Although weak internet connectivity at each campus has been a longstanding challenge, it has now been resolved. However, new challenges have emerged, such as the need for improved security and a more reliable power supply.
Acquired… Despite Disasters
We are almost there. The purchase of a much better facility for the Durban Advanced Learning Centre is being finalised, despite two regional disasters in the past year. But the move to the heart of Pinetown will still take a few months to finalise due to various formalities, including the normal delays by local authorities.
Why study at Mukhanyo? South Africa has over fifty unaccredited Bible colleges. Add to this the colleges and seminaries linked to specific denominations, church study groups, as well as several public universities with theological faculties. There are many opportunities in South Africa to study the Bible, and we thank God for the religious freedom we enjoy.
In Mukhanyo’s five libraries with roughly around 30 000 titles, the first collection audit was completed during the winter of 2021. Wasn’t it an adventure! And the year 2022 promises to be even more exciting.
Tienie de Klerk, Mukhanyo’s librarian, reports that inventory control – or, as it is called at the Mukhanyo libraries, “collection audit” – is a common procedure within the general library context. It might happen wholly, or in part, to a library’s collection when the status of the collection is placed under the magnifying glass. The aim is mainly replacement, or deselection, of resources.
At the end of another great year, this is a good opportunity to look back and see how our Lord has blessed Mukhanyo for over 28 years.
The years were full of activity, ups and downs, but more importantly, years in which our Almighty Father in heaven made it possible to not only survive but to grow the ministry above all expectations. Just read the following.
Mukhanyo wants to thank book publishers and media distributors for the large number of high quality theological books which have been received during the past few years. The five libraries, one at each campus/advanced learning centre, are now stocked with altogether over 30 000 titles.
All the books are at present catalogued on a newly installed central library computer system. Thus a book can easily be found at one centre and sent to a student or lecturer at another centre, as needed.
This huge job is the responsibility of the newly appointed librarian, Mrs Tienie de Klerk, and her team of assistant librarians at each campus/centre. A new consignment with some 15 000 books is expected to be on its way early next year.
Additionally, increased access to a number of digital resources is being developed to bring Mukhanyo’s libraries up to date with modern media centres.
Looking Ahead with Confidence
It wasn’t an easy year, but Mukhanyo’s Durban Advanced Learning Centre was able to start on a sound footing and is looking forward to consistent growth in various ways. Here are some plans for next year, in summary:
The second semester of 2020 progressed very well. It has been greatly rewarding to walk alongside the students and see their growth in godliness, understanding of God’s Word and theological skill.
In the past year, a second instalment of books – 3 000 titles – was received, bringing the total in the Durban library to approximately 5 000 good quality volumes, including wonderful commentary sets, digital resources, reference books and many theological and biblical resources. The library computers also provide students access to the Logos Bible software system and links the local library with Mukhanyo’s four other library collections.
An open day was held on 11 November, giving prospective students the chance to see what Durban is offering. This day allowed them to attend part of a lecture, ask questions and enjoy some refreshments.
Registration is open for studies in 2024.
Mukhanyo has a complete range of quality programmes for Bible education, including these accredited qualifications offered in various locations across South Africa:
These qualifications and others are offered across Mukhanyo’s five main regional centres and its growing network of Local Learning Sites:
* National Senior Certificate (for detail see prospectus)
To register for study, phone or email the coordinator at one of the following Mukhanyo centres:
For information about Mukhanyo’s accredited theological qualifications, see https://www.mukhanyo.ac.za/programmes.html.
Information about each learning centre is explained at https://www.mukhanyo.ac.za/learningcentres.html.
Note: This article was written just before the lockdown started in March. While many things have been delayed, Mukhanyo’s plans and vision for the greater Durban area remains strong and committed and, by God’s grace, will continue to develop.
A year ago it was an idea. Soon it became an initiative. Late last year it became a possibility. A centre manager was provisionally appointed to start doing preparatory work. And, believe it or not, in January 2020 the centre started with eleven BTh students and three part-time lecturers. Our Father in heaven blessed all the work!
Without many formalities, the orientation programme was completed in January and lectures started. An open day is planned for later in the year, once everything has been arranged and running smoothly.
Of course funding had to be found. But our Lord provides and He has done so once again. The Pharus Foundation in the Netherlands (through De Verre Naaste) will be funding a major part of the Centre’s budget for the next three years.
Durban is the third largest city in South Africa, with a population of nearly four million people. Yet despite its size, there are hardly any theological institutions in the city, and certainly none that are Reformed. Pentecostalism and prosperity-type churches dominate the city. There is therefore a big need for quality, biblically-orthodox, gospel-centred theological education to serve the churches of Durban and beyond.
The present venue is the church building and amenities of the Gereformeerde Kerk in Pinetown, some 20 kilometres from the Durban city centre. Pinetown is very central in the Durban metropolitan area, and easily accessible to most residents of the city.
The parsonage can be converted into a campus, while the Gereformeerde Kerk Pinetown continues to use the church hall for services and other activities. There is plenty of space (and parking facilities) for growth.
Students are from diverse church backgrounds including Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic and Reformed churches. But the modules are fully biblical in character and content.
In the first semester the following modules are being taught: Greek 1, Story of the Bible, Books of Moses, Synoptic Gospels and Acts, and Theology of Missions.
The potential impact of Mukhanyo’s Durban Centre is huge. Because of the lack of theological institutions in the city, Mukhanyo has the potential to be the institution of choice for local and regional theological study.
Let us all pray that Mukhanyo will have a significant impact on the churches of Durban by providing training that would produce biblically sound pastors who are passionate to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Rev Antonio Coppola is the manager of the Durban centre. He worked for the Anglican church for nine years, then studied at Westminster Seminary California from 2014 to 2017. He has a passion to see biblically-orthodox theological education taught across Africa and to see Reformed, gospel-centred churches being planted in Durban and throughout South Africa. He is currently also engaged in planting the Covenant Waterfall Presbyterian Church in Durban.