Mukhanyo has reached its 30th year of training Christian leaders to be witnesses of Christ. There are now thousands of alumni across South Africa and in Southern Africa.
“Do we make a difference?” “Is our time, efforts and money well spent?” These questions were asked at our recent Annual General Meeting on 22 April, in Pretoria. The answer was a wholehearted “Yes!”. The annual report, presented by our director, Dr Brian DeVries, confirmed this by sharing the following information:
Mukhanyo is grateful for the many new student registrations at the start of the 2023 academic year. In a time like the present with increasing poverty, prospective students and their sponsors find it difficult to study at a private, unsubsidised college such as Mukhanyo, compared to students registering at public tertiary institutions where they are heavily assisted with state funding.
With over a thousand students, five regional campuses/centres, and more than a hundred distance learning support centres, it is absolutely essential that Mukhanyo has strong ICT strategy, structures and systems. Robust systems are also needed to support hoped-for growth in the next five to ten years. If everything goes according to plan, a significantly upgraded system will start to be functional in January.
Farewell and Welcome
Dr Gerrit Heino who served on Mukhanyo’s team for nearly six years, has now retired and plans to return to the Netherlands. He was sent to Mukhanyo by the Dutch Gereformeerde Zendings Bond as well as his church and Driestar Christian University for Teacher Education. His term was supposed to be for four years but was extended to six, during which time he developed study guides for four Christian Teacher modules.
Over and above authoring these modules, Gerrit also lectured in theology at the diploma and degree levels, served at the Pretoria Campus, and was the programme manager of Mukhanyo’s School of Education. Back home with his wife, Gerrit hopes to remain involved with some of Mukhanyo’s education programmes, inducing the development of more education modules.
Within South Africa, there is a great majority who claim to be Christian, but very few understand what this means. Therefore, in the past few years, Mukhanyo has intensified its campaign to help more people learn what it means to be a Christian and understand more about the Bible.
Mukhanyo has spread its wings by opening several new campuses and full-time study centres, now five in total, as well as over a hundred Distance Learning Support Centres. With more than 1 000 students at present, Mukhanyo now has the capacity through its facilities and programmes to accommodate far more students in locations across Southern Africa.
Two New Directors and Two Reappointments
Mukhanyo’s Board of Directors was expanded at the Annual General Meeting of Member Churches (AGM) on 14 May 2022. Two new board members were approved – Mr Riaan Bartlett and Mr Neels Kloppers. In addition, two existing directors were reappointed – Pastor Joshua Bolaji and Prof Patrick Palmer.
Independent Church Leaders Want Training
In July, after months of preparation, a new facilitated learning support centre started functioning, consisting of senior Zulu independent church leaders. This new distance group in Kwaggafontein, north-east of Pretoria in the former KwaNdebele homeland, could prove to be an important breakthrough for several reasons.
As generally acknowledged, leaders of African independent or indigenous churches (AICs) often have no theological training and limited Bible knowledge, but many are faithful spiritual leaders. So it is very significant when another group of these leaders personally request training, asking Mukhanyo to provide them with Bible knowledge so that they can preach from the Bible correctly.
Mukhanyo was stated in this way more than three decades ago, and this ministry's focus continues unhindered. We thank the Lord for the opportunity to be involved in the further training and future development of local independent church leaders.
Rev Tebogo Mogale, lecturer and co-marketer of Mukhanyo, says it is promising that this group’s participants indicated they want to be biblically equipped to lead their congregations better. They now will also ask their branch churches to start distance study groups.
Over and above the present twelve church leaders in this study group, another six have applied to join the group. These are very senior leaders, all over 60 years old. This group is facilitated by brother Given Ngoma, a student who just completed the BTh degree at Mukhanyo KwaMhlanga.
Please pray for God’s blessing on this Zulu group! Pray that this is the beginning of a growing trend with many more leaders from independent churches wanting to be trained in the Word of God.
New facilities for Durban Centre and an expanded vision for the distance group programme – are two exciting steps forward, taking place right now at Mukhanyo.
The paperwork and finances to acquire the new facility in Pinetown for Mukhanyo’s new Durban Advanced Learning Centre are almost finalised, and some minor work to prepare the centre for the staff and students has started.
The other step forward is the appointment of seven regional coordinators to assist and promote decentralised facilitated learning support centres. The fast growth of Mukhanyo’s distance programme in the last few years is a clear indication that there is still enormous potential for further growth. The task of the regional coordinators will be to guide and build on this potential while also providing more assistance to existing centres so that they continue to function effectively
Overhauling and Extending all Learning Material
It started some four years ago as a project to improve the modules on offer by Mukhanyo. But now it has developed into the largest project ever undertaken, as well as the beginning of a continuous cycle of updating and extending the programmes and their modules.
Steady Growth in Difficult Times
For more than 28 years, the Lord has blessed and guided Mukhanyo Theological College! Therefore Mukhanyo’s 2021 annual report (just released) starts by thanking the Lord for enabling the College to continue mentoring church leaders and other Christians for faithful ministry in southern Africa and enabling a continuation and even an acceleration of its growth trajectory.