Master of Theology


YOUR COURSE, YOUR TIME, YOUR PACE

The Postgraduate School of the South African Theological Seminary proudly offers our outstanding Master of Theology programme, designed to produce competent leaders who have expert knowledge in a particular field and are able to serve God effectively as pastors, missionaries, teachers or leaders.   The Postgraduate School of SATS is committed to provide the best opportunities and support for advanced theological studies. A competent team of full time staff members and associates, each specialising in a particular field of theology, serves an ever-growing number of postgraduate students from all parts of the world.

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The minimum admission requirement is a relevant Bachelor Honours Degree. A “professional” Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum of 96 credits at level 8 or a Postgraduate Diploma may also be recognised as meeting the minimum entry requirement to a cognate Master’s Degree programme. In all cases, the qualification must have been earned at an accredited institution. In the case of foreign qualifications the institution must be accredited by a recognised accrediting body or by the institution’s national government. Candidates must have achieved an above average grade in their entry-level qualification.

We are registered as a Section 21 company (Reg. no. 2002/005184/08), a PBO (18/11/13/2403) and an NPO (033-343-NPO. Our accreditation and Department of Higher Education registration provide assurance that the quality of our programmes is of the highest standard. Our programmes are therefore nationally and internationally comparable and the credits earned with us are truly “portable”, i.e. they can be transferred to other accredited, registered institutions. The increasing number of international students confirms the acceptability of our programmes around the world. Recently our MTh and PhD programmes were submitted to two of the most frequently used and highly recommended evaluators in the USA, namely the International Education Research Foundation, Inc. (ierf.org) and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers’ International Education Services (http://ies.aacrao.org), and both confirmed that these degrees represent attainment of a level of education comparable to the equivalent degrees from a regionally accredited university in the United States. Our degrees are also recognised by the German website anabin.kmk.org which provides information about the evaluation of foreign qualifications.
The IQAS (International Qualification Assessment Service) in Alberta, Canada, an independent, secular assessment service used by many Canadian universities to establish the quality of foreign qualifications, has evaluated the SATS B.Th. as the local equivalent of a “three year Bachelor’s degree with a focus in theology”.

The M.Th. is a fully accredited, completely online programme that provides the opportunity for advanced theological research. You can choose between two formats – Full thesis and Coursework – and within each there are further options regarding research focus and research method. This means you co-design a curriculum that is most suitable to your situation and need.

All candidates benefit from our extensive support system that includes:

  • professional support from the Postgraduate School staff team
  • dynamic online learning platform
  • expert guidance from course facilitators and thesis supervisors
  • access to a plethora of online resources

SATS remains committed to the pursuit of integrated theology by assisting students to discover the integral connectedness of the various branches of theology, and to let this insight shape the way they engage with theology. We also Offeran M.Th programme in Integrated Theology that guides students in applying this methodology at an advanced academic level.

Coursework MTh

The Coursework MTh totals 180 credits (approximately 45 US credits) and contains three components:

  • Research Orientation course (24 credits)
  • 4 Elective courses (24 credits each)
  • Research component: Mini-thesis or Research project (60 credits)

The following list provides more detail about course options.
Research Orientation – MRS5240
This compulsory course aims to familiarise students with advanced theological research at SATS and academic writing. You will receive guidance to help you design your programme, choose your elective courses, and conceptualise your research project.

Elective courses (24 credits each)

You can choose from the following electives (Click here to see the Postgraduate Course Details)

  • MBS5241 Old Testament Introduction
  • MBS5242 New Testament Introduction
  • MBS5243 Biblical Theology
  • MBS5244 Biblical Hermeneutics
  • MBS5246 Biblical Book Study
  • MPT5240 Practical Theology: Mapping a Ministry

New courses are in development and will appear on the SATS website as they become available.

Research component

There are two options for the final 60 credit research component:

RES5600 Mini-thesis

The Mini-thesis is designed for students who may want to continue with a Ph.D. in Theology at a later stage. The journey includes the submission of a formal research proposal. (Click here to see see a brief description of the course.)

RES5601 Research project

In this course you will summarise, augment and integrate the research findings of the elective courses of the M.Th. Coursework programme in a final research report that demonstrates your ability to do research and to present your findings. (Click here to see see a brief description of the course.)

General comments:

  • The courses vary greatly in content and approach, yet all are based on SATS’ core values.
  • Electives are also offered as stand-alone courses.
  • Students have a maximum of six months to complete each 24 credit course. Where they fail to finish a course in time, additional fees will be charged.

Students take an average of four years to finish the M.Th. Coursework programme.

Full thesis MTh
The Full thesis MTh provides you with the opportunity to engage in an extensive research project on your topic of choice. This may be within traditional research fields as listed above (Coursework MTh), or it may venture into new areas of scholarship.
We will appoint a supervisor with the relevant expertise to guide you along your thesis journey. After the orientation process, you will design your research proposal and write a thesis that is approximately 50,000 words in length (about 150 pages).
The thesis journey is structured according to 5 phases:
Phase 1
This begins when a person contacts SATS to enquire about a possible master’s programme and runs through registration,  orientation, exploring focus and methods, and finally identifying a research concept.
Phase 2
In Phase 2 the candidate compiles and submits a formal research proposal. This is done under the guidance of a supervisor specialising in the chosen field of research. This proposal is done according to a prescribed template and has to meet strict
academic criteria.
Phase 3
Once the research proposal is approved by the Postgraduate Committee, the candidate can proceed with research and thesis writing under the guidance of the appointed supervisor(s). Phase 3 is the first half of this process and involves the submission of
a detail progress report for review.
Phase 4
In Phase 4 the candidate finishes the research and the draft thesis.
Phase 5
The draft thesis is submitted for internal and external examination and the required improvements are made. The final step is the oral defense of the thesis. When all of these are successfully concluded, the candidate is awarded the MTh degree.

Our M.Th. programme is extremely popular in the US, with more than 20 students currently enrolled. If you live in the US you will find our programmes extremely affordable by comparison, without compromising quality. Recently our M.Th. and Ph.D. programmes were submitted to two of the most frequently used and highly recommended evaluators in the US, namely the International Education Research Foundation, Inc. (http://www.ierf.org/)and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers’ International Education Services (http://ies.aacrao.org), and both confirmed that these degrees represent attainment of a level of education comparable to the equivalent degrees from a regionally accredited university in the United States. Our degrees are also recognised by the German website (anabin.kmk.org) which provides information about the evaluation of foreign qualifications, as well as by the Brazilian and Argentinian governments.

Successful MTh graduates automatically have access to the Doctoral programmes in related fields at any accredited institution in South Africa , provided they achieve an aggregate of 60 percent for the MTh programme.

Payment is per course, which is payable at the beginning of each new course. Additional costs apply when candidates exceed the time-frames as fixed for each course.
Click here to see the Master of Theology Pricing

To access our application form you may contact the Registrar of Postgraduate Studies, Marilyn Schott on postgraduate@sats.edu.za 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.