The highlight of the recent graduation ceremony was of course the graduation of 91 students. But there was another highlight, and that was the Principal’s Award which was given to Given Rooi Xaba.
He completed his BTh degree and is now continuing with his BTh Honours degree at Mukhanyo. He hopes to continue his theological study journey further, perhaps with even a doctorate.
Given, 35 years old, was born and raised at Kwaggafontein in the South African province of Mpumalanga. He describes himself as a born again Christian, although born and raised in a Christian family. At the age of 15, God made him make a conscious choice of following Jesus Christ; not a Christian just by virtue of being born in a Christian family.
He started his theological study at Mukhanyo in 2016, finished his BTh degree in 2019, and now, God willing, hopes to complete his Honours degree in June 2021, thereafter to study further.
As a member of the Christian Fellowship Centre based around KwaMhlanga, he serves as an assistant pastor and is also helping with the music. At Mukhanyo he is has chaired the Student Representative Council.
When he received the award, Given attested that he learned a lot, and that he now has to stand before God, even before standing before people – always Christ-centred.
Thank the Lord with us for Mukhanyo’s gifted team of faithful employees! But several more people are still needed to serve within our growing ministry:
Click here for more information on all of the vacancies mentioned below.
Marketing Manager: This new position at Mukhanyo requires a dedicated person, to serve at least an average of 24 hours per week flextime, based in either Pretoria or Johannesburg. The ideal candidate will have experience in a various areas (e.g. newsletters, event planning, donor communication, social media, etc.) along with a passion to serve the Lord in Christian ministry.
JHB Campus Manager: This position will be responsible for the management and development of Mukhanyo’s growing Johannesburg Campus. The ideal candidate will also serve as a Senior Lecturer. The applicant must affirm Mukhanyo’s statement of faith and share our organisational values.
Lecturers in Various Areas: Additional part-time and full-time lecturers are needed by January 2021 to serve Mukhanyo’s growing student body. All Mukhanyo lecturers must affirm Mukhanyo’s statement of faith and share our organisational values. Please only apply if you meet the criteria outlined in the job advert.
Distance Regional Coordinator: Additional coordination support is needed as Mukhanyo’s distance programme expands across southern Africa. The ideal candidate will have some experience in education or education management or prior experience in distance education.
Distance Centre Tutors: Mukhanyo welcomes applications for new Distance Learning Support Centres across southern Africa. Experienced church leaders are encouraged to submit an application to become a volunteer tutor and lead a local centre
The lecturer is a master in his theological field. But does he know how to prepare a good test or examination paper?
Dr Gerrit Heino, Mukhanyo’s Manager of Education, Senior Lecturer and Faculty Coach, spoke on this topic at Mukhanyo’s Faculty Forum in January. He showed his colleagues how to set a reliable and varied test/exam for students. A proper written test/exam consists of different kind of questions: e.g. multiple choice, true-false, matching, fill-in-the-blank and essay test items.
After the theory of setting test items, the lecturers practiced it themselves in groups of four in order to extend their knowledge and experience in this field. It proved to be a fruitful event and Dr Heino emphasized that the adage of a lecturer should be ‘Life Long Learning’, one of the aims at Mukhanyo
The Graduation Ceremony is the annual highlight at Mukhanyo. On 7 March, a record 91 students graduated. Of them, 52 were able to attend a colourful day at KwaMhlanga, together with family and friends.
They came from all over South Africa and even beyond. However, some – whose names were read out – were not able to attend because they were unable to travel from Lilongwe in Malawi, mostly because they couldn’t afford the journey.
The majority have been studying Mukhanyo’s accredited Diploma in Theology through one of the 75 distance study groups. Five students completed the Bachelors of Theology (BTh) degree at the KwaMhlanga Campus.
After the packed Mukhanyo hall sang “On Christ the solid rock I stand” and “Hlengiwe limnandi lelizwi”, the keynote address was delivered by Dr Bryson Arthur, a Senior Lecturer and programme manager of Mukhanyo’s honours degree. He spoke from Luke 4:13-35 about the Emmaus travellers’ meeting with Jesus Christ who taught them that they were “foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken”. And Christ, “beginning with Moses and All the Prophets, interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself”.
Dr Bryson basic message to his audience was to “read, read, read” to understand the Bible and the work of Jesus Christ, to be able to preach and teach according to God’s word and will.
In the Principal’s address, Dr Brian De Vries referred to 1 Corinthians 15: 58: “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.” He mentioned that the number of graduates was a record for Mukhanyo. But not only that, that the number of students registered with Mukhanyo this year, for the first time, was over a thousand (including distance students and teacher students). “God’s words are not in vain and should give students the strength to persevere”.
The chairman of the Mukhanyo board, Dr Lusani Netshitomboni, underlined that students graduated with the purpose to serve, to stand out and to stand up for what God’s wants to tell the world
Preaching, teaching, mission and evangelising are the main aims of the graduates.
