January 2016 General Newsletter

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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.




This wonderful milestone is for SATS, more than anything, a testimony of God’s sustained hand of grace and favour over the years. Keep on reading for more on the anniversary, and for other exciting news.


Twentieth Anniversary



Dr Reuben van Rensburg says the following of the Seminary’s twentieth anniversary:
“There is one thing that stands out, namely that God has had His hand of grace and favour upon us. From our very humble beginnings in a prefabricated building at the back of the founding church, the Lonehill Village Church, through the compact space we occupied on the first floor of Ridgeway Ministries, all the way to the very beautiful premises we now own in Bryanston, Johannesburg, God has provided all we needed in each phase of our growth. Indeed, every month He has enabled us to pay all our salaries and all our bills, to the point that we are completely debt-free! Truly, He is a gracious and amazing God!”

As part of our celebration of this milestone, we have planned 10 special events and projects, which are to be rolled out during the course of the year. Look out for our 20th anniversary logo and keep watching this space!


In December, we were delighted to welcome a delegation from China, which represented a large number of seminaries. On their first day at SATS, they started off by leading our morning devotions, and sharing some of the challenges the Chinese church faces.

Dr Lin Manhong (Associate General Secretary of China Christian Council & Dean of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, Shanghai), Rev. Zheng Baolan (Dean of Fujian Theological Seminary), and Rev. Hu Junjie (President Provincial Christian Council & Vice-President of Henan Theological Seminary in Beijing) met with various groups at SATS over two days. We were very grateful for the assistance of Mr Jung Wang (from Shanghai), who acted as our translator and interpreter.

Chinese Delegation


Elsie Zondo



We are very pleased to welcome Elsie Zondo, our new Postgraduate Administrator, to the SATS family! In a previous newsletter, we highlighted the tremendous challenge document management presents to SATS. For example, more than 100 documents are generated or used in our service to the typical doctoral student. With a Higher Certificate in Archives and Records Management, Elsie proved to be a perfect fit.

Elsie hails from Pretoria, Gauteng (born and raised), and is involved in various local church ministries – as a Sunday school teacher, youth leader and worship team member.


We would also like to welcome Pieter Labuschagne, albeit not for the first time, as he joins SATS in a more formal capacity this year. Pieter has been a postgraduate research supervisor for the past few years (specifically for French students), and has also assisted SATS with course development and assessment.

Pieter has over a decade of experience as a missionary in Mauritius, and has been a strategic manager for missions in Mauritius, Madagascar and Reunion. We are excited to have him join us as a senior academic at SATS, and one of our chief contributors in the French department.

Pieter Labuschagne


ICETE Consultation




Our Senior Management Team recently had the opportunity to participate in the ICETE Consultation in Antalya, Turkey. This is a triennial gathering of international theological educators. The focus for this most recent Consultation was: Engaged and Effective – The Impact of Theological Education.

At the Consultation, the delegates had the privelege of being led in worship by a local church’s team; this is noteworthy, as there are fewer than 6,000 Christians in the whole country, out of a population of roughly 78 million.

The Senior Management Team also had the opportunity to visit various significant Biblical archaeological sites during the trip.


Dr Reuben van Rensburg also recently had the opportunity to attend the “Conference Regionale pour la Transformation des Nations” (Regional Conference for the Transformation of Nations) in Porto Norvo, Benin. The conference theme was “The Priesthood in the Public Square,” a response to the command and call of Exodus 19:1-6.  Over the years, we have seen again and again at SATS that there is no substitute for building relationships face-to-face. Attending conferences like this are invaluable to the Seminary, and we are grateful for every opportunity. 



Benin Regional Conference


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Central Baptist Church Pretoria is looking for an assistant pastor to take responsibility for member care / discipleship / teaching at their city campus. Applicants need to have conservative evangelical convictions with the desire to serve the Lord wholeheartedly, and an ability to work with a team of pastors. CVs can be sent to Charles de Kiewit at: charles@central.org.za

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