Frequently Asked Questions

When you study with SATS you meet a team of educators and administrators who are creative, innovative, dedicated and passionate about the way they teach and deliver their courses. We are aware that it is crucial to balance business, careers, home and studies. With this in mind we believe we offer many advantages to any person who would like to study via the distance learning method.

The South African Theological Seminary is registered by the Department of Higher Education (registration number 2001/HE08/005) and accredited by the Council on Higher Education to offer the following programmes:

  1. Higher Certificate in Christian Life
  2. Higher Certificate in Christian Counselling
  3. Bachelor of Theology
  4. Bachelor of Theology Honours
  5. Master of Theology
  6. Doctor of Philosophy in Theology

SATS is registered as a Section 21 Company, registration number 2002/005184/08

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, 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”.

All our courses are presented online only.

Students residing in South Africa may purchase their workbook(s) in printed format. However, all assessments must be uploaded to the MySats site regardless of the format of the workbook.  The price of the printed workbook includes the courier delivery fee.

This is referred to as Recognition of Prior Learning. Yes, you can! You need to provide us with details of what you have done, so that we can evaluate your prior learning in the light of our programmes and advise you as to your study options. When you apply to SATS, we conduct an assessment of your prior learning. If you undertake additional ministry or studies after your initial evaluation, you may apply to have a new assessment of your prior learning.

One credit equates to approximately 10 hours of time on task. At the undergraduate level, all courses are 12 credits, requiring approximately 120 hours of work; this includes research, writing of the assignment(s), and the examination. Since the courses at SATS run in 12 week term blocks, an average student should study between 8-10 hours per week.

You can enrol at SATS at any time of the year. You will slot into whichever term is open at the time of enrolment.

We offer a limited number of reduced fee bursaries. As a private tertiary institution, we receive no subsidies from the government. Therefore, we are totally dependent on donor funding for these bursaries. As and when funds become available, reduced fee bursaries are awarded to deserving applicants. For more information contact bev@sats.edu.za

We offer most undergraduate courses within a term-based timetable. The academic year begins on 1 February and is divided into four terms: Term 1, 1 February to 30 April; Term 2, 1 May to 30 July; Term 3, 1 August to 30 October; and Term 4, 1 November to 30 January.

MySats is a website that integrates all your academic information. By logging into MySats, you are able to access all your course materials, interact with the tutor and other students, submit your assignments and keep track of their status, and receive feedback on your assignments.

Most of the first, second, and third year courses are self-contained, and therefore do not require textbooks. We provide a reader containing all the required readings for each course.

No, SATS is an online institution.

Yes. We also have an excellent library, containing 20 000 physical volumes, as well as nearly 200 000 fully online, full text volumes. You can also contact library@sats.edu.za to request assistance with remote access to all the resources. The full catalogue is available on MySats.

There are a number of denominations currently enrolling students at SATS for their theological studies. You will need to contact the head of your denomination in order to find out if the SATS degree is sufficient for their denominational requirements. SATS does not ordain ministers.

South African degrees are well respected overseas and, since SATS has the highest level of accreditation in South Africa, most foreign institutions will admit our graduates to further studies (see Accreditation and Registration). However, each institution is sovereign with respect to which applicants it admits, so no institution—local or international—is obliged to admit a SATS graduate (or, for that matter, a graduate from any other institution.)

The Management and Board of SATS strive for exemplary results in all we do, and recognise the impact our activities may have on people and the environment.

Safety, health and protection of the environment will form an integral part of our planning and decision making. We will manage our Seminary, wherever we operate, in an ethical way that strikes an appropriate and well-reasoned balance between economic, social and environmental needs.

SATS is an online distance education theological seminary.


This policy:

  • shows the commitment of SATS’s management and workers to health, safety and the environment
  • aims to remove or reduce the risks to the health, safety and welfare of all workers, contractors and visitors, and anyone else who may be affected by our business operations
  • aims to ensure all work activities are done safely
  • aims to contribute positively to the environment and minimise any possible negative impact.



Will provide and maintain as far as possible:

  • a safe and protected working environment.
  • safe systems of work.
  • information, instruction, training and supervision that is reasonably necessary to ensure that each worker is safe from injury and risks to health.
  • a commitment to consult and co-operate with staff in all matters relating to health and safety in the workplace.
  • a commitment to continually improve our performance through effective safety management.
  • a commitment to positively contribute to the environment where affordable.