This emerged from the answers of a questionnaire handed to all the graduates before the ceremony. No less than 42 graduates completed the long list of questions. Although they had to write down the answers in a hurry, the result gives a good indication of what they are doing and thinking, also providing Mukhanyo with some good impressions of their way forward, also concerning the College.
Some of the main features of the answers are as follows:
What they think of Mukhanyo’s work? In general it is rated highly (“excellent”; “keep up the good work” …), but there is a need for more distance study centres and programmes
The Theological Education Association of Southern Africa (TEA-SA) is now busy planning the 10th annual Bible College Consultation. This year’s theme is “Standing firm for truth in Bible education within Africa.” The event will be held on 9 -11 June 2020, again in Pretoria.
Speakers for this year include: Dr Choolwe Mwetwa, Dr Siegfried Ngubane, Rev. Rodgers Atwebembeire, Pastor Sipho Mfusi, and Prof. P.J. Flip Buys.
Registration for 2020 will open by the end of March – please contact Mukhanyo’s office for more information.
Most participants are actively involved in Bible and theological education. Last year the 120 delegates came from more than 40 evangelical institutions serving in Africa. Every year this event is the place of wonderful fellowship and networking for leaders and lecturers in theological education.
Now is the time to tell a good story, not only because it has ended so well, but also because it is the end of four years of hard work, stress and suspense. And above all: It is another amazing story of God’s work!
This real-life story goes like this: Over five years ago Mukhanyo was informed by the authorities that its popular two-year Diploma in Theology had to be phased out. It could be replaced, though, by two separate Higher Certificates, at the same academic level, both of one year each: one in Bible Teaching and one in Church Ministry.
The catch, however, was that Mukhanyo had to design these certificates from scratch and once again apply for accreditation with the education authorities.
Here it must be remembered that accreditation in the African context is important to students. To them an official accreditation, authorised by the authorities, is a sine qua non. There are too many fly-by-night so-called colleges promising everything but disappearing with your money without notice, leaving the student without a qualification.
“O well”, we thought, “let’s go through the motions and apply”. So we did, and more than four years ago the application, together with everything it entails such as the broad outlines of the curriculum, was handed in at the Council for Higher Education (CHE).
What we didn’t know, was that it would be the beginning of a long struggle. But we did know that as from the beginning of 2020, no new diploma students would be allowed to be enrolled in the Diploma programme.
When we started the process, we told our partners, staff and churches that we expected it would take about two years – more or less the normal time it takes to have a new programme accredited by the CHE.
But the CHE had questions, demands and a protracted bureaucratic process. Site visits were conducted at Mukhanyo three times (2016, 2018, and finally 2019). And these inspections implied many things: Do you have the necessary in-house staff, academic and administrative? Are the numerous required policies in place and up to date? Does your library have all the necessary books, prescribed and others? Are your facilities up to standard for higher education? Are your finances such that the institution is sustainable? And so on.
Also a number of visits to the CHE’s offices were necessary to explain and plead. Several times the CHE made procedural mistakes that further delayed the process. Twice the application was partially rejected for unspecified reasons. Then there were new demands and questions. And, in the meantime, the deadline loomed closer and closer.
At present Mukhanyo has some 600 students actively enrolled in the Diploma. If no new students could enrol in either the old Diploma or in the new Higher Certificates, then it would certainly imply a serious decline in the number of students, which would hinder the ministry of many churches. Talk about living dangerously!
Of course, we pleaded with our Father in heaven, again and again. On 6 November, Mukhanyo held another special day of prayer to ask God to direct the process. The CHE met the day following to decide the outcome, presumably based on the report of the latest site visit and on their scrutiny of the latest responses submitted by Mukhanyo.
On 8 November, Mukhanyo was informed that the application was successful and that the new qualifications were fully accredited by the CHE. We thanked the Lord! We still do. The year 2020 will be a good year, because we have a good Lord!
The two Higher Certificates open the door to other opportunities. For example: a few elective modules will be added to one of the qualifications so that it will be more suited for training Christian teachers. And while formerly the two-year Diploma was a requirement for entrance into the BTh degree, now a one year Higher Certificate will do the same.
This was only the climax of many developments in the past year: The completion of considerable improvements to the buildings of the Johannesburg and Pretoria centres, the extension of the Rustenburg study centre into an advanced centre, and the initiation of a Durban centre which, Lord willing, will be launched in January 2020. Also, the BTh Honours programme had a small but sound start.
Additionally, Mukhanyo’s new Focus programme (unaccredited church-based training) has advanced to such a level that it will be fully functional in 2020 at many distance sites. The upgraded BTh Degree in Theology, with almost 100 students, now runs smoothly in several centres. And the roll-out of the upgraded Higher Certificate study guides is making good progress. Some of our international partners recently visited the Pretoria and Johannesburg centres and were very impressed by the improvements.
The Lord has been very good to us. He has made all this possible. So let’s honour Him for all He has done and continues to do for Mukhanyo. But we know it is ultimately not for Mukhanyo’s sake, but for His almighty greatness and honour. May we continue to serve Him the way He wants to be served!
