Bachelor of Theology (Honours)


The BTh Honours is a one-year postgraduate degree that builds on a three-year degree. You would be likely to choose the BTh Honours for one of two reasons. Firstly, it serves as a bridge between Bachelor’s level coursework and Master’s level research. Secondly, it provides a potential access point into theological studies for students who have degrees in other disciplines.

There are two ways to gain access to the BTh Honours.

  1. You have a three-year BTh or equivalent degree.
  2. You have a Bachelor’s degree in another field accompanied by at least at least 120 credits of theological studies (e.g. an accredited Certificate or Diploma in Theology).

If you have a non-theological Bachelor’s degree, you can do the required bridging coursework with SATS to gain access to the BTh Hons. If you are unsure, you can apply online.

The Honours curriculum consists of a variety of 12 and 24 credit courses. The 24 credit courses run over six months, while the 12-credit courses take three months to complete. There is only one compulsory course. You must accumulate a minimum of 120 credits to complete the BTh Hons.

Unless otherwise indicated, the pass mark for all assessment tasks is 50 per cent. A distinction is 75 per cent. To pass a course, you must complete all the required assessment tasks, maintain a grade average of 50 per cent or above, and score at least 40 per cent for the examination.

Compulsory Course
GEN4121 Theological Orientation (12 credits)

24-Credit Electives
OTS4241 Old Testament
NTS4241 New Testament
THE4241 Systematic Theology
THE4242 Science and Theology
RES4241 Research Project (RES4122 is a prerequisite for this course)

12-Credit Electives
RES4122 Research Methodology
GEN4122 Directed Theological Reading
PRA4121 Practical Theology
MIS4121 Missiology
THE4123 Child Theology
MIS4122 Understanding Islam (prequisite for MIS4123)
MIS4123 Critiquing Islam (prequisite is MIS4122)
PRA4122 Narrative Preaching
BIB4123 Ephesians

A full-time student would expect to finish the BTH hons in one year but the average time for part-time students to complete the Honours programme is 2½ years. You have a maximum of three years to finish.

Please note: You are required to complete 48 credits every twelve months, commencing with the date of enrolment.

We are registered as a Section 21 company (Reg. no. 2002/005184/08), a PBO (18/11/13/2403) and an NPO (033-343-NPO. 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”.

Although Honours degrees are entrenched in South Africa’s higher education framework, they are little known in the rest of the world (except for Australia and New Zealand). An Honours degree is a complete qualification that lies between a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree. The B.Th. Honours is a fully accredited, fully online degree programme with courses covering the major fields of theological studies. It builds on knowledge and skills obtained through a B.Th., or a B.A. that includes substantial biblical and theological studies. It provides a platform for the Master’s programme, and also serves as an entry point for advanced theological study for students with primary qualifications in other fields of study. The articulation options relevant to the B.Th. Honours programme can be represented as follows:
The following diagram (see below) compares the South African framework with the American. In America, the Bachelor’s degree is four years, and the Master’s is one year. Therefore, our MTh corresponds closely to the American MA, while our BTh and BTh Hons together are approximately equivalent to their BA. (A key difference is that the South African degrees tend to be more narrowly specialised than their American counterparts.) These illustrations are not an exact representation of reality, but they should give you a good idea of the role the BTh Hons plays in the South African framework.

The BTh Hons is deemed to be a postgraduate degree. As such, it is a first research degree, and part of its purpose is to introduce you to theological research and specialised knowledge in theology. However, it is not a full-blown research degree. Our Honours combines extensive foundational reading with the opportunity to develop your research skills by writing 30-page academic papers.

Yes. The BTh Hons is accredited by the Council on Higher Education and registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training. The BTh Hons is a complete qualification on level 8 on South Africa’s National Qualifications Framework.

The courses are delivered via our online system, MySats. You will download all your study materials (some courses require you to purchase prescribed textbooks) from the site. You will be able to interact with the lecturer and other students through a forum that is available on the site. You will also submit your assignments and receive your results on MySats. Each Honours course is offered over six months. You are required to complete the readings by the mid-point of the course, and pass the assessment task based on the readings. The second half of the course is devoted to writing your research paper. There are prescribed dates for the submission of each assignment; if you fail to meet one of those dates, you fail the course.

The BTh Hons articulates vertically into an MTh or MA in Theology. If you successfully complete the BTh Hons and maintain an average of 60 per cent for all the courses, you would be readily accepted into a relevant Master’s degree at any other accredited institution in South Africa.

Click here to see the Bachelor of Theology (Honours) pricing

Please bear the following in mind when assessing the financial implications:

  1. You only pay for courses when you are ready to take them. Therefore, your costs are spread over the duration of your programme.
  2. The tuition fees are the total cost of the programme. There are no hidden costs, no travel costs, and no accommodation costs. Most courses do not prescribe required textbooks.

Kindly note that all fees paid to SATS are non-refundable and that prices are increased annually.

To submit an online application, click here. You will need to submit scanned copies of your identity document and your prior qualifications. Please take extra care when completing the online application form not to use apostrophes, commas, inverted commas, brackets or slashes. Alternatively, an Application Form can be obtained from the Postgraduate Registrar: postgraduate@sats.edu.za. When you have completed it, please email it, together with scanned copies of your identity document and your prior qualifications, to the Postgraduate Registrar at postgraduate@sats.edu.za. If you have any queries, you are welcome to contact the Postgraduate Registrar at postgraduate@sats.edu.za.

Your Course, Your Time, Your Pace