As from September, the Masters in Theology (ThM) of PRTS will be facilitated for students in South Africa. This news has been received with widespread enthusiasm.
So far more than 40 people have shown interest in this programme. At this stage it seems that no less than 12 students will be accepted to participate in the first classes this year.
Dr Stephen Myers of PRTS will present the first two modules: Reformed Spirituality and Piety and Reformed Covenant Theology. Both modules will be offered on 22-24 and 27-29 September 2021, with three hours of class time per module per day.
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids is widely-recognized academic institution that is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in North America.
The ThM degree expands and deepens a student’s abilities for church leadership and teaching. It is designed for students who already have M-level degree (or at least a BTh Honours) to help them take their research to a higher level. It can be used as a terminal degree or as a transitional degree for those wishing to pursue PhD studies in religion or theology.
Having a life-long experience in library and information services (LIS) as a metadata specialist (conventionally known as ‘cataloguer’), Tienie de Klerk was recently appointed as Mukhanyo’s senior librarian. She will be co-ordinating and integrating the libraries at Mukhanyo’s five centres with a total of some 30 000+ books, with another 8 000 waiting to be recorded onto Mukhanyo’s new integrated library management system (ILMS).
Ideally, the centralised ILMS will provide access to all five Mukhanyo libraries. The recently developed system has just been implemented. Some aspects still need to be expanded to support users – students and lecturers – with an accessible, effective and user friendly information service.
Future developments might include being linked to other libraries – within the Bible school / theological college sector, South African libraries in general, and also international libraries. As citizens of the information society, digital media resources will gradually become available in Mukhanyo’s library collection.
Though Tienie is working from Mukhanyo’s Pretoria centre, part of her work will be to train the five local librarians to use the new system, as well as introducing them to new developments in this fast developing field.
Tienie has served in libraries all her working life, first as media teacher at a Pretoria primary school, then as metadata librarian at the National Library of South Africa. She has lectured information studies subjects at UNISA’s Department of Information Science, and was involved in projects such as the merging of the huge HSRC and Africa Institute library collections. Her qualifications include a Masters in Information Science (UP), a Higher Education Diploma (North West University, Potchefstroom) and some SETA qualifications.
She is a member of her professional association, LIASA (Library and Information Association of SA), and as a UNISA e-tutor is still engaged with teaching information studies subjects. Being a librarian at heart, she has a wide field of interests, including her and husband Ben’s Scottish terriers, music, films and, of course, reading. And she is looking forward to this new challenge.
As a growing academic institution, Mukhanyo must continue developing and renewing its programmes. A project to do just that has been ongoing for the past several years and good progress is being made.
New study guides for the two higher certificates (diploma-level) and for the bachelor of theology (degree-level) are now in an advanced phase. Most of the modules – 87 of the 89 – are already in the process of being rewritten and are going through a number of steps such as formatting (twice), editing (twice) and external proofreading.
This upgrade project started in 2018. It is partly financed by international sponsors and is scheduled to run at least until the end of 2022, but most probably will take longer, inter alia because of additional modules being added to strengthen the several programmes and since the Covid-lockdown made it impossible to record lectures.
This project to produce and/or update study material of a high quality involves not only the lecturers, but also the studio videographers, a team of editors, the printers, etc. But the products are something to be proud of and will be used for many years in southern Africa.
Former student and lecturer at Mukhanyo, Rev Thokozani Twala has recently received his doctorate at the University of Pretoria.
Dr Twala started his studies at Mukhanyo in 2001. At that stage he was an evangelist at an independent charismatic church, but during the studies his theology became Reformed. In the meantime he assisted Korean missionaries at Verena (close to Witbank) and various other places.
He completed his BTh degree at Mukhanyo in 2005, was examined by the Classis Tshwane, and was called by the Reformed Church Ogies, a congregation planted by the Korean missionaries. Classis Tshwane is part of the Soutpansberg Reformed Churches.
Dr Twala continued his studies at Mukhanyo, completing his BTh Honours in 2009. His Mukhanyo qualifications were fully recognised by the University of Pretoria where he continued his studies with a MTh degree. Recently he completed his doctorate successfully, also at the University of Pretoria, while he is still ministering the Reformed Church Ogies.
Mukhanyo is thankful to see one of their alumni making such progress. We congratulate Dr Twala and pray that he will use his qualifications to continue building Christ’s kingdom in southern Africa.
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.
Registration is now open for the TEASA Bible College Consultation on 8-10 June 2021. The theme this year is Standing FIRM for TRUTH in Bible Education within Africa.
A number of experienced speakers are scheduled to present this year, including Dr Siegfried Ngubane, Prof Henk Stoker, Rev Rodgers Atwebembeire, and Prof Vhumani Magezi.
The three focus areas at the consultation this year are:
During the afternoons will be a number of parallel sessions in line with the theme. See www.teasa.co.za for further details.
Thanks to the generosity of several donors, each consultation participant will receive several free books, and all Bible colleges/schools in attendance will receive a free stack of additional library resources. A large selection of quality books – both new and used – will be available for purchase at reasonable prices.
Each educational institution in southern Africa that has registered participants before 31 May will be given space for a display table and be invited to give a presentation about their ministry.
There are also some funds available to assist with the fees and expenses for participants from schools with financial constraints. Please contact Helen Masina <firstname.lastname@example.org> for more information.
