One Story of God’s Grace and Favour Among Many
- 3 orphan houses with 18 orphaned children
- an Early Childhood development center for children from the community
- a Christian School with 210 Children in attendance
- a Church and Sunday School
- a School for Church Planting students, run twice a year for four months
- an agricultural skills development center for unemployed youth, helping them to start a co-operative business
- an ICT skills development center for unemployed youth, helping them to get into the job market
- a wellness center which focusses on emotional, social, physical health and counselling services
Everything we do has a focus on Christ and bringing the gospel to people so that their primary renewal and healing is from the inside out through spiritual formation, while not neglecting physical, emotional, intellectual and social needs.
Benefits of my SATS studies
Missiology helped me understand different cultural contexts and approaches. It also helped me understand the importance of migrations, urbanization and ‘glocalisation’, as well as the shift to equipping believers from the South to be missionaries in the West.
Ethics, with its focus on African ethics, has been a huge help for me to gain a better understanding of the African community-focused life, and the importance of elders and ancestors in their lives.
Apologetics made me realize how important it is for us to teach our school children to be able to defend their faith and how to listen to arguments from different faith angles.
Solid doctrinal courses, Essential Bible Study Principles, Christian Foundations, Hermeneutics, Homiletics, Church History and courses on various books and letters of the Bible, are helping me to introduce Scripture-based teachings into the Church and small groups.
Introduction to Children’s and Youth Ministry helps to create strategy for our Sunday School, ECD and School, as well as our youth and sports ministries.
What I have found extremely helpful is Conflict and Reconciliation; with a staff of more than 50 people, and some bad history, it has been an amazing tool to glorify God and help people through their differences.
Church Planting and Church Growth is part of the core of our business, and the research I had to do for those subjects led me to buy various books which are extremely handy resources as we move forward. With this course, together with the practical subjects like Leading with a Purpose and Church Leadership, I find that formulating a strategy and goals with the team is a well-structured and streamlined process.
I honor God for the work done by the SATS team and how this experience is helping me be better at my calling in this ministry.
In only 1 of the 9 clubs are the parents involved and supportive, in terms of resources. The other 8 are in low income areas and most of the children are underprivileged. Providing new and innovative ways to interact with and teach the children about the Jesus, both with the privileged and underprivileged kids, is much easier when one is very clear on their doctrine. And so is selecting the right curriculum, which is truth-dense, but yet simple enough for the children to understand. SATS has provided me with academic tools to do both jobs.
United States of America
Serving in ministry, living in a very remote area, and in the midst of so many choices, where would be the richest experience? The long digital search began. And God was there.
Where would I find a place in alignment with my theological identity? Where would I find a place with a solid biblical foundations seeking to glorify the entire Godhead? Through the maze of pixelated options, I quested. And God was there.
One institution kept popping up. South African Theological Seminary. Bible-based, Christ-centred, Spirit-led. But is was 10,328 miles away; how could that possibly work? Oh yeah, God was there.
Through prayer and investigation, I pressed on. SATS was evangelical, conservative, international, distance education, and it was affordable. This was the right place. Through the journey of successes and setbacks, of growth and challenge, of pleasure and pain, I eventually made it through, and yes, God was indeed there.
It was truly an enriching experience, full of God’s grace and favor, educationally, spiritually, and relationally. I was able to remain in pastoral ministry, learning and loving God’s Word to the benefit of my soul, and (I should hope) to the benefit of the flock. I look forward to continued depth of service in ministry.
Paul writes in 1 Timothy 3:15, “I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” The Church is the column and defender of the truth, the privileged partner to display that beacon of God’s grace to the world. In the spirit of Paul’s words to Timothy, SATS is well positioned to help build up that Church.
I cannot express how pleased I am to be associated with this God-glorifying institution. My focused prayer is that SATS would continue to be the beacon God has called them to be in such a dark world. Bible-based, Christ-centred, and Spirit-led. In His grace and favor may God continue to be there.
To God, and to God alone be the glory!
