly benefited from the leadership skills, biblical knowledge and ministry values that he imparted to me, I was most impacted by his deep spirituality. St Paul exhorts the Corinthian Christians (1:11), “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” Dr Bobby Sng was such a Godly role model—the most Christ-like leader I’ve personally had the honour of knowing. He truly imitated Christ in all that he did.
His humility and spirituality was not only evidenced in public areas, but they were especially visible in the private moments I shared with him. There were many seemingly insignificant encounters that I had with him—day-to-day experiences. These moments, however, have left an important impact upon me. Do allow me to relate some of these anecdotes with you.
While he was the President—and I was the General Secretary designate of the The Bible Society of Singapore—he would meet me privately on a monthly basis. Whenever we arranged for a meeting—despite my objections—he would insist that he take a bus to come to Bible House to meet me, instead of me going to his residence. Even though he was my boss and such a great figure in the Christian community. Thankfully, he did allow me to drive him back home.
During each of these meet-ups—beyond receiving a monthly report of the activities and events we were engaged in as a Society—he was always more interested in learning how he could support me in succeeding in my role.
Even after he had stepped down as President, we would continue to meet up—though not as regularly. Each time—without fail—he would make sure to enquire about my well-being: whether I was coping well and if there was anything he could do to support me. Time spent with him was always deeply edifying—he never failed to generously affirm me in my work. Dr Bobby Sng has been such a pillar of support—and his unfailing encouragement has given me confidence to pursue bold initiatives and changes, in order that we may be more effective and extensive in our Bible Missions.
For many years, I had repeatedly encouraged him to pen an autobiography of his ministry life. He would always decline. He would reiterate that he saw no merit in writing about himself and did not believe in glorifying his achievements. He would be more interested in making Jesus known. Only in his late 70s, at my insistence of leaving behind his spiritual legacy to inspire the future generations, that he reluctantly agreed to publish his collection of sermons tracing the stages of his ministry journey in proclaiming His Lord and Savior. The title of this book is ‘Changing Times, Unchanging Word.’ I have brought 200 copies of this publication, which is probably the last that Dr Bobby Sng—a prolific Christian author and beloved Christian statesman—authored, to be given out tonight for you to remember him, the inspiration and beacon of our generation.
In Philippians 1:23-24, St Paul lovingly related to the church in Philippi:
“I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.”
Several times I had the privilege to meet up with our saintly Dr Bobby Sng after his hospitalization. Knowing that his life journey here on earth was coming to an end, almost every time, he would echo the words of St Paul that he was ready and eager to meet Jesus. He was so certain of the eternity that awaits him. He was so confident of the destiny beyond this temporal dwelling place.
Like St Paul, Dr Bobby Sng has fought the good fight, he has finished the race, he has kept the faith. (2 Tim 4:7) And He has now gone to be with His Lord in this final destination of his earthly pilgrimage. The legacy he has left will always be an inspiration to me—and to the many others he impacted—to live lives fully and wholly for Christ.
In fact, when I informed the Board of the Bible Society on the passing of our dearly beloved leader, one of them—the Rev Canon Louis Tay—quoted a Bible verse in tribute to this great servant of God, that encapsulates the unending impact his life will have.
(Daniel 12:3) "And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like stars forever and ever.” Truly, the life of Dr Bobby Sng counts for eternity!
My deepest condolences to the family of Dr Bobby Sng—his beloved life companion Mrs Ivy Sng, his daughters (Jen Hwei, Li Hwei and Ming Hwei), his sons-in-law (Nicholas Merrow-Smith, Mak Koon Hou and Francis Lee) and his six grandchildren (Daniel, Joshua, James, Claire, Esther & Grace).
Our heartfelt gratitude to you—for sacrificially sharing your beloved husband, father and grandfather with the larger Christian family. Your lost time with him allowed for him to be a fatherly figure to us, and that time has enriched many many lives—both the young and old. We are forever indebted to you.
Good bye, Dr Bobby Sng—my spiritual father, my leadership guru, my beloved mentor. Though you are no longer on this side of eternity, you will always live on in our collective memories. And one day, we shall meet again.