Click here for online registration: https://www.teasa.co.za/registration.html
This event is usually attended each year by well over a hundred representatives from many theological institutions and Bible colleges across Southern Africa. Last year it could not take place, but this year the organisers decided to continue with plans for 2021 since the fellowship and fruitful discussions are too valuable to postpone again, unless it is required by the circumstances.
Please pray with us for another wonderful time of fellowship and mutual learning. Forward this email to all your contacts who are involved in Bible education in Africa. Registration closes after 31 May.
Dr Bryson Arthur and his wife May will retire soon and return to Scotland. While we are sad to see them leave the team, we also understand their need to retire after serving as missionaries for so many years in Africa and the Middle East.
Dr Bryson joined Mukhanyo’s team two and a half years ago for the purpose of setting up the Honours programme. This he did and did well – and this year there are almost 20 students in the programme.
Bryson’s wife, May, lectured on several formative subjects while also supporting her husband. Both have made a positive contribution in many areas within the Mukhanyo family.
Dr Bryson said “it took a while, but we got there in the end! We find ourselves again, leaving, as we have so often from so many places. It is very sad to leave Mukhanyo and South Africa. At Mukhanyo I added to my list wonderful people that I got to know. It is particularly hard for me to leave my Honours students who are truly a family group, and it has been a privilege to teach them and learn with them, as it has been in all of my BTh classes.”
“It normally takes about two years to settle into a different culture: getting out of culture shock, getting to know how things are done, beginning to learn the language, and generally finding a comfortable place within the new society. But this settling-in period has been punctured by COVID. For months we weren’t able to teach, and then finally classes started with social distancing. But with great suffering all round – for our students and for people we know and love.”
“I have work to go to which is a blessing of God, but it is difficult to look forward when we are lovingly immersed in our present circumstances in beautiful South Africa. We are saying ‘goodbye’, but not forever – and of course, there is heaven.”
There are still vacancies at Mukhanyo as the college ministry continues to expand in various areas. But we also welcome several new people to the team!
Dr Jacob Igba will join the Mukhanyo staff in July this year as Senior Lecturer based at the Pretoria Centre. He comes to Mukhanyo with years of ministry experience and several years of teaching experience. Dr Jacob completed his PhD at the North West University, after having received several other degrees in civil law and theology. He is married to Juliet and they have two young adult sons. Together they also serve part-time as missionaries with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) through which they continue to make strategic contributions toward mobilising, equipping and growing the mission sending capacity of the church in Africa.
Next month Mukhanyo will also announce the appointment of a new Senior Librarian. There are exciting improvements and expansions coming for Mukhanyo’s library services!
But more people are still needed. Here are several positions that still need to be filled:
Click HERE (https://www.mukhanyo.ac.za/vacancies.html) for further information about these and additional positions or to download job adverts.
The theme for 2021 is “Standing Firm for Truth in Bible Education within Africa.” Registration is now open at https://www.teasa.co.za/.
The annual Bible College Consultation is usually attended by well over a hundred representatives from many theological institutions and Bible colleges across Southern Africa. Last year it could not take place and was postponed. But plans are going ahead this year, although on a smaller scale. It will be held near Pretoria on 8-10 June 2021, God willing.
Fewer delegates are expected this year as travel across borders in Southern Africa remains difficult. But the organisers decided to continue with plans for 2021 since the fellowship and fruitful discussions are too valuable to postpone again (or to do in a zoom-only format), unless it is required by the circumstances. Many people have become zoomed-out and are tired of online conferences. So we will follow all necessary COVID protocols and continue with this event.
There is a great line-up of keynote speakers and workshop leaders again this year, including Dr Siegfried Ngubane, Rodgers Atwebembeire, Prof. Vhumani Magezi, Pastor Sipho Mfusi, and Prof. Henk Stoker. All the details and more is found at https://www.teasa.co.za/.
As in past years, all participants will received several free books and each educational institution will receive a whole box of free books to supplement their own libraries.
As is common, students don’t register until the very last moment, and sometimes even later. So the number of students starting the 2021 academic was only finalised in February – altogether there was a 12% increase from last year.
The first intake of 2021 was less than hoped for (considering the new programmes), but is satisfactory in light of all the continuing COVID-restrictions. Additional new registrations are expected for the second semester since a number of students have opted to apply later this year.
With five study centres and some 80 distance learning support centres, Mukhanyo is now in a position to accommodate far more students for theological study. There is no question that knowledge of the Bible and the spreading of the gospel is a huge priority, both in South Africa and beyond.
It has been stated often that in Africa only one in a hundred preachers have sufficient Bible knowledge and are preaching faithfully according to what Jesus Christ commanded in Mathew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (emphasis added because this essential part is often forgotten).
God has given Mukhanyo the tools to do just that – teaching! But many people are not aware of the opportunities Mukhanyo has on offer. Therefore, Mukhanyo has started a communication drive to make more people aware of all the programmes in each location.
Traditionally this has been done through word of mouth, pamphlets, this newsletter, etc. Last year an experimental start was made to increase communication via digital marketing, social media, open days, attractive publications, such as the annual prospective and study guides, also involving students to tell the story of Mukhanyo.
Dr Brian DeVries, Principal, is thankful that what the team has done so far is already starting to bear fruit. Even after the lockdown-year the number of students increased: “This year we will build on what we started last year. If conditions return to more or less normal, we can expect continued growth, enabling us to fulfil our calling to teach to more and more students all that Christ has commanded.”