Just a good story? No. It is a great story! “Clap your hands, all you nations, shout to God with cries of joy. How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth” (Psalm 47:1-2).
The Board of Directors recently appointed three new theological lecturers for 2020. Mukhanyo is grateful for its growing team of gifted and experienced lecturers. We thank the Lord for each person He has called to serve our students.
Rev. Tebogo Mogale
For many years and in many different ways, Rev. Tebogo Mogale has faithfully served within the Mukhanyo ministry. Now he has been appointed as Lecturer to teach in KwaMhlanga and Pretoria. He will also serve in several other areas, including as the chairperson of Mukhanyo’s conference committee.
Rev. Mogale (BTh, BA Hons) is a minister of the Reformed Church Mamelodi (GKSA). He graduated from Mukhanyo many years ago. Rev. Mogale has started three Mukhanyo distance groups and has served for 12 years as a minister within the Free Reformed Church (VGK-SA). He and his wife Patricia have two children.
Dr Peet Botha
We also welcome Dr Peet Botha to serve at Mukhanyo as Senior Lecturer in Pretoria and Johannesburg. He brings much experience to the team in several areas of theological education and teachers education.
Dr Botha (BA, BTh, PGCE, MA, PhD) is a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa and has served in various academic capacities, including for many years as a leader at the KwaSizabantu Mission in KwaZulu-Natal, as Registrar of Cedar College of Education, and as a Research Professor in New Testament at NWU.
Called to the ministry many years ago, Dr Botha has gained experience in various areas, including evangelism, counselling, lecturing, as well as preaching and teaching God’s Word. He has ministered in South Africa mainly among Zulu, Indian, Afrikaans and English speaking people. He also had opportunities to minister in America, Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, England, Hungary, Russia and many African countries. Dr Botha and his wife Andra have been married for 36 years.
Rev. Jonathan Holdt
For many years, Rev. Jonathan Holdt has been a friend of Mukhanyo. Now we are thankful to welcome him as a Senior Lecturer on the team! Rev. Holdt will serve in Pretoria and also specifically provide leadership in the training of preachers.
“As a sinner saved by the grace of God,” says Rev. Holdt, “it is my passion to see the gospel proclaimed, lost souls saved and the church of our Lord Jesus built up through the faithful preaching of the holy Word of God! To this end I labour, with the strength that that Lord Jesus Christ through His Spirit has given me”.
Rev. Holdt (BCom, MCom, MA, MTh) is presently the pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Lyttelton, previously leading at Hillcrest Baptist Church near Durban. He and his wife Adele have three children, and Jonathan is the son of a long-time friend of Mukhanyo, the late Dr Martin Holdt.
Several new part-time lecturers also joined Mukhanyo’s growing faculty for 2020. These men will teach in the various locations: Rustenburg, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Durban. More information about these new appointments and Mukhanyo’s entire gifted teaching staff is found at https://www.mukhanyo.ac.za/faculty-967749.html.
Foundational to Mukhanyo’s character and mission is its identity as a confessionally biblical institution. Each faculty member, together with the leaders of Mukhanyo’s supporting and governing member churches, subscribe to the teachings of the Christian faith as expressed in the Ecumenical Creeds, and the teaching of the Reformed faith as expressed in the Mukhanyo Statement of Faith. From these sources flow our biblical perspective, our value system, our motivation for ministry, and our curricular emphases.
Enrolment for 2020 for all Mukhanyo qualifications is still open.
Prospective students are urged to apply soon. Contact information and other details are listed below. Bursaries are also available, based on financial need and other criteria. Students are eligible to apply for bursaries upon acceptance and after the full registration fee has been paid.
Contact details for more information:
Main campus in KwaMhlanga:
Study Fees for 2020
For information about Mukhanyo accredited theological qualifications, see:
Information about the programmes offered at each learning centre is explained at:
In ministry, the question often arises: “Do we have an impact… Is there fruit on our ministry?” And financial and prayer supporters may ask: “Do my prayers and donations make a difference?”
At Mukhanyo, one can count how many students enrol. Or one can count how many graduates we have. Alternatively, one can look at the class average. Or the enthusiasm of the students. Or the number of churches they are serving in the community. All these are signs of the impact we are having. However, only eternity will truly reveal what difference Mukhanyo is making.
It is the same with the financial and prayer support from our friends. Some may be praying for us very regularly – in their homes where nobody except God sees them. Others send their gifts annually or quarterly or whatever the case may be – sometimes even anonymously. Does it make a difference?
For us, who serve on the Mukhanyo team, it definitely does!! Every gift is noticed and helps us to meet the financial responsibilities of Mukhanyo. We believe that God answers prayer and therefore every prayer for this ministry is important.
Thank you to all our dear donors and intercessors for standing with us during 2019. You and we may not see the fruit of our labour now. But eternity will reveal it and we believe you will also share in the reward, to the glory of God!
Apart from this word of thanks, we also want to wish our dear supporters a blessed Christmas season and New Year in 2020, if our Lord Jesus tarries to return.