Doctor of Philosophy in Theology

The Postgraduate School of the South African Theological Seminary offers with pride our Doctor of Philosophy programme, designed to raise up leaders, scholars and ground breakers in various fields of Christian ministry.

The South African Theological Seminary is the only evangelical institution in South Africa with an accredited Ph.D. degree.



Head and Registrar of our Postgraduate School

Johannes Malherbe did his formal theological training at the University of Stellenbosch. He specialised in Old Testament Studies and evaluated medieval Jewish Bible commentaries for his doctorate which was partially done at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After serving as pastor of a rural, previously disadvantaged community of the Western Cape he joined Petra, an institute specialising in equipping Christian leaders for effective children’s ministry. As principal and later board chairman, he interacted with Christian leaders from various backgrounds, professions and affiliations in the quest to improve the engagement with children. He worked directly with a number of specialist institutions working in fields such as child development, theological and missions training and Bible translation. This exposure provided the opportunity for research, presentation and publication, mostly focusing on aspects of childhood. He and his wife Annelie, a music teacher, live in Roodepoort, Gauteng and they have four children, the youngest of which will soon complete high school. After working with SATS in various capacities for more than a decade, Johannes formally joined SATS at the beginning of 2013, taking up the position of Head of the Postgraduate School. Read More

Mrs Leschenne Rebuli M.Th. (Registrar for the Postgraduate School)

Mrs Leschenne Rebuli is the Registrar for the Postgraduate School. If you would like more information about any of our postgraduate programmes, please email her at or dial 011 234 4440 and ask to speak to Leschenne,


Our Doctoral programme is a research-based programme consisting of a dissertation. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to assign further reading or additional theological courses, should it be deemed necessary.


Our Doctoral programme allows you to undertake research on any theological topic. You will conduct your research under the supervision of one or two experts in the chosen field(s) of study. Our doctoral supervisors have been carefully selected to provide you with the high academic standards and the levels of service excellence for which we have become known.

If and when your dissertation proposal is accepted, under the guidance of your supervisor you will be required to write a dissertation consisting of 80,000 to 100,000 words.

All work is submitted and returned via email, except for the final bound copies. Full details pertaining to the formatting of your dissertation are contained in RES6600. Your dissertation will be assessed by two independent External Examiners, as well as an Internal Examiner, your supervisor, and if it is successful, you will be awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degree at the next Graduation Ceremony. The maximum duration of this programme, which is at level 10 on the Higher Education Qualifications Framework, is six years.

Students from Africa

Several potential Ph.D. candidates from Africa have told us that the demands made upon them as Christian leaders prevent them, in their own country, from giving the attention that their Ph.D. studies would require. They have pointed out that the only solution is to leave their country for a short time in order to devote their full attention to their research.

If this is what it is like in your country, why not spend a month or two in Johannesburg, which would be a lot cheaper than going to the US or the UK? There are a number of guest houses close to the seminary, which of course has an excellent library and internet access, providing the perfect place for undisturbed research.

There is no application fee for the doctoral programme. Payment is made at the beginning of each phase. Students will incur additional fees should they be unable to complete a phase by the stipulated due date.

Fees are increased annually in January.

Enrolment Requirements

The minimum admission requirement is a relevant Masters Degree from an accredited institution for which the candidate must have achieved an above average grade. In the case of foreign qualifications, the institution must be accredited by a recognised accrediting body or by the institution’s national government.

The Seminary offers a free, no obligation evaluation of your transcripts, which can either be faxed to us at +27 11 234 4445 or scanned and sent as email attachments to .


To access our application form you may contact the Registrar of Postgraduate Studies, Leschenne Rebuli on or simply click on Apply Online.
We look forward to being of assistance to you.

Please take extra care when completing the online application form not to use apostrophes, commas, inverted commas, brackets or slashes.

Pricing 2013

Research Proposal Tuition Fee (a max. of 12 months) R19450 ($3400)

Tuition Fee (for second, third and fourth years) R19450 ($3400)

You are required to pay the annual tuition fee for each year enrolled, with a minimum payment of two consecutive years. Should a fifth or subsequent year be necessary to complete the programme, the annual tuition fee will be levied

Fees are increased annually in January.

