Mukhanyo will begin facilitating an international Master of Theology (ThM) degree programme as from July 2021 – or perhaps even earlier. We are thankful to announce this exciting news after much planning.
This major development was approved by Mukhanyo’s Board in September after years of preparation and discussions with the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (PRTS) in America. This seminary (www.prts.edu) is an established Reformed theological education institution based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in North America.
Mukhanyo desires to see a new generation of scholars in Africa who are thoroughly biblical and who thoroughly understand the challenges of God’s church in Africa. This new partnership is the next step in seeing this vision realized. Mukhanyo’s principal, Dr Brian de Vries, comments: “Our hope with this partnership is that, by God’s grace and for His glory, we will be able to further equip the church leaders He is raising up in Africa. We hope to foster a new generation of pastors and teachers, masters and pastors who will faithfully serve the church in Southern Africa and defend it against false teaching”.
The Master of Theology degree is a 2-year programme that will be recognized by the South Africa Qualifications Authority (SAQA) at NQF level 9. The programme requires 30 credits in two formats, either 10 modules (coursework only) or 8 modules plus a research thesis. Themes to be chosen from are biblical studies, historical studies or systematic theology. Each of these themes build on themes in Mukhanyo’s BTh Honours qualification. Qualifying students from other institutions will, of course, also be welcome.
This international qualification will be facilitated at Mukhanyo’s Pretoria Centre in Wonderboom South. Half of the modules will be taught onsite by visiting PRTS faculty, and the other half by Mukhanyo’s faculty, including a Senior Lecturer still to be appointed. Present projections predict about seven students starting in 2021, some from the current 17 students in Mukhanyo’s BTh Honours programme. It is expected that this number will continue to grow over the next few years.
Classes will be facilitated in a block/modular format. This approach will also serve students from various areas of South Africa and from across southern Africa. Tuition fees for 2021 have been set at R2 450 per module. Enrolled students may be eligible for a partial Mukhanyo bursary.
The Master of Theology degree of PRTS expands and deepens a student’s abilities in ministry. It is a rigorous research qualification designed for students with previous theological studies to help them take their learning to a higher level. It can be used as a terminal degree or as a transitional degree to additional graduate studies, particularly a PhD programme in religion or theology. More information about the ThM curriculum can be found at https://prts.edu/curriculum/master-of-theology/.
The Mukhanyo and PRTS communities are excited about this new partnership and the opportunities it provides for faithful churches in southern Africa. Church leaders in Africa can now pursue advanced-level theological education without leaving their families and ministries. Mukhanyo now joins the PRTS global network of faithful theological institutions around the world.
Also see PRTS's press-release at https://prts.edu/about/news/.
The BTh Honours programme at Mukhanyo has continued again this semester with no less than sixteen students. In the first semester, COVID-19 did at first disrupt the programme’s smooth flowing. But the format was switched to online lectures that have gone satisfactorily. This approach is continuing for now, according to Dr Bryson Arthur, the Honours programme manager and senior lecturer at Mukhanyo.
The modules being offered this semester are Theology of Salvation, Issues in Christian Ethics, Biblical Hermeneutics, and Research Methodology. Dr Bryson is grateful to Mukhanyo’s Academic Dean, Dr Japie Malan, for stepping in to teach Biblical Hermeneutics. This is normally taught by Rev. Peter Manzanga, senior lecturer, who is presently stuck in Zimbabwe due to travel restrictions. In the meantime, Rev. Manzanga has submitted his completed thesis for a PhD degree, so at least he has remained productive. He hopes soon to return to South Africa as Dr Manzanga.
The Honours programmes are also being developed gradually to include more modules, eventually with comprehensive tracks in Systematic Studies, Biblical Studies, and Historical Studies. It is taught at a rigorous and reflective standard aimed at just below Masters’ level.
Only students who have higher-than-average marks for their BTh degree are accepted into the Honours programme. The modules promote thoughtful research and normally active participation in class dialogue. Rigorous dialogue has been more difficult to facilitate with the online format, but the questions keep coming, says Dr Bryson.