With great sadness in our hearts we share the news that our sister Nurse Nkosi has departed this life to be with the Lord. While it is a comfort to know that her life was a testimony of faith in our gracious God, the entire Mukhanyo still mourns this loss with heavy hearts.
Nurse Nkosi, Mukhanyo’s librarian, died on 27 February after struggling with health for a long time. A few days later the staff and students of Mukhanyo at KwaMhlanga held a memorial service in remembrance of her, also praying for her husband Themba, her daughter and family. A large number of Mukhanyo staff were also able to attend the funeral the next day. Please pray with us for her family as they dearly miss a wife and mother.
The service at Mukhanyo was led by Rev. Isaac Maleke, Mukhanyo’s Dean of Students, who preached from Luke 12:13-21 where Jesus warns that God can take away life at any time: “We must be rich in God, ready to die anytime, as we believe Nurse was”.
Nurse served at Mukhanyo for three years during a time when the library collections expanded tremendously after Mukhanyo received two large shipments of theology books.
It's impossible to get a picture of Mukhanyo’s contact students. Some are full-time, some are part-time, and some come during the day while others only in the evening. But we tried to give you a view of most of the contact students at Mukhanyo’s five centres.
Mukhanyo is searching for a librarian and a few other committed Christians to fill several open positions at the college:
Theological Librarian: We are praying for a qualified and dedicated person to manage our growing library collections. This position will be based in Pretoria and work together with assistants in each centre to oversee the growing library collections in all five areas. Applicants looking for part-time work are also welcome.
Distance Learning Support Centre Tutors: Mukhanyo welcomes applications for new Distance Learning Support Centres across southern Africa. Experienced church leaders are encouraged to apply to become a volunteer tutor and lead a local centre.
Senior Lecturer: An additional full-time senior lecturer is needed by January 2022 to serve Mukhanyo’s growing student body. All applicants must confess Mukhanyo’s Statement of Faith in teaching and practice. We welcome applicants to apply if they meet the criteria outlined in the job advert. Mukhanyo also welcomes partnerships with local and international churches/agencies who can send and support a Senior Lecturer to serve at one of Mukhanyo’s locations.
Mukhanyo thanks Dr Willie Zeze for his service at Mukhanyo. He has returned to his family and ministry in Malawi, after serving at Mukhanyo’s KwaMhlanga Campus for six and a half years. In addition to mentoring and other responsibilities, Dr Zeze has served as Senior Lecturer and more recently the BTh programme manager on the Academic Committee. We will miss him and especially his contribution to the academic leadership team.
For more information visit our vacancies page.
As of February, Mukhanyo’s accredited Higher Certificate in Bible Teaching has been expanded with elective modules for an education track. This elective track prepares students to become Christian teachers and will also be a valuable tool in their daily life.
These extra modules have been developed by Dr Gerrit Heino, an education specialist from the Netherlands, serving at Mukhanyo. The modules are now being tested and improved in the classroom by Dr Gerrit and several others: Dr Charles van Zyl in Johannesburg, Amanda Nel in KwaMhlanga, and Dr Anneke Viljoen in Durban.
The first students have already registered for this track which consists of up to four education modules, Becoming a Christian Teacher (CE01 to CE04), introducing a student to a variety of topics in the field of Christian pedagogy and didactics with the following themes:
The study guides are supplemented by two books, The Teacher’s Handbook and The Essence of Christian Teaching, giving a student a comprehensive introduction to Christian teaching.
Enrolment is now open for the Master of Theology (ThM) qualification with Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (PRTS). Mukhanyo will encourage and support all students who enroll in this programme.
We are very thankful for the strong interest in this programme that has already been shown by many church leaders. Interested students can now contact Mukhanyo for further information.
Dr Stephen Myers of PRTS will present the first two modules in this programme: 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.
The Masters in Theology (ThM) of PRTS is a 2-year qualification that is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in North America. It is designed to expand and deepen a student’s ability in ministry. Thus students will inter alia study the following:
Mukhanyo and PRTS share a passion for quality theological education that is faithful to God’s Word and assessable to all potential students. Mukhanyo is committed to equipping the next generation of pastors, church leaders, and theological lecturers in South Africa. Since PRTS was established in 1995, over 150 students have graduated, as well as accommodating many part-time and non-program students.
For more information, contact Mukhanyo’s Registrar, Dr Greg Phillips, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The total number of students at Mukhanyo for the start of the new academic year in February showed a 13% growth compared to the start of 2020 – from 1,009 to 1,143.
According to Dr Brian DeVries, Principal, this once again shows that our God in heaven is sovereign and does things differently from what people may expect: “The Covid-19 pandemic and its many effects in society, not least of which is the concern for the future economically, have created a sense of uncertainty and cautiousness. Then the second wave at the start of the new academic year added to this uncertainty and sense of unsettledness. So we are very thankful for the number of students in each area who applied and have been enrolled for contact study. These students show a desire to study God’s Word and grow spiritually, despite the ongoing pandemic and the increased challenges”.