Debbie and Suzie Radloff
Now full-time in The Zambia Project for a few years, our work involves: (1) facilitating Scripture song-writing workshops with people-groups who as yet do not have the Bible translated into their languages; (2) teaching class music (at present, from Pre-school to Grade 8) at the Village of Hope school in Mongu; and (3) training music team members for church worship.
We are privileged to have studied BTh Honours through SATS (2012-2014). Studying was very difficult with our busy work schedule (and unreliable internet access), but it was worth the cost more than we can ever realise. In particular, the Missiology and Practical Theology components have helped us to make an objective evaluation of our present practices in the music ministry; to ascertain the needs of the community; to gain an in-depth understanding of Biblical truths regarding worship, and to be purposeful in using local arts to effectively communicate the Gospel in the cultural context.
We have so much more to implement from our studies with SATS and look forward to doing so in the coming years.
Elizabeth (Libby) Schou-Kristensen
By 2012 I had self-published two Christian books. On the recommendation of a friend, and understanding the importance of good theology, I enrolled with SATS. Living in an isolated village on the North Coast of Kwazulu-Natal with health challenges, online study opened a door of opportunity I had never imagined possible. I did question my mental capacity (after undergoing over thirteen rounds of anesthesia)! However, I have been blessed with a wonderfully supportive husband, who has encouraged me to become all that God has made me to be. We are first-generation Christians. My pastor at River Church, Gingindlovu, afforded me many opportunities to minister to our local farming congregation. During my studies I dislocated my hip and had two surgeries, one of which left me with an open wound for the last ten months of my studies! By God’s grace, I graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Theology degree, one day before my 57th birthday.
The sound theological foundation I gained from SATS has enabled me to write with confidence. Studying has taught me discipline, been spiritually life-changing and has given me a new lease on life. One is never too old to learn.
My God-given teacher’s heart is now used to teach a New Beginnings Life Group for new believers of all ages. As spiritual parents, Jan and I love and disciple precious souls around our extra-large dining room table. My third ‘book’ has been re-formatted into a daily devotional course on the biblical view of man, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Our early retirement in Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, has become a “refirement” for the Lord and I credit SATS for making me into a life-long student of God’s Word! By faith I have enrolled for BTh Honours. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue studying and applying my new-found knowledge in my local fellowship, Face to Face Church.
May God continue to bless the work of the SATS staff as they diligently seek to equip students to discover their unique place and purpose in furthering God’s Kingdom for His glory!
I started learning at SATS in August 2010. My first facilitator was Zoltan Eldey in ‘Apologetics’. He encouraged me so much, on account of making sure that I would do well in my studies. All my facilitators helped me well where they thought that there was any room for improvement (but I mention Zoltan because he was the first to do so).
When I started learning at SATS I was working with SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics International) as a translator translating the word of God into my mother tongue (Simbiti).
I learned so many things at SATS that helped me in my ministry as a translator at SIL, in the Mara cluster. There are two courses which became to be very helpful in my ministry and facilitated me doing my job, namely ‘Hermeneutics’ and ‘Introduction to Biblical Languages’. Those courses are still very important to me, even in my TA (Translation Advisor) work.
When I completed my study at SATS, our cluster decided to enrol me in TA training. I performed well, and on the 1st of April this year, I was announced to be a TA in our cluster. I am doing better in my translation work than I was before my SATS studies. My bishop also elected me to lead four local congregations in four different villages.
I believe that SATS is the vision from God for helping the church in Africa to grow. God has a purpose to His church through SATS.
Stephen and Marian Smith
Stephen is also a senior preacher, and the SATS courses are helping him tremendously in his preaching efforts. Marian does Papillon’s administration work, and is also now employed as a SATS assessor. One of Papillon’s outreach projects that is growing in leaps and bounds, is the free Trauma Training for child, youth and adult volunteer counsellors. The project is facilitated by Bev van Rensburg (of SATS) at the Papillon Development Centre in Rosettenville, Johannesburg. Bev works in a partnership with Papillon, and the trauma courses are also presented all over South Africa, and in neighbouring countries. Papillon’s free delivery of donated goods to poor areas across South Africa, also now numbers into many tonnes.