Doctor of Philosophy Supervisors:

Biblical Studies

Prof. Samuel Kunhiyop Ph.D.
Sam completed his doctorate at Trinity International University, and Post-Doctoral studies at Global Research Institute. He has been Professor Theology/Ethics at Jos ECWA Theological Seminary since 1993 and Provost since 1997. He is a Langham writer and one of the authors of the acclaimed Africa Bible Commentary.
Dr Bill Domeris Ph.D.
Bill obtained his doctorate from Durham University. He is one of the most widely published theological scholars in Africa, especially in the field of Biblical Studies, where he has made substantial contributions at international level.
Prof. Franklin Jabini D.Th.
Frank completed his doctoral studies at UNIZUL and CBC respectively. He is the former Provost of the Caribbean College of the Bible International and the President of the Evangelical School of Theology. He has extensive experience in missions and Bible translation.Read More
Dr Dan Lioy Ph.D.
Dan completed his doctoral studies at North-West University. He is widely published and has a particular interest in intertextuality between the testaments, Biblical ethics and spiritual care in professional settings. Dan has extensive experience in tertiary education and a passion for scholarly excellence.
Dr Pieter Siebesma Ph.D.
Pieter, who is a Hebrew scholar in the true sense of the word, completed his doctorate at Rijksuniversiteit of Leiden. He is an expert in Semitic languages and Judaica and has written dozens of articles, books and reviews in these fields.
Dr Elijah Mahlangu D.Th.
Elijah is the former Principal of the South African School of Theology and senior lecturer in New Testament at Pretoria University, where he obtained his doctoral degree. He has served on numerous boards and committees and has a passion for African Biblical Studies.
Dr Abel Ndjerareou Ph.D.
Abel was the former Principal of the Bangui Evangelical Graduate School of Theology in the Central African Republic. He obtained his doctorate from Dallas Theological Seminary and is widely regarded especially in the field of Biblical Studies.
Dr Kevin Smith D.Litt., Ph.D.
Kevin, who is the Head of Academics and the Vice-Principal of SATS, obtained his first doctorate from Stellenbosch University and his Ph.D. from SATS. He has a deeply insightful approach to theology and has already made a signifi cant contribution in his relatively short career.
Dr Yusufu Turaki Ph.D.
Yusufu completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree at Boston University, and has undertaken a number of post-doctoral projects. He is one of the most respected scholars in Africa, with a long record of publications at the highest level.
Dr Bill Grover D.Th.
After 35 years of public, secondary school teaching, Bill received his doctorate from Unizul at 65 years of age. Along with H. Wayne House, Bill is co-author of “Does God Feel Your Pain?” now being reprinted for distribution in South Africa and neighbouring countries."
Dr Mariano Avila Ph.D.
Mariano obtained his Ph.D. in Hermeneutics and Biblical Interpretation from the Westminster Theological Seminary, and his Doctor in Social Sciences from the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana. He has served as a pastor, a Bible translator, an academic and was a founding member of the Academic Council of PRODOLA (Ph.D. programme for Latin America and Brazil).
Rev Dr Myk Habets (Ph.D.)
Myk obtained a PhD in Theology from Otago University and presently lectures at Carey Baptist College in Systematic Theology, Hermeneutics, and Ethics. Myk has written extensively and has had more than ten year’s teaching experience at various colleges and universities and has wide experience in postgraduate supervision.
Prof. Emmanuel D Mbennah (Ph.D.)
Emmanuel has two doctorates, a Ph.D. degree in communication from Potchefstroom University and a Ph.D. degree in New Testament from the University of the North-West. He has published extensively and spoken at numerous international conferences. He also has a passion for holistic child development.
Dr Julio Zabatiero D.Th.

Julio obtained his Ph.d. in Theology at Escola Superior de Teologia, Brazi. He is a Professor at the Escola Superior de Teologia, in São Leopoldo-RS and Coordinator of graduate studies and research of United College of Victory. Julio has published numerous papers and articles on a wide range of subjects.

Dr Wilson Chow Ph.D

Wilson earned his doctorate at Brandeis University. He served on the faculty of China Graduate School of Theology, Hong Kong, first as a lecturer, then as Dean, then as a Professor of Biblical Studies, as its President, and is currently the President Emeritus. In a long and distinguished career, Wilson has serves as Chairman of the Asia Theological Association, Vice Chairman of the WEF Theological Commission, member of Lausanne Theology Working Group and Chairman of the ATA Accreditation Commission.

Dr Johannes Malherbe D.Th.
Johannes acquired his academic qualifications at the University of Stellenbosch, and has also studied biblical languages at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as a Visiting Scholar. Johannes has focused his energies particularly in the area of Children's Ministry. His list of published articles covers topics such as "Child theology in Africa" and he has been intensely involved in discipling children and training children's workers on various levels.
Dr Thomas Johnson Ph.D.
Thomas completed his doctorate in Ethics and Philosophical Theology at the University of Iowa. He taught philosophy or theology in eleven universities or theological schools in nine countries. Thomas is Professor of Theology, Philosophy and Public Policy, at the International Institute for Christian Studies, and is an ordained Pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America. He is currently Vice President for Research, Martin Bucer European Seminary and Research Institutes.


