To establish and run a quality Distance Learning Support Centre for the Mukhanyo distance programme, you don’t have to be a pastor, theologian, teacher, secretary, or accountant, but you do have to be equipped in several areas.
On 5 to 8 July 2021, Mukhanyo held its first-ever DLSC Management Training Workshop for tutors and administrators responsible for the running of several Distance Learning Support Centres. Held online via Zoom, it was attended by 14 tutors and 2 administrators, from as far afield as Cape Town, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana. Although some may have been a little apprehensive in attending a training workshop online instead of physically at one of our campuses, all logged off after three days of instruction and interaction, inspired and motivated for the work ahead. Everybody agreed that it was a worthwhile time together.
Apart from going through the processes needed to establish a Mukhanyo DSLC and recruit students, several skills were covered to assist the attendees to run the centres well into the future. Skills included: how to tutor students, marking assessments, student administration, ordering, managing finances, marketing, discipleship, and care.
Two sessions in particular issued personal challenges to the tutors. Firstly the session on discipleship challenged the tutors’ walks with the Lord, reminding them that to qualify to be a disciple-maker, one first has to be a disciple. But what does it mean to be a disciple? This question was answered in detail in this session.
The second challenge came in the final session that asked the question, “Why are we here?”. This session took the tutors from the surface motivations on why they’re involved in the Mukhanyo distance programme down to the heart of their ministry. Each tutor was challenged to assess their motivations, with the understanding that it’s not for fame or fortune, nor just to educate others or fulfil a calling, but to glorify God.
The three-day event was a great success and will be an annual event to be held in July. All Mukhanyo distance tutors and administrators are encouraged to attend.
We look forward to the next key distance event, the annual Distance Forum in September (www.mukhanyo.ac.za/distanceforum.html).
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.
A Success and Much Potential
A success, yes! But always room for improvement, growth, and huge potential to train church leaders to preach the Bible and be equipped to plant and run churches. That, in a nutshell, is what Mukhanyo Theological College is increasingly doing, not only in South Africa but also in six other African countries.
Gone are the days when Mukhanyo was only a college in KwaMhlanga, a semi-rural area some 65km northeast of Pretoria. Today it also has some 80 distance groups all over the country and beyond, as well as full-time study centres in Johannesburg, Rustenburg, Pretoria and Durban. The five campuses/centres together have some 300 active students and growing.
But the fastest-growing area of Mukhanyo’s activities is its distance programme. At present, the 80 centres have over 700 active students and 151 registered tutors. Pastor Glyn Williams, Lecturer and Distance Manager, reports that seven new centres were registered in the last year (despite the pandemic), and enquiries were recently received for eight potential centres in four countries, three of them outside South Africa where no Mukhanyo centres currently exist.
In 2019, 76 students completed their Diploma in Theology. Some have continued their studies and started their BTh degree, while others want to start their own distance groups. Glyn has visited many centres and is impressed with the high level of dedication by both the tutors and students. But he’s also recognises the need for more tutor support and training.
At the annual Distance Forum in September, the improvement of material delivery, the provision of quality material (study guides and DVDs), as well as further empowering group leaders, was discussed. This is already a high priority, with the implementation of a tutor training programme, tutor self-assessment and student support.
This year the Distance Forum took place at Mukhanyo’s Johannesburg Campus, where most group leaders attended online through Zoom. Not without technical hitches, of course, but proving that the future servicing of distance groups through technology is viable.
The distance programme is substantially subsidised by donors, something for which Mukhanyo is very thankful, especially now, in that even through the COVID-19 pandemic, donors have shown to be able and willing to continue their contributions. This enabled the Mukhanyo staff to continue developing and improving programmes, and serving the distance groups.
Many groups were able to continue meeting during the lock-down, either physically or online using various platforms. For some this proved more difficult due to distance and limited facilities. But the pandemic also proved that distance study is viable, and that academic quality can be maintained without ignoring the importance of dedicated and equipped tutors.
Registration is open for studies in 2021.
Mukhanyo has a complete range of quality programmes for Bible education, including these accredited qualifications offered in various locations across South Africa:
These qualifications and others are offered across Mukhanyo’s five main regional centres and its growing network of distance locations:
* National Senior Certificate (for detail see prospectus)
To register for study, phone or email the coordinator at one of the following Mukhanyo centres:
For information about Mukhanyo’s accredited theological qualifications, see https://www.mukhanyo.ac.za/programmes.html.
Information about each learning centre is explained at https://www.mukhanyo.ac.za/learningcentres.html.
It’s with great pleasure that I express my sincere gratitude to MTC for giving me an opportunity to be equipped with the Word of God and to serve properly in the Christian community.
I must say the study has given me a deeper, wider and true knowledge of the Christian faith and worship of Jesus Christ. Since I started studying with MTC, my knowledge of Scripture, the interpretation and the application thereof, has tremendously improved and I can now face any situation with confidence and ease. This has also made my relationship with God to be much deeper and closer.
I also want to thank the Mukhanyo Theological College leadership and staff for their obedience and commitment to God’s call to dedicate themselves in educating the nation in understanding and applying the word of God as presented in the holy Scriptures. I must also commend MTC for its well-structured program with in-depth resource material and experienced teaching staff, thus enabling one to progress with ease.
I’m now more equipped than before graduating to share the Word of God in His Great Commission which is to the ends of the world. I can do that with confidence, knowledge and with all humbleness.
Further, my graduation with MTC Diploma in Theology has been an excellent training field for me, I have recently taken a senior leadership role in my church. The qualification assists me in leading the flock of God with confidence and understanding the perfect will of God for all saints.
Once more thank you MTC for your great contribution to my life of Christian faith and development.
God mightily bless you, and may the great Lord continue using the college to help others.
Pastor Michael Mndawe
(Class of 2019, Mamelodi distance group under Rev. K.T. Mogale)
Mukhanyo now provides a way for future school teachers to begin their studies with a foundational qualification in theology. This new education track will also help church leaders and other Christian workers to grow in their teaching ability.
Mukhanyo’s accredited Higher Certificate in Bible Teaching has been expanded with an education track. This track will prepare students to become Christian teachers and will also be a valuable tool in their daily life. These extra modules were developed by Dr Gerrit Heino, an education specialist serving at Mukhanyo.
Students can now choose to add a maximum of four education modules to this diploma-level Higher Certificate. These four modules, “Becoming a Christian Teacher” (CE01 to CE04), introduce a student to a variety of topics in the field of Christian pedagogy and didactics with the following themes:
The lessons in the study guide for each module correspond with two education books, The Teacher’s Handbook and The Essence of Christian Teaching. These books, along with the user-friendly study guides, give the student a comprehensive introduction to Christian teaching.
To graduate with this NQF level 5 accredited qualification, students must complete the eight core modules in the programme along with these four education modules. They will then graduate with a “Higher Certificate in Bible Teaching for Christian Education” – an excellent foundation for further study at the degree-level or a teaching ministry within the church.