SATS Graduation and Building Dedication

Taking the distance out of distance education

SATS Graduation and Building Dedication

Since our last newsletter, SATS has seen some of its yearly calendar highlights (such as the graduation ceremony and the undergraduate school’s academic retreat) as well as some other important and exciting new developments. Read on for more…

Graduation 2015


The annual graduation ceremony of the South African Theological Seminary was held in Johannesburg at Rosebank Union Church on 18th April. The graduation ceremony has long been a highlight on the seminary calendar, but 2015 saw a record number of students graduating as well as a record number attending – nearly 100 students walked onto the stage to receive their certificates and degrees on the day! We were especially excited to welcome graduates from across the African continent, Australia and the USA at the ceremony. We once again extend a hearty congratulations to all our students who reaped the rewards of their years of hard work.

You can view the speeches from the ceremony at the links below:




On the morning of the 2015 graduation ceremony, we held an official dedication ceremony for the new SATS Campus in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

Dr. Christopher Peppler, the founder of SATS, gave a brief speech reflecting on the spaces that SATS has had and will continue to occupy. A tree was symbolically planted in the garden to mark the occasion and a plaque was unveiled at the front door.

To see the highlights of the morning, as well as Dr. Peppler’s speech, view the video at the link below:


dedication and graduation



On Wednesday 27 May the Board of SATS bade a sad farewell to its Founder and Chairman of 20 years, Dr Christopher Peppler, who has officially retired.

After obeying God’s call to start a distance education seminary, which at the time was not a common way of delivering theological education, Chris pioneered the establishment of what today has become a global, online institution. He faithfully ensured that what God called him to do was carried out at the highest level and that the seminary remained faithful to its three foundational principles, which he introduced, namely Bible-based, Christ-centred and Spirit-led. As the Chairman he has led the Board thoughtfully, prayerfully and perceptively, and under his direction the Board has provided sound advice and direction to the Senior Executive.

In recognition of his exceptional contribution, at our recent graduation ceremony, SATS awarded Chris its highest honour, Fellow of the South African Theological Seminary. The seminary, and the wider theological education community, will forever be indebted to him for his incredible contribution. We salute him and pray that he will enjoy his well-deserved retirement.

(The photos reflect Chris’ involvement at various stages in SATS’ history).


Last month at the annual Academic Retreat, the staff and partners of the SATS undergraduate school were treated to a series on Biblical Archaeology by a world-class scholar.

Dr Bill Domeris, who is one of the most senior and accomplished academics at the South African Theological Seminary, presented a five-part series over the course of two days, speaking predominantly about what archaeology reveals about Elijah, David and Jesus respectively. SATS was privileged to be able to capture this excellent series on video and is making it available to the public.

We encourage you to share the link to this series, which can be found in the playlist linked below.


fake diploma


During his recent visit to the US, our Principal Dr van Rensburg met with seminaries, potential students, partnerships and other interested parties.

Several people raised the issue of student debt, which has reached crisis levels in the US. The average debt for a graduating student is approaching $30 000 (R360 000), which means that if two graduates marry, their combined debt is in the order of $60 000 (R720 000)! Newly appointed pastors earn an average of $30 000 per year, which immediately raises the question as to how they will ever pay off their debt?! Of course if they embark on further studies, their debt increases, sometimes to a level of $100 000 (R1.2Million) or more.

With our fees as low as they are, SATS becomes a very attractive option for potential US students, especially when our MTh and PhD programmes have been evaluated as being equal to any regionally accredited programme in the US. 

Follow Us

 © 1996 – 2015 South African Theological Seminary

SATS is fully accredited by the Council for Higher Education in South Africa from Certificate to PhD level,
and is internationally accepted.