We have found the SATS staff and facilitators to be very friendly and helpful in all of our efforts; in our studies and in our work. They have been a tremendous inspiration to us in our Christian walks. We have also adopted the SATS standard of being ‘Bible-based, Christ-centred, and Spirit-led’. Thank you SATS for giving us the opportunity to grow in our faith.
While linguistics had permeated my earlier studies, this was my first formal study of linguistics. I had little idea what it might lead to. I wrote various articles on the relationship between Christian leadership and linguistics, and the relationship between theology and linguistics, the latter being a particularly important one. Then, three years after I completed my MTh at SATS, I wrote a philosophical paper, based on linguistics, which I submitted to The Philosopher, the oldest general philosophy journal in the world. As sometimes happens with journals, the approval process took one full year. Ultimately, it was accepted. I was invited, then, to write for a sister publication, Philosophical Investigations. Soon I was appointed to the board of the Philosophical Society of England, and to editorial positions on both publications. I was invited, too, to develop a metaphysic, which was published by the Philosophical Society of England in association with The Philosopher.
Traditionally, ministers (as I am) have had honorary positions throughout the philosophical world, although in recent generations this has fallen away. Yet there is a resurgence of interest in religion in philosophical circles. And while editorial positions in the philosophical world cannot promote religion, such positions have a strong influence on editorial direction and a balanced approach to religion.
Finally, my SATS degree was generously recognised by Fuller Theological Seminary, the largest multi-denominational seminary in the world, where I obtained an MA with a 3.9 GPA, or 94%.
Ramroop Lutchmeenarain (alias Vinod)
These studies have brought many changes in my life, as well as in my ministries; the church where I pastor have benefitted a lot, as I’ve been (and still am) motivated by my studies through SATS. I’ve seen believers growing into maturity and serving the Lord with eagerness, while our children’s ministry got a new and challenging dimension. A Youth Pastor and a Deacon have been ordained in the church as a result of my studies at SATS.
My wife, who has been by my side for the last thirty-eight years, has gotten opportunities to serve the Lord and every time she would approach me for assistance, I would direct her to my study notes from SATS.
A few years ago, both of us were in Australia and for seven Sundays I got the privilege of bringing God’s Word in a church and there also, I was greatly motivated and prepared by my study notes from SATS. Even when my wife was asked to share something at a women’s gathering, she wanted to speak on love and I gave her the SATS study notes on John 21, which she further developed and shared.
I’m a lecturer at our MBTI and, assisted by my SATS studies, I’ve seen this teaching ministry a great challenge. A personal thanks to SATS for offering me the B.Th course. I’m looking forward to going for my Masters now – of course from SATS.
Barikiwa Peter Lekeren
I came to know the Lord in 1992 through a missionary called Rev. Nachuru. By then, I was a “Moran” (Samburu warrior) and I knew neither how to write nor read.
I am serving my community in Kenya, Samburu County. I went to different schools and later came back to serve my community in which I understand the language, culture and literature. I am a Multi-church Pastor serving five existing churches, teaching a Bible School and have more than ten fellowships, meeting under the trees with no roofs or any physical structures. I started to serve the Lord as a full-time pastor in 2008, using my bicycle as a means of transport. I later got a motorbike, which I have been using up to now.
Apart from nourishing the church with the Word of God, I have also been responsible for the co-ordination, management and supervision of the general administrative functions in the church like developing of policies and plans, with the great help of the valuable SATS learning materials.
My three years of study at SATS made a huge different to my spiritual life and the entire ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. SATS impacted me with the required knowledge and skills in serving the Lord in various ministries, like pastoring different churches and teaching at the Samburu Bible Training Centre. While studying at SATS, everything was online, which made me become advanced with the computer work.
Finally, I also got to know many friends from different parts of the world including my fellow students, SATS staff and facilitators. May our faithful God bless SATS at large.
Fred Indangasi Isoyi
I am too anointed to be disappointed, too blessed to be depressed, too chosen to be frozen, too elected to be rejected, have more to shout about than to pout about and have more to sing about than complain about.