Practical Theology

Dr Bill Domeris Ph.D.
Bill obtained his doctorate from Durham University. He is one of the most widely published theological scholars in Africa, especially in the field of Biblical Studies, where he has made substantial contributions at international level.
Dr Kevin Smith D.Litt., Ph.D.
Kevin, who is the Head of Academics and the Vice-Principal of SATS, obtained his first doctorate from Stellenbosch University and his Ph.D. from SATS. He has a deeply insightful approach to theology and has already made a significant contribution in his relatively short career.
Dr Keith Ferdinando Ph.D.
Keith, who is the Principal of the Rwanda Faculty of Evangelical Theology, obtained his doctorate from London Bible College, where he also completed post doctoral studies. His specialist field is African Missiology.
Dr Steve Hardy D.Miss.
Steve completed his doctoral studies at Trinity International University. He is the Consultant for Theological Education for SIM for Africa, Latin America and Asia and was formerly a consultant for Overseas Council. He is one of the most knowledgeable people with respect to theological education worldwide and has vast experience in missions training.
Dr Christopher Peppler D.Th.
Chris completed his Doctor of Theology degree at UNIZUL. He was the founder and first Principal of SATS and has extensive experience in business, the church and education. He has a passion for the local church and is regarded as an outstanding teacher.
Prof Mervin van der Spuy D.Th., B.Pharm.
Mervin obtained his doctorate at UNISA and served as the Head of the Association of Christian Counsellors of South Africa, before being appointed as Professor of Counselling Psychology at Providence Seminary in Canada. He has served as Vice-Chair of the International Network of Christian Counsellors
Dr Siga Arles Ph.D.
Siga obtained his doctorate from the University of Aberdeen. He is professor of Missiology and Director of the Centre for Contemporary Christianity, India. He has served as Chairman of a number of missions and missiological and theological societies and as editor of two missiological journals. Siga has authored many journal articles, is the author of a number of significant books, and has spoken at several international conferences.
Dr Ruben Paredes Alfaro Ph.D.
Ruben obtained his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California. He is currently Associate Director of PRODOLA (a Ph.D. Programme in Theology with the emphasis on Missiology in Latin America) and Director of the Graduate School of Mission “Orlando E. Costas” of CEMAA in Lima – Peru.
Prof. Chuck van Engen Ph.D.
Chuck who is the current Arthur F. Glasser Professor of Biblical Theology of Mission, at the School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary, obtained his Ph.D. from the Free University of Amsterdam. He is a leading missiologist in the Americas, with extensive practical and academic experience.
Dr Remi Lawanson Ph.D.

Remi obtained his Ph.D in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Azusa Pacific University, BIOLA University and Fuller Theological Seminary. His research interests include the integration of missiology, ecclesiology and organisational theory and cross-cultural mission.

