“The most rewarding aspect of operating a local learning site is when you are discussing a specific topic from Scripture, and the lightbulb goes on for the student. In several cases, we at Mukhanyo’s Welkom learning site, had students share in class that they now realise that their churches and teaching need to change to conform to the Word of God.”
September 21 marked a significant day of celebration for 44 students at the Mukhanyo campus in KwaMhlanga as they were awarded certificates for completing the church-based Focus program. Some of these students spent four years to achieve this milestone.
After four years of weekly studies, thirty isiZulu-speaking students completed the Zulu-language version of the Focus programme and had their own graduation ceremony at KwaMhlanga on Thursday, 15 September.
The Focus programme is not formally accredited, but is a practical and very accessible training course to equip Christians to play an influential role in their churches.
Why study at Mukhanyo? South Africa has over fifty unaccredited Bible colleges. Add to this the colleges and seminaries linked to specific denominations, church study groups, as well as several public universities with theological faculties. There are many opportunities in South Africa to study the Bible, and we thank God for the religious freedom we enjoy.
Siyanda started studying our Bachelor of Theology degree at the beginning of 2020. He’ 28 years old and is a high school teacher in Umlazi, close to Durban.
Siyanda grew up in Umlazi within a Zulu family which practiced African Traditional Religion (ATR). ATR involves polytheistic ancestor worship and makes use of traditional healers.
His father died when he was 14, and subsequently Siyanda began to have questions about Christianity. His initial view of Christianity was that it was a colonial religion without any relevance to Africans.
Yet despite this, he started to read the Bible from Genesis. It was during this period, as he read John’s Gospel, that he received Christ, at age 17.
He started to attend a Pentecostal church in Umlazi and became involved in the youth and teaching adult Sunday School. Some years later, a friend told him about the diploma-level courses offered by Mukhanyo at a distance learning centre in Scottburgh, on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.
He started the diploma programme with Mukhanyo in 2019. It was through studying at Mukhanyo that Siyanda was exposed to the doctrines of grace and Reformed theology, which had a massive impact on his faith and his understanding of the gospel.
After a year of studying at the diploma level, he enrolled at Mukhanyo’s Durban Advanced Learning Centre in January 2020 for the degree. His lecturers find him an excellent student who has done very well in the programme so far. He now attends Covenant Waterfall Presbyterian Church and would like to one day plant a gospel-teaching, biblically faithful church in the Durban area.