Robert and Catherine Falconer
My journey with the South African Theological Seminary (SATS) has been an extraordinary one. All my theological training has been through SATS, which was always a very enriching experience. Just starting on a PhD, I began working for SATS on a part-time basis as a facilitator. It was also though SATS that I met my wife, Catherine, who at the time was studying through the Seminary, while also working as a missionary in South Sudan. After about 2 years we were married, and soon after that we both took on work as missionaries in Kenya.
I continue to serve SATS as a Facilitator and Postgraduate Supervisor, although as a missionary I also serve as the Principal of the Diguna Discipleship Training (DDT) school here in Kenya. Our school disciples young students in the Christian faith after they have completed their schooling, so that they may be rooted in faith as they mature in Christ. We also train and equip older men and women for ministry, many of whom are church leaders coming from the rural areas in Kenya and Tanzania. Our approach in teaching is both theoretical and practical. We teach them various biblical subjects, as well as mission and evangelism in their common language, Swahili. Despite difficulties at times, it has been a very rewarding experience and we have had the joy of seeing much fruit in many of our students at the DDT, and most certainly I also delight in seeing the spiritual and academic growth of students from the South African Theological Seminary.
SATS continues to play a very significant part in our lives. I am very proud being a member of the SATS faculty.
As instructor I am teaching the students, and as Dean of Students I act in five areas: Counseling and Encouraging, Service and Housing, Dispelling, Student Fees and Community life.
The student body of this college contains Pastors, Teachers, Evangelist, Apostles, Elders, Youth leaders, Missionaries and different types of ministers, from any denomination, and coming from all provinces of Ethiopia. Currently, SBCE holds 260 students in the Degree and Diploma programs, both full-time and weekend-only.
I am also teaching at Lead Star University College, and South Regional Full Gospel Theological College (SRFGTC), in the same city. The respective student bodies are the same as mentioned above.
SRFGTC is under the Ethiopian Full Gospel Theological Seminary, and here my part also includes serving as a board member. Since, Full Gospel Church is my denomination, I am serving in teaching, preaching and leading. Moreover, I am preaching and teaching in the congregations of different denomination within Hawassa.
For all these activities, the impact of SATS has played an important role. Indeed, all my opportunities to teach in these different Colleges were opened by the SATS degree, and by the will of God. SATS is different. The quality, sound teaching, and internationally recognized accreditation of SATS, have playing a vital role in my life and my career. Praise the Lord!
Our two children have been involved in our radio ministry since 2005 (when we started the station) and today they work with us full-time, committed to taking up their roles for growth and expansion into the future. Both of them studied through SATS and I believe that as a family, working together, this has given us a solid foundation. It's never easy to work and study, but the fact that God's Word is alive propels you to run the race and finish the course. The impact of SATS for myself and the next generation, who will run this radio station, will probably never be known this side of eternity. We have expanded to many different towns across the country, on two frequencies, and we believe our listeners benefit as we compile and present programming based on SATS’ solid teaching as our foundation.
Below follows a testimony from a student who was one of our listeners, and who went on to work for EFMradio part-time, and has planted a church.
My name is Loide Nghidengwa. I studied BSc (Microbiology) at the University of Namibia. I am now leading a Church plant that focuses on reaching young people. I got saved in my first year of my studies, and I had little exposure to Christian music up until that point – except for the hymns we sang at church. A friend introduced me to Efmradio and I discovered a whole world of Christian music and teaching that I could enjoy. I could also listen to some of the teachings during the week, and my favourite was enjoying ‘Everyday Life’ with Joyce Meyer, because it was practical. I could listen to it just before my 1st class in the mornings at 7h30 am. It was good to have encouragement from the Bible throughout the week on Efmradio.
SATS helped me learn how to influence and to encourage others.
(1) The heart of doing church engagement is to get to know and influence the opinion leaders of the local churches, so that they will devote resources to serving the unreached and unengaged people groups. I need to be able to speak, write, present, and persuade. Thesis writing was a step in helping me to develop these qualities. My esteemed promoter, Kevin Smith, is a good writer and I learned by observing him.
