The importance of these groups was emphasised once again at Mukhanyo’s Distance Forum, which took place on 21-23 September at a conference centre north of Pretoria. The Forum this year was smaller due to restrictions, attended by some 20 tutors with others attending online via Zoom.
It is estimated there are some two million “Christian” pastors in Africa, with only around 10% of them having any noteworthy Bible training. The Prosperity Gospel heresy is rampant while many beliefs from African Traditional Religions have been merged with Bible truths. Distance learning groups have an urgent calling to provide a critical ministry. There is enormous potential because there are enormous needs.
Distance group students register with Mukhanyo for one or more programmes: the two fully-accredited Higher Certificates (one in Bible Teaching and the other in Church Ministry) or the unaccredited church-based Focus certificates. The groups are served through quality study guides and recorded lectures on DVD, supported by qualified local tutors.
Over and above the discussions around administration, IT services, financial and management matters, the three days at the Distance Forum this year gave special attention to matters such as how to deal with syncretism, how to help students to think critically yet biblically, motivational issues, lessons from the field, dealing with plagiarism, and other relevant topics.