General Newsletter April 2016

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Taking the distance out of distance education


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2016 Marks the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the South African Theological Seminary. The theme for the year has truly been "Celebrating twenty years of God's grace and favour," with more reasons for celebrating God's goodness added daily. The year kicked off with a record-shattering first two months…


Twentieth Anniversary



This week, we started our 20th anniversary celebrations by releasing a short animated history of SATS (which you can view HERE, or by clicking on the thumbnail below).

An Animated History of SATS

We are grateful to be able to celebrate twenty years of God’s grace and favour. He has fulfilled every promise He made in the early years, and we wish to acknowledge His initiative in birthing SATS and choosing the team of people who have invested a great deal of time and energy into the growth of SATS over the last 20 years. The SATS Team has built an institution that today serves the international or “global” Christian community.

We would love you to watch this short animation, and share it! We believe it shows a glimpse of God’s faithfulness to His people, and the magnificence of His plan.

SATS is planning one special project each month until November, to celebrate the anniversary, so keep watching this space!


We began the year with great zest in January and February with a record number of enrolments. February had the highest number of enrolments for one month in the history of the Seminary. We continue to marvel at the amazing ways in which God continues to provide for SATS, and are thankful for all of our students. We currently have over 2,000 active students in 78 countries.

Records Tumbling


Staff Travels



Various members of the SATS Team have done some globetrotting these past months. Drs Willem Semmelink and Pieter Labuschagne recently spent over a week in the Western Cape meeting with various Partnerships and Pastors’ Fraternals.

Mrs Bev van Rensburg travelled to Thailand to participate in the WWO (World Without Orphans) Global Summit, which was attended by over 450 delegates from 70 countries. While attending, Bev also had the opportunity to conduct a training workshop on behalf of LAMb International, entitled “The Trauma Care Worker: Stress, Compassion Fatigue and Burnout.”

This week Dr Johannes Malherbe, the Head of the Postgraduate School, is attending the MANI (Movement for African National Initiatives) Continental Consultation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Johannes was asked to do a presentation earlier in the week, and has received several inquiries about the seminary. He also forms part of the team responsible for drafting the Consultation Statement.


Dr Chuck Madinger, global director of the International Orality Network, visited SATS recently to discuss possible cooperation in studies on orality. Many around the world cannot read, or prefer to learn by oral means. This has serious implications for everyone committed to sharing the Word of God, as well as for institutions committed to training them. SATS draws an increasing number of students from the digitorial generation – those growing up with the internet and digital media, with a much lower need for printed text. Insights shared by Chuck and other specialists in the orality movement will help SATS in our development of a BTh Honours elective in orality which we hope to launch early 2017.

Chuck Madinger Visit






SATS is currently doing extensive programming to adapt and improve our various administrative systems. This includes migrating from some standard software platforms to modular, cloud-based solutions that afford us more flexibility. These improvements will enable us to offer better service to our students in the future.


South African Action for World Evangelization (SAAWE) periodically publishes a document of ministry opportunity vacancies on their database. You can access the latest edition of “Opportunities in Christian Service” HERE.


Rosebank Union Church will be hosting a Truthwalk Conference from 15-19 March, and bookings are open! At the conference, eminent scholars Dr Bill Mounce and Dr Robert Yarbrough will be teaching through the books of 1 Timothy and 1 John respectively.

Please contact You can find out more about the conference HERE.




Truthwalk conference

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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.