General Newsletter Wednesday 9th December

Taking the distance out of distance education

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Have you enrolled for your next course yet? We encourage our students to complete at least one course every term to maintain momentum.




Even as the Seminary draws close to the end of another calendar year, and reflect on all that God has done at SATS over the past year, we look forward to what 2016 has in store for us.


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Earlier this month, Lonehill Village Church treated the SATS staff to an excellent Christmas lunch and special gifts. Thank you Lonehill Village church for your continued support and ministry to the Seminary.

This was also an historical meal, in that it was the first time that the entire Board were able to join the staff for the occasion. A wonderful time of fellowship was had by all, reflecting on all the amazing things God has done at SATS in the past year.


Evan Hunter, Vice President of ScholarLeaders International, investigated trends in PhD studies in Theology in the majority world (i.e. outside of the West) for his PhD thesis, and identified only 23 evangelical theological institutions that, in his opinion, offer credible programmes.

Hunter’s research indicates that theological studies in the majority world (MW) have reached a tipping point, with more MW candidates now applying for PhD’s at institutions in the MW than in the USA. 

According to Hunter’s research, SATS (despite having been accredited for its PhD programme for less than a decade) has the highest number of enrolled PhD candidates, and the second-highest number of graduated PhD’s. Moreover, between 1 in 6 and 1 in 7 of all currently enrolled PhD students at these 23 MW institutions hail from SATS, and 1 in 9 of all the PhD graduates to date are from SATS.

These results came as a complete surprise to the SATS Executive, and we can only give God all the glory for blessing us and using us in this way for Kingdom ministry. 

Evan Hunter’s study can be read HERE.

Ph.D. Programmes in the Majority World


Biblical Hebrew



The first term of 2016 will see the introduction of Biblical Hebrew courses at SATS. The four courses, comprising two years of study, will be rolled out over two years, with Hebrew 1A and 1B being available next year. Similar in structure and look-and-feel to our Biblical Greek courses, there will be weekly one-hour interactive classes hosted online. They will be hosted on Big Blue Button, a virtual classroom platform which students can access from MySATS.

The first lesson can be freely accessed HERE, and is suitable for access on smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop devices.

The Biblical Hebrew courses, unlike most SATS courses, requires the purchase of a textbook: Basics of Biblical Hebrew (2nd ed), by Gary Pratico and Miles van Pelt.

Registered SATS students can order the course by submitting this order form to
If you would like to take Biblical Hebrew as stand-alone courses, you can complete our online application form.


Document management is a huge logistical challenge for any institution of learning, but especially so for an institution like SATS, where our students are far away and documents exist only online. For example, more than 100 documents are generated or used in our service to the typical doctoral student – including profile documents, assignments, proposals, reviews and thesis chapters.

For this reason the SATS Postgraduate School has been receiving help from Linda Whetton, who has been helping us with Alfresco* over the past three months. She has been a huge help to the Postgraduate Registrar in standardising and properly allocating documents; a job which will be continued by a new full-time staff member in the new year – watch this space!

This is part of the our ongoing process of updating and improving our administrative support  and service to our students.

* Alfresco is a sophisticated document management platform.

Document Management System



Doctoral Supervisor Training Workshops




Last week, a group of SATS’ Doctoral Supervisors had the immense privilege of participating in a two-day series of intensive workshops with Dr Ian Shaw, a world expert on doctoral studies in evangelical institutions. A small group of the supervisors joined the sessions on-site (which were recorded and filmed), while others joined us online from as far away as Zambia and New Zealand.

The workshops were highly esteemed by all the supervisors who attended, but ultimately our post-graduate students will reap the greatest benefits from this training.

For these workshops, Dr Shaw represented both ICETE (International Council of Evangelical Theological Education) and Langham Scholars. Three of the current PhD candidates affiliated with SATS hold Langham scholarships.


Last year Dr Reuben van Rensburg, the Principal of SATS, participated in the Lausanne Consultation on “Children at Risk” in Quito, Ecuador. The consultation comprised of more than 60 heads of seminaries; now, one year later, two documents have emerged from this consultation:

1) Who are Children-at-Risk: A Missional Definition, and
2) Quito call-to-action on Children at Risk

The documents can be accessed HERE.



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Do you have TIME on your hands? If so, then why not consider giving some of your time to serve the Lord, by volunteering at SIM and becoming part of an international team?

SIM South Africa is urgently in need of a Volunteer Receptionist in their Cape Town Office in Tokai.
For more information about the nature of the work and job requirements, contact Marion Frylinck on (021) 715 3200.



Northcliff Union Church has an exciting opportunity in the area of Children’s Ministry in 2016. This is a part-time role, and is remunerated.

For more information about current Chilren’s Ministry activities at the church, the worker’s anticipated role and qualifications required, contact Keith Westberg at

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SATS is fully accredited by the Council for Higher Education in South Africa from Certificate to PhD level, and is internationally accepted.