Each staff member has an obligation to:

  • comply with safe work practices, with the intent of avoiding injury to themselves and others and damage to equipment.
  • take reasonable care of the health and safety of themselves and others.
  • comply with any direction given by management for health, safety and the environment.
  • not misuse or interfere with anything provided for health and safety.
  • report all accidents and incidents on the job immediately, no matter how trivial.
  • report all unsafe and unhealthy situations to their team leader immediately.
  • report any situations which could be damaging to the environment.

Implementation of Policy

Information: The Principal will ensure that all employees have access to the Health, Safety and Environmental Policy. Each employee will be given a copy of the policy on commencement of his or her employment.

All employees should know where the first-aid kit is located, have a copy of the emergency plan and be trained on the emergency plan and evacuation procedures.

Risk assessment: This will be undertaken for all members of staff, work activities and systems annually. It involves:

  • identifying hazards;
  • identifying who might be harmed and how;
  • evaluating the risks from identified hazards.

If there are no hazards, there are no risks. Where risks are already controlled in some way, the effectiveness of those controls needs to be considered when assessing the extent of the risk that remains.

The results of the risk assessments will be recorded in writing, and safety procedures adjusted to ensure adequate levels of health safety and welfare.

Health Rules

  • No smoking is allowed in the building or immediately outside the building.
  • All workstations and common work areas are to be kept free of any leftover food.
  • Personal protective equipment and clothing to be worn where necessary.
  • Sunscreen to be used during lengthy outdoor events.

Safety Rules

  • Observe and practise the safety procedures established for the job.
    If you spot any possible hazardous situation, report it to your team leader immediately.
  • In case of sickness or injury, no matter how slight, report at once to your team leader. In no case should an employee treat his/her own or someone else’s injuries. In case of any accident resulting in a severe injury, the employee is not to be moved until medical attention has been given by authorized personnel.
  • Never distract the attention of another employee, as you might cause him or her to be injured. If necessary to get the attention of another employee, wait until it can be done safely.
  • Do not wear loose clothing or jewellery around machinery.
  • Do not operate machines or equipment until you have been properly instructed and authorized to do so by your team leader.
  • Shut down your machine before cleaning, repairing, or leaving.
  • Keep your work area clean.
  • Leave a clear desk when you go home.
  • Observe smoking regulations.
  • Do not leave loose wires on the floor.
  • Switch off electric plugs before putting them into/ taking them out of the wall socket.
  • Do not block access to fire extinguishers.
  • Do not engage in practices that may be inconsistent with ordinary and reasonable common-sense safety rules.
  • All contractors to sign that they have received a safety briefing and they must sign an Indemnity form.

Environmental Rules

  • Use water sparingly.
  • The last person to switch off lights after leaving a room or the building.

This document sets our policy with respect to students and staff with disabilities. It should be read in conjunction with the ‘Admissions Policy’, the ‘Policy on Staff’ and the ‘Policy on Staff Equity’. The relevant clauses in those documents will not be repeated in this document. This policy is in line with section 9(4) of the Constitution, which stipulates that no person may unfairly discriminate against anyone on the
grounds of disability.

Distance Education

Because the South African Theological Seminary uses distance education as its delivery modality, students are not required to come to the campus at any stage and therefore those who have any form of disability which prevents them from travelling, already have a partial solution. Similarly because many of our faculty and administrative staff work from home, those who have disabilities that prevent them from using any form of transport are not disadvantaged.

Visually Impaired

Students who are visually impaired are able to utilise the audio reading facility on their pdf Readers, in order to receive the full benefit of their learning experience, and software is available for them to either “type” via voice or send in their assignments and exams as audio recordings.

Medical Disabilities

Should a student suffer from any disability which necessitates that he or she requires extra time for any form of student submission, especially examinations, on receipt of a medical certificate confirming the disability, extra time will be granted.

Other Disabilities

Should a case arise in which a student has a disability not covered by this document, as well as the other three listed in the Introduction (above), each case will be dealt with on a case by case basis, but the guiding principle will always be the Constitution.