(2) My journey in thesis writing initially led me to despair. I only had two years to finish. My table was the bed, which was plopped next to the bathroom. And I did not have enough money at the end to bind my thesis even for my supervisors. But the staff showed me what loving kindness was. They helped me at the critical junctures. Because they trusted and encouraged me, I developed the confidence to press on and finish. Now I am reversing roles and encouraging others who are struggling.
Thank you, SATS, for the good you are doing in the world through students like me. God bless as you walk with Jesus in your next twenty years.
During my studies I have been involved in women’s ministry, one-on-one counselling, leading certain aspects of church services, and a number of strategic projects. The latter have helped to position the church as relevant, not only in the lives of believers, but also the community at large. Studying through SATS gave me the tools to better understand theological frameworks, the complex issues that people are grappling with and how God’s people – and in particular the Church – can lead, influence, and be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in a broken world. Most importantly, my studies enriched my personal relationship with God and helped me find my purpose and calling. I am excited to have commenced my B.Th Honours in 2016.
This was the first equipping time in the South of India that our network has had. It was in a sense new ground that we wanted to pioneer into. For me personally, I was so encouraged to see the evidence of God’s grace in these areas as Christians are in the minority in India. The churches seem to be flourishing and are hungry for God. I feel privileged to have a small part in this. My main influences for this trip was the culture in our church and movement to live out the Great Commission. My studies in ‘An Introduction to Missions’ and ‘The Historical Perspective in Missions’ at SATS were also hugely influential in stirring my convictions of God’s mission today. I definitely feel that I will go back to India to see how we can do further, long-term missional work there. God is at work there and He has many that desire to save for His glory. If we can play any part of that process by planning local churches, it would be privilege.
Please pray with us for this.
Here follows a testimony about the apologetics course I did at SATS:
Dear Dr Brodie,
Thank you so much for your constructive comments on my assignment. I’m going to do my best to take these lessons learned into the next assignment. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing the non-believers, and was pleasantly surprised at how receptive they were, if they are approached with dignity and respect. The Muslim person I interviewed has asked that I meet with him monthly. The Hindu woman with her Christian boyfriend was profoundly impacted – her boyfriend attended our church, and asked for spiritual input and guidance. A further 2 people that I interviewed telephonically have asked for me to meet with them in person to talk through their questions.
Please pray with me for right moments to share the good news of Jesus in the apologetics discussions. I’m trusting that there will be a harvest of righteousness in this.
Thanks again and may God bless you as you equip others in this area of ministry.
United States of America
investing in the next generation of scholars and church practitioners, like Amanda Rubert (pictured), who intends to pursue PhD studies. My dissertation experience sharpened my critical thinking, deepened my knowledge of the Lord and – most importantly – gave me a more profound appreciation and love for our infinitely beautiful God!
In my research, I looked at the existential dimensions of the contemporary impassibility debate (i.e. God's invulnerability to suffering, and its implications for church culture and individual lives). The topic has some fascinating metaphysical aspects, particularly in how we balance a biblical understanding of divine transcendence and divine proximity. But it also has a profound impact on how Christians relate to God in their pain, how they console others and how they approach questions of theodicy. This intriguing blend of existential and theoretical considerations is one of the things that drew me to this field of study. I hope to eventually publish my findings at both scholarly and popular levels.
Shey Samuel Ngeh
Personally, internet connection is still a luxury in Kumbo, Cameroon where I live. I had to move regularly to our regional office, 109km from where I live in order to use free wireless connections. Furthermore, the area my MTh research covered was really rough. One time it took me three straight days of riding from morning to late in the evening, over the hills and valleys on dusty roads, to collect data.
However, besides the support I got from my supervisors, CABTAL also facilitated my studies by having me study in Kenya once a year for a month between 2012 and 2014. Studies in Kenya brought me into contact with teachers who helped me overcome academic problems posed by distance learning.
My studies at SATS have built my capacity to apply theology to all of life. My academic and spiritual horizon has widened, enabling me to diagnose an issue and address it from the biblical point of view, taking into account the socio-cultural context of the people whose issue is being addressed. In my role as Scripture Engagement Consultant and Bible Translation Consultant - I sense the impact of my studies at SATS on a daily basis. I thank God for SATS.