Dr Elaine Vaden D. Miss.
Elaine obtained her Doctor of Missiology from Fuller Seminary. She teaches Missions, History of Christianity and Leadership Development as visiting professor at Northrise University, Ndola, Zambia as well as courses in Contemporary Culture, Missional Church and Mission History in Fuller Seminary’s online and extension sites. Elaine is the Associate International Director, Scholars Program, Langham Partnership International, and has served in a number of missions associations and societies.
Dr Robert Brodie Ph.D.
Robert completed his doctoral Studies at St. Augustines. He has many years of experience in education at various levels, particularly distance education. After moving from teaching in a high school, he became a teacher trainer and senior administrator at a College of Education that provided further education for serving teachers by means of distance education.
Dr Abraham Byeong Jun Ph.D.
Byeong obtained his doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town (2008). He serves as a missionary in Serving in Mission International and his areas of speciality are practical theology, Christian doctrine, missions, comparative religion & theology.
Dr Miguel Palomino Ph.D.
Miguel obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in 2002. He is Director of Escuela de Capacitación Ministerial de Miami (ECAMM) and Rector of Facultad Teológica Latinoamericana. He is also pastor of Pembroke Pines Alliance Church. Miguel has published articles in many journals and is on the Advisory Board of Global Missiology.
Prof. Walter E. Brown Ph.D.
Walter obtained his Ph.D. in Hebrew and Old Testament from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has held numerous teaching posts, both in Africa and the USA, including Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is widely published, especially in theological dictionaries.
Prof. Fred Smith Ph.D.
Fred obtained his Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary - School of World Missions in 1985. He is Professor of Missions, and Chair of the World Missions Department at Toccoa Falls College. Fred has published over thirty articles in various Spanish and English publications
Dr. Jan Grobbelaar Ph.D.
Jan obtained his D.Th. in Practical Theology from the University of Stellenbosch in 2008. He has served as a minister in a number of churches, where he was also involved in youth ministry. Between 2005 – 2008, Jan lectured at and was later appointed Principal of Petra College, Western Cape. He has written numerous papers and published several articles on children’s ministry and is on the governing bodies of several organisations.
Dr Emmanuel Anim Ph.D.
Emmanuel, who is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Mission, Pentecost University College in Accra, obtained his PhD from All Nations Christian College. He has published a number of key articles and books, addressing controversial issues such as polygamy and the Church in Africa and the prosperity gospel. He has also presented numerous papers.
Dr Michael Higgs Ph.D.
Dr Michael Higgs was born and raised in a Christian home in England. He came to South Africa in 1958 and received training as a pastor. After serving a number of congregations, mostly in the Eastern Cape, he taught in several High Schools, lectured at a Teachers' Training College and then at the Bible Institute, Eastern Cape.
Dr Callie Joubert Ph.D.,D.Phil
Callie holds degrees from the UKZN (Ph.D.), Univ of Johannesburg (D.Phil), Univ of Stellenbosch (MPhil/BPhil) and Unisa (BA). His areas of interest include creation theology, theological anthropology, moral theology, apologetics, psychology and education.
Prof Samuel Chao Ph.D.
Sam obtained his Ph.D. From Fuller Theological Seminary an is presently professor, and dean, of the School of Theology, Life University, Gardena, CA. and has wide teaching experience at universities in both Taiwan and the USA. He ha served as assistant chaplain at Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan, and as Associate Pastor, Chinese Christian Centre, Ontario, CA, and has written many papers and articles, mostly missions related.
Dr. Hyo Shick Pai Ph.D.
Hyo obtained his first Ph.D. (in Education) from Biola University and his second in Marriage and Family Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has served, inter alia, as Professor of Educational Ministries at Azusa Pacific University, and is Senior Research Advisor for the prospective Ph. D. and D.Min. at the Theological Research Institute.
Dr Lily Chua Ph.D.
Lily earned her Ph.D. at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She has been an Assistant Professor at the China Evangelical Seminary for several years, where she is also the Dean of Spiritual Formation. Her teaching field specialisation is Christian Education.
Dr Johannes Malherbe D.Th.
Johannes acquired his academic qualifications at the University of Stellenbosch, and has also studied biblical languages at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as a Visiting Scholar. Johannes has focused his energies particularly in the area of Children's Ministry. His list of published articles covers topics such as "Child theology in Africa" and he has been intensely involved in discipling children and training children's workers on various levels.
Dr Nzuzi Mukawa Felicien Ph.D.

Nzuzi –obtained his Ph. D., in Missiology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity school Deerfield, ill, Trinity, USA. He is presently Professor of Missiology at the University of Missiology, Professor visiting at UCKIN and Supervisor for dissertation: UNISA, University of South Africa. Nzuzi is missions coordinator for his local church.

Dr Pieter Labuschagne Ph.D

Pieter completed his Ph.D. in Old Testament hermeneutics at the University of Pretoria and is Managing Director of Service D’Instruction et Mobilisation. He has served as the pastor of Rose-Belle Evangelical Church in Mauritius, and as Principal and Chancellor of the Mauritian Bible Training Institute. Since 1999 he has been intimately involved in all aspects of missions work. He is currently Strategic Manager for Serving in Mission, responsible for their work on the islands of Mauritius, Madagascar and Reunion.

Dr. Edouard Kitoko-Nsiku Ph.D.
Edouard obtained his Ph.D. in Human Sciences and Management at The University of Natal. He is presently employed as Africa Area Consulting Translation Manager of The Seed Company (coordinating all work in Africa). Eduard has served as lecturer and guest lecturer, is involved in Bible translation and has authored a large number of publications.
Rev. Dr. Jesudason Baskar Jeyaraj Ph.D.
Jesudason obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Sheffield. He served in the ministry from 1975, as well as ministering in his local church as ordained clergy on an honorary basis. After teaching in SAIACS Bangalore, India, where he became professor of biblical studies from 1944 to 2001, he founded the Jubilee Institute for conducting seminars and equipping laity and pastors. Jesudason has authored 15 books and written a proliferation of published articles.