The Bachelor of Theology (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 or 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. Payment is per course, which is payable at the beginning of each new course. Additional costs apply when candidates exceed the time-frames as fixed for each course.

Do I Qualify?

To qualify for admission to the Bachelor of Theology (Honours), a candidate must have maintained an average of at least 60 percent in their undergraduate degree. Additionally, a candidate must meet one of these admission requirements.

  • An accredited Bachelor of Theology or cognate qualification (for example, a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Biblical Studies would be deemed cognate).
  • An accredited Bachelor’s degree in another field accompanied by an accredited Certificate or Diploma in Theology and/or by extensive ministry experience.

Applicants in category 2 are required to draw up a portfolio of evidence that contains a detailed presentation of their prior qualifications and ministry experience. The Admission’s Committee will assess the candidate’s portfolio and, if deemed necessary, either set an admission test or prescribe bridging coursework (typically in the form of undergraduate modules).

Enrolment Requirements

There are two ways to gain access to the Bachelor of Theology (Honours).

1. You have an accredited 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.

Certified/notarized proof of one of the above requirements should accompany the application form, together with a certified/notarized copy of the student’s identification Document or valid Passport. All those who meet these criteria and whose English is of a sufficient standard, are accepted into the programme.

* NB! Please note during the national lockdown, we will not require certified/notarized copies of the above documents for you to register.

NB. You are required to complete this qualification within a period of 3 years.

Is The Honours A Research Degree?

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 completing the compulsory courses on Research Methodology (12 credits) and the Research Project (24 credits).

How Long Does It Take?

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.

Bachelor of Theology (Honours) Timetable

What Is An Honours Degree?

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 using the following diagram (see right):

The following diagram (see left) 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.

Graduate profile

According to the SGB-generated, SAQA-registered BTh Honours (ID 49133), students who graduate from a BTh should be able to do the following with an advanced measure of independence:

  • Analyse and interpret primary Christian sources exegetically and theologically.
  • Integrate and appropriate such sources in context.
  • Analyse, understand and position oneself and one’s community within the scope of the history of Christianity.
  • Critically evaluate and apply Christian theology and ethics personally and in community.
  • Design, practise and monitor ministries in the church.
  • Initiate and develop Christian ministry in the wider community.
  • These descriptors fit well with the objectives of the South African Theological Seminary and the skills we would like to see developed in graduates from this programme.

Exit level Outcomes

The outcomes below are the exit-level outcomes suggested in the SGB-generated, SAQA-registered BTh Honours (ID 49133). In designing the curriculum, the Seminary has taken cognisance of these outcomes and purposely adapted them to fit the institutions objectives as embodied in the course-level outcomes.

  • Identify, distinguish and evaluate more advanced concepts and theories with regard to theology as a human and social science.
  • Integrate and apply the range of theological concepts and disciplines.
  • Critically compare and use theological and other sources at a more advanced level to explore faith questions and proclaim Christian faith in context.
  • Identify and develop their personal faith in critical interaction with their context and people with differing views and exhibit a more advanced degree of critical self-awareness.
  • Engage in and articulate critical and creative theological thinking at a more advanced level.
  • Play a moral and constructive role by developing and applying core human and Christian values to contexts and being critical of all value systems.
  • Develop and evaluate insights arising from the various theological disciplines that may contribute to development of Christian ministry and life.
  • Use varying theological disciplines to develop critical thinking concerning issues of power and leadership in church and society.
  • Be aware of, and be able to interact constructively with, multicultural and multi-faith communities, from a theological perspective.
  • Apply the insights of one or more disciplines to identify and critique issues of church and society.

Is The Programme Accredited?

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.

How Are The Courses Delivered?

The courses are delivered via our online system, MySats. You will access all your study materials (some courses require you to purchase prescribed textbooks) on 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. There are prescribed dates for the submission of each assignment; if you fail to meet one of those dates, you fail the course.

Access To Further Programmes

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.

How Much Does It Cost?

Click here to see the Full Price List for all programmes

  1. You may buy one course at a time.
  2. If you buy more than two courses on the same invoices, you will receive a 10% discount for each course bought.
  3. You may only buy the course(s) for your next term – i.e., you may not buy courses in bundles and complete them over a long period.

Complete our online application form, or contact us.

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.

Contact honours@sats.edu.za for further information.