After graduating in 2012, I prayed for God’s guidance and applied to become a volunteer at a Christian residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in South Australia, where I worked for 2 years. My very busy days were focused mainly on case management and office administration, but I had the opportunity to do a weekly Bible study, which covered basic concepts of Christianity for clients who had come to know Jesus as their personal Saviour.
I am now in my 4th year as a volunteer, and have moved to another Christian residential rehab in New South Wales. Here I have the opportunity of working with adult women who struggle with a variety of life-controlling issues, including addiction and complex trauma. Here we approach all of the issues of life from a Biblical worldview and share Kingdom principles through counselling, therapy groups and Bible study. The majority of these women do come from a Christian background. Some have never been to church. Daily I see God’s love redeeming these precious women and transforming their lives.
My SATS Diploma has given me the opportunity to apply for an Australian qualification in the field of Drugs and Alcohol. I count it a privilege to be labouring in God’s vineyard here at this time and seeing God’s Kingdom come in the lives of these precious women.
Mbitsini Pauline Baloyi
Before I came to SATS I would tithe whenever I felt like it. Tithing was not a priority; however I am a person who likes to give to the needy, so I would equate my giving to tithing. After I studied the course Christian Foundations my commitment in giving changed and I became faithful in tithing. Handling of finances in my marriage changed for the better. My prayer life changed; before studying with SATS I would read the Bible when I didn’t have anything to do. I would only pray when I was troubled in my heart, but studying the Word of God transformed me. As a result I have been a Cell leader for five years now, and assist in tutoring SATS first year students. Glory to God!
SATS has dedicated staff, from administration to the library. I have never studied theology before, but I would like to commend SATS for the quality education I have received for the past eight years. Studying at SATS has changed my life and I will never put a price tag to the knowledge I received. Thank you and may God keep SATS forever in Jesus’ name, Amen!
I am currently the Youth and Young Adults Assistant at Red Door Community Church, Australia. The tools I have a gained through studying at SATS have complemented the trajectory of my life and has definitely added value in the ministry God has called me into. I know that completing my Bachelors in Theology merely marks the beginning of God’s plan, which I am so blessed to be a part of, and I am so thankful for the efforts of SATS, in grounding my faith in the person of Jesus Christ, and strengthening my theological understanding. I wish to commend everyone who has been involved in bringing SATS to the place it is today as it affected the lives of many and brought a solidified understanding of the Word of God into the ministries of many churches, including the place I call home. I am excited to see what lies ahead and I am amazed that I am being led further into the redeeming story of Christ as He unravels my life in His own.
I have also done children’s ministry in Witbank and Cape Town, South Africa, and also in Old Naledi, Botswana. I was involved in teaching children the Bible story, and sometimes memory verses and crafts. Through this ministry many children accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and friend.
In Botswana, I conducted a revival with my team, and people were healed spiritually and physically. Some couples were having problems in their marriages; by God’s grace I managed to help them to resolve their conflicts and reconcile again.
We conducted a Health Awareness campaign with an outreach team, and held a peaceful march. The community was very involved in this march, with the rest of the different community stakeholders. Placards captured the ethos of the ‘Bible shots’ and highlighted health issues: that our bodies are the temples of God (1 Corinthians 6:19 NIV), and they should be kept pure and healthy; also, that prevention is better than cure. Members of the public received health tests for free.
The impact of SATS in my ministry is that they helped me to gain more knowledge in practical ministry especially - I work with children and women. SATS helped me to do my ministry more effectively and creatively, and to improve my knowledge and skills, especially when I do outreach ministry. My studies also helped me to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ against evil forces that want to destroy it, and to involve other members of the church when I do my ministry so that God’s work will be easy. Through SATS I gained more knowledge in dealing with different kinds of people, and challenges in my ministry. Studying with SATS was a blessing to me because all the subjects that I did have helped me in my ministry. It also helped me to believe in myself and be proud of my identity as a child of God.