Loyola School of Theology (LST)
in cooperation with
East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI)

The Manila Program

An Asian Cultural and Theological Experience in Manila

The Manila Program provides an enriching opportunity for international students to come to Metro Manila, the capital of the Philippines, for at least a term of five (5) months and experience studying theology and spirituality in the Asian context. The objectives of this Manila immersion program include:

  1. access to specialized theology and ministry courses, allowing students to take courses that may not be available at their home institution, particularly in specialized fields or disciplines specific to the context of Asia;
  2. exposure to diverse Asian cultures and perspectives which can broaden students’ understanding of the world and enhance their cross-cultural communication skills;
  3. preparation of students for global citizenship by enabling them to develop intercultural competence and a broader perspective on global issues like poverty, migration, ecology;
  4. greater self-awareness, personal growth and transformation by living in a new environment and experiencing different customs and traditions;
  5. enhancement of English language skills for non-English native speakers.

The Philippines is an archipelago in Southeast Asia consisting of more than 7,000 islands and islets. It takes its name from Philip II, who was king of Spain during the Spanish colonization of the islands in the 16th century. Because it was under Spanish rule for 333 years and under U.S. tutelage for a further 48 years, the Philippines has many cultural affinities with the West. Despite the prominence of such Anglo-European cultural characteristics, Filipinos are definitely Asian in consciousness and aspiration (www.brittanica.com).

Today, the country has widely embraced Roman Catholicism and is currently the third largest Catholic country in the world. It is recognized globally as one of the largest English-speaking nations. English is the language of business, as well as the primary medium of instruction in education. The Philippines is fast becoming a popular country of choice for international students in Asia because of the use of its English-based instruction as well as due to its tropical climate, hospitable and friendly people, and relatively low cost of living.

Loyola School of Theology is situated in the beautiful 90-hectare Loyola Heights campus of the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City. Known for its vast green and open spaces, the campus is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. LST’s roof deck celebrates the view of Marikina Valley against the backdrop of the Sierra Madre Mountains. On a clear day, Mts. Banahaw and Makiling can be seen to the southeast. The magnificent view is God’s special gift of the splendor of creation to LST.

Coupled with LST’s academic setting with its Asian Theological Program, Manila also provides a setting for international students that encourages contextual reflection and cross-fertilization between different cultural perspectives. While studying at the Loyola School of Theology, they will have an opportunity to live in a multi-cultural community at the East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI), a Jesuit–run residential pastoral institute for leadership training, renewal, updating, and sabbatical, located also in the Ateneo de Manila University campus. Every semester, EAPI houses men and women from different parts of the world – laity, religious and clergy – who live together and join its various programs.

Program Description
International students may be admitted to the Manila Program either in the First Semester (Fall Term, August to December) or the Second Semester (Spring Term, January to May) on a fee-paying arrangement. Students take courses in LST which will be credited towards the completion of their degree in their home university.

Students may avail of the program either for one or two semesters. In the First Semester, students will be have the opportunity to experience a remarkable Christmas that only the Philippines can offer. The Second Semester will offer to students a glimpse of unique Filipino Lenten traditions.

The procedure for the acquisition of a visa to the Philippines will be managed by the East Asian Pastoral Institute. Graduates of the Manila Program will receive a Certificate of Completion. They will also receive an official Transcript of Records from LST for credits earned.

The Manila Program includes the following:

A. Three modules of 4-5 days taken in the East Asian Pastoral Institute:

  • General Orientation, Triduum, City Tour
  • Cultural Orientation, Learning to Learn
  • Free choice

The complete list of modules can be downloaded from here.

B. One (1) required LST course on Asian contextual theology

C. Two or three (2-3) LST courses of one’s choice

Each LST course has a load of six (6) ECTS or three (3) LST credits. LST semester course offerings can be viewed here: https://lst.edu/announcements/current/


Students currently enrolled in their home university in the ecclesiastical and civil degree programs may be admitted to the program. These are the Baccalaureate, Licentiate, and Doctorate in Sacred Theology, and the Master’s and PhD programs. Applicants should exhibit sufficient proficiency in English in order to attend classes.

Application and Admission
To apply to the Manila Program, please visit LST’s Student Online Application Receiver for cross-enrollees (SOAR): https://lst.edu/admission/application/a002/. The following requirements in pdf format should be uploaded on SOAR:

  • ID Picture (2 x 2)
  • STB, STL, or STD Transcript of Records (TOR)
  • Single Page Personal Essay introducing oneself and the reason for one’s interest in the Manila Program
  • Letter of Nomination or Endorsement from the Dean of the Faculty
  • Data Page of the Passport

After online application, please notify the Office of the LST President by sending an email to admin@lst.edu. The applicant will be informed by email on the status of his/her application.

After admission and arrival in the Philippines, the student must submit a Medical and Travel Insurance Certificate to the Vice President for Academic Affairs who will then assist the student in enrolling in LST and EAPI courses.

Program Period
For the academic calendar of LST, please visit https://lst.edu/academic-calendar/.

First Semester (August-December)

  • Application Deadline: April 1
  • Notice of Acceptance: May 1
  • Required Arrival Date for EAPI Orientation and LST Registration: First Week of August
  • Departure Date: Second Week of December

Second Semester (January-May)

  • Application Deadline: September 1
  • Notice of Acceptance: October 1
  • Required Arrival Date for EAPI Orientation and LST Registration: First Week of January
  • Departure Date: Third Week of May
Program Package Cost

Students may avail of the following options for enrollment.

Package 1

In-campus board and lodging
3 required EAPI modules
4 LST courses
Program Fee: USD4,700

Package 2

In-campus board and lodging
3 required EAPI modules
3 LST courses
Program Fee: USD4,500

Payment of fees may be done either online via bank transfer or onsite at the LST Cashier.

Loyola School of Theology