At some of Mukhanyo’s five study centres, the growth was only moderate and limited. But overall the increase was very satisfactory as can be seen in the following numbers:
The expectation that Mukhanyo’s distance centres would suffer seriously because of COVID-19 limitations in 2020, has been proven wrong. It has become clear that nearly all the centres were able to continue with support sessions in one way or another - either as normal or through modern technology such as Zoom, WhatsApp and other platforms.
According to the Distance Manager, Glyn Williams, of the approximately 80 centres, less than a handful had to completely suspend activities. The number of students who wrote exams at the end of last year was relatively normal, and in total 62 students should graduate in March.
It was expected that more Distance Learning Support Centres would be established this year, but that the so-called second wave of COVID-19 infections might delay these plans. However, this expectation is also starting to be proven wrong, with new centres already in the process of being registered and several requests received by other interested parties in other areas. There has also been a large number of enquiries and applications made in 2021 by potential students for the distance programme.
The Mukhanyo distance programme continues to grow, and by the grace of God will continue to do so for many years to come.
Even before the official opening of the academic year, about thirty students completed one of two intensive courses offered at the Pretoria Centre.
The first intensive course was for six full days during the first two weeks of January. BTh degree students from Pretoria and Johannesburg took the module Christian Apologetics, taught by Prof. Henk Stoker of the Theological School of Potchefstroom. Then on 12-14 and 19-21 January, Honours students were taught the module African Christian Theology by Dr Collium Banda, who recently completed his PhD at NWU.
Such intensive courses have proved to be very popular with our students. The students are immersed in these aspects of biblical studies for the duration of the module. They also benefit from the engaging classroom discussions between themselves and the lecturer.
Thank God with us for Mukhanyo’s gifted team of lecturers. But more people are still needed in these four areas:
Programme Manager: This person will oversee the postgraduate programme. The ideal candidate will also serve as a Senior Lecturer in one of the following areas: Systematic Theology, Historical Theology, or Biblical Studies. The applicant must affirm Mukhanyo’s statement of faith and share Mukhanyo’s organisational values.
Senior Lecturers: Another full-time lecturer is needed by July 2021 or January 2022 to serve Mukhanyo’s growing student body in the greater Gauteng region. Applicants must confess Mukhanyo’s Statement of Faith in teaching and practice. We welcome applicants to apply if they meet the criteria outlined in the job advert posted online. Mukhanyo also welcomes partnerships with local and international churches/agencies who can send and support a Senior Lecturer to serve at one of Mukhanyo’s locations.
JHB Campus Manager: This gifted person 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 Mukhanyo’s organisational values.
Distance Centre Tutors: Mukhanyo urgently needs qualified Christians to lead Distance Learning Support Centres across southern Africa. Experienced church leaders are encouraged to apply to become a volunteer tutor and/or lead a local centre.
A week later than planned, due to the new lock-down, Mukhanyo’s opening ceremony took place on 18 January. In the meantime, two intensive courses had already taken place and nearly all normal activities have commenced.
Good Theology for Africa
Rev. Maarten van Helden, chairman of the Mukhanyo board, referred in his opening address to Colossians 1. Similar to the time when the Apostle Paul wrote this letter, we live in an evil era, full of false prophets, false teachings and heresies. One can even expect that things may become worse. Therefore, Mukhanyo must keep the faith, be prepared and awake, and take up the challenge, not getting despondent or frustrated.
The heresy of our time is that many people believe in a god of their own making. But God reveals Himself through His Word. It’s necessary to study and teach Good Theology and to proclaim that Jesus Christ is in control. Christ must be taught and glorified as King. Africa has been and still is flooded with the prosperity gospel and many other forms of heresies. Good Theology is the only answer.
The Practical Need for Good Theology
In the principal’s address at the opening ceremony, Dr Brian DeVries underlined the needs for Good Theology, and especially the importance of training pastors and church leaders in Africa:
Therefore, Mukhanyo must continue to be an academic institution with a missional heart, as a multi-campus institution of higher education with a decentralised network of training centres across South Africa and beyond.
In current circumstances, Mukhanyo’s immediate challenge is to navigate COVID-19 distractions so that quality teaching and mentoring can continue. Another priority is to improve the technology and support systems for lecturers and students, as well as introducing additional focus areas of study such as the new education modules in the Higher Certificate in Bible Teaching. Other matters for special attention this year will be media management adjustments, increased pension contributions for paid staff, and the provision of more than R1 million for student bursaries.
Dr DeVries concluded his address by recognising that 2020 was a difficult and unusual year, but that the Lord graciously provided. We all trust that God will provide for Mukhanyo’s needs in 2021 as well. “We thank Him and honour Him because He does great deeds”.