Early in September the Mukhanyo staff held its Vision Day to review and update, to discuss issues, to orientate and to make plans. Also to answer questions such as “are we still on the right track, doing what God expects of us?” Are we making progress? How to attend to problems or shortcomings?
After Dr Arthur Miskin, one of Mukhanyo’s senior lecturers, opened the proceedings by emphasising that people perish if there is no prophetic vision, Dr Brian De Vries, principal, presented his progress report.
Mukhanyo’s mission remains to give glory to God by equipping pastors, Church leaders, teachers and other Christians in Africa with quality and practical Bible training. For that reason, Mukhanyo is a decentralised training network entity, an academic institution with a missional heart, with 47 distance sites, unashamedly teaching the Bible as God’s word, and being non-denominational and evangelical.
Throughout the day, department heads gave their views of what had to be done for and in 2017.
A large number of ideas, proposals and also critical views were expressed and brain-stormed.
The challenges in 2017 include to further upgrade the academic quality, making available bursaries for students, further development of study material, giving more attention to learning and student centres through improved communication, also with alumni. Plans are afoot to attend to the recruitment of students from local churches.
In addition, attention must be given to compliance issues. The new facilities need finishing touches and some furnishing, while the old buildings require renovation and maintenance. The library with its more than 6 500 titles have to be made more accessible.
Attention also has to be given to refining the lecturing and mentoring schedule. Plans are also being put in place to make available the BTh programme through distance mode in the future.
In 2017 Mukhanyo will offer a large number of theological and educational programmes as well as a number of short courses.
The Mukhnayo distance groups and study programmes are not just about training in theology, but also the building of relationships and the encouragement of our students and tutors. The newly appointed Distance Learning Centre Coordinator, Ms Tunize Bezuidenhout, set off to KwaZulu Natal in October to visit five distance groups.
Mukhanyo visited the Port Shepstone Distance Group to connect with the students before they wrote their exam on Church Administration that evening. There was a short time for questions, comments and feedback. There were many questions about the BTh that will be presented through distance mode in the future. The students and tutors are encouraged about what they are learning. We praise the Lord for this group!
The visit to the Hibberdene Distance Group was most encouraging. I was struck by the unity of this group and the purpose they feel in studying God's Word and doing His work. One student said that the distance programme was an answer to prayer. Another student commented that as Mukhanyo means LIGHT, the material has been as a light to them. They now know how to live and apply the Bible in this world. They appreciated a visit and personal connection from Mukhanyo!
The final visit was to the seven students at the Skogheim Christian Conference Centre in Port Shepstone. What a blessing to see the commitment from these students. One student travels two hours to get to this group after work and is so happy to be with them, even though there is a group one hour closer to her.
We thank the Lord for the opportunity to extend Bible training to reach people beyond our campuses through distance mode.
It is always a joyous event when a family grows. That is exactly the case with the Mukhanyo family
as three brothers and a sister joined the team of 43 full and part time staff members in July and August 2016.
Mukhanyo welcomes Jackie, Riaan, Johann and Sherley to our team. May you enjoy serving the Lord and others here at Mukhanyo in everything that you do!
Teachers, lecturers and pastors can learn a lot from the methods Jesus Christ used when He preached and taught on earth. In a lecture by James Beeke, Christian educator from British Columbia Canada, explained eight methods Christ used to Mukhanyo lecturers at the Pretoria learning support centre on Monday, 8 August.
Here follows a very brief summary of the eight approaches. James promised that he will send the full course to Mukhanyo as soon as he is back in Canada, which will than be made available to all.
Think about this:
Do you really trust God?
A balancer was going to cross the Victoria waterfall on a tightrope. He asked the audience if they thought he could do it. They knew him and agreed that he could. He did. He asked if they thought he could do it backwards. They thought he could. He did. Next he asked if they thought he could do it pushing a wheelbarrow. Again they were sure he could, and again he did. If there would be a person in the wheelbarrow? Yes, everybody was pretty sure he could do this as well. So he pointed to a person who had agreed that he surely would be able to do it: “You, come along!” He declined. So did he really trust? Implication: do you really trust God?
What are the most important jobs in the world, given that all work is important? Politician? Doctor? Engineer? Farmer? Businessman?
Ever considered pastors and teachers? They teach the Bible and advise, help, encourage and lead people to God, our Almighty Father. They teach to love His Son, Jesus Christ, about our believe in Him, about grace, forgiveness, eternal life. Also about His love and our obedience. All part of our religion, the most important aspect of our life.
Mukhanyo has been training pastors and church leaders for many years. In the past few years also teachers. We believe these “jobs” to be of the utmost importance. That is why we hope to be able to grow the number of our students, lecturers and facilities. Because we believe that these types of people are essential prerequisites, firstly to please God, and secondly to make peace and also for making prosperity in South Africa possible.
Your help will enable us to do more!
Representatives of the Heritage Reformed Congregations, Word and Deed, and other international groups visited Mukhanyo in the past year. New strategies and plans were formulated, open days were held. All preparations for the future, especially for 2017.
In addition, representatives of the South African Council for Higher Education came to inspect the facilities at KwaMhlanga, and also in the new Pretoria and Johannesburg locations, looking at policy documents, availability of study material, interviewing lecturers and students, etc. The outcome of the visits is only expected early in 2017 and will determine the conditions according to which future accreditation will be approved for the programmes Mukhanyo is delivering.
In the mean time registration for the 2017 intake has started and a further increase in the number of students is envisaged.
Fundraising remains an important activity, since bursaries are needed to assist theological and education students. Although affordability to study at Mukhanyo compares extremely favourable with similar institutions, it remains an important stumbling block for many potential students. Often they come from poor to very poor backgrounds and have to be assisted with partial tuition support.
God has brought Mukhanyo to where it is now, and so we can trust Him for the future. The 40-some staff of Mukhanyo (part-time and full-time) continues to do what the Lord expects of us all. Only then we can live with an assured hope that He will not withdraw His hands from Mukhanyo.
So please join us in praying for God’s continued blessing on this ministry.
Talk to church leaders, pastors or ministers and they will confirm: Most of those who claim to be Christians are, in practice, rejecting Christ. Their knowledge of the Bible is negligible and what they do know is often misinterpreted, out of context, moralistic and aimed at strengthening their own position. As in the time of the Apostles, there is much confusion and false teaching in southern Africa.
This is what makes the task of Mukhanyo Theological College so important as an evangelical teaching hub, spreading the Word all over southern Africa, with satellite study centres in a number of towns and study groups all over southern Africa, even as far as Kenya.
Already there are in total close on 500 formal and informal Bible students, more than 50 formal full-time theological students, as well as some 250 formal teacher students. Their common aim is to spread and teach God’s Word as He wants it to be taught and to obey everything Christ has commanded to those who are prepared to listen.
Many who claim to be Christians are prepared to listen to God’s Word. One can appeal to them to be taught the living Word of God and what God expects of them. Theological education and Bible studies in this context is a vital part of the church’s mission.
In the past year Mukhanyo has been transformed in more than one way in order to more effectively preach and teach students to become church leaders, ministers and Christian teachers. Facilities at Mukhanyo nearly doubled in size with the completion of a large extension with new classrooms, an enlarged library, a studio for recordings, additional offices, etc. Several additional senior personnel were appointed to increase and spread the workload (and responsibility), and steps have been initiated to renew the curricula of the various qualifications.