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.
Preaching and teaching go hand in hand. This is once again evident when one looks at the ministry of Rev. Benjamin Zulu. At present, he is Lecturer at Mukhanyo’s Johannesburg Advanced Learning Centre, and also preacher at the Reformed Church Kempton Park Mooifontein where he started a multi-cultural service in English several years ago.
Rev. Zulu, born in Zambia, is a product of Mukhanyo where he started his theological studies. He also completed his MDiv at the Theological School in Potchefstroom. Then he became a Lecturer, once again back at Mukhanyo. In 2019, he moved to the Johannesburg centre where he is lecturing New Testament and counselling modules. His qualifications include the BTh, BA Hons, Greek Hons and MDiv.
Rev. Zulu says that he is “at Mukhanyo Johannesburg because of my zeal to disciple those who would disciple others. If we disciple our students well they will disperse the seed and light of the gospel to people we never could imagine”.
He has been involved in ministry before, first at what was then the Sunnyside Multicultural Church Plant in Pretoria, and while studying in Potchefstroom he was involved with the Reformed Church Promosa.
As far as the multicultural Mooifontein Reformed Chürch is concerned, Rev. Zulu says that, by God’s grace, “things are going well. There is exposition of Scripture each Sunday (11:00) as well as prayer and Bible study during the week”. He is also involved in one-on-one street evangelism which he finds more effective than dropping flyers in mailboxes.