What to Study

Our entire curriculum engages classical theological subjects, work on practical competency and personal maturity.

Courses

All students will follow a major track alongside a number of electives and compulsory subjects made up of the courses listed below. While the more generic classical subjects form a major part of the BTC curriculum the MAJOR tracks specializes the students in practical ministry.

Baptist Studies

The principles and beliefs that distinguish Baptists are covered, along with an overview of the historical development of the Baptist denomination

This introduction to ministry in the Baptist Union of Southern Africa is offered as a distance course specifically for individuals who are seeking BUSA ministerial recognition. It requires that the learner involve themselves at various levels within BU structures.

This exposure to ministry in the Baptist Union of Southern Africa is offered as a distance course specifically for individuals who are seeking BUSA ministerial recognition. It requires that learners involve themselves at various levels within BU structures. Learners will be given 18 months to complete the course, and attendance of a Baptist Union Assembly is a compulsory requirement.

Biblical Studies

One of the fundamental assumptions of this course is that each one of us can learn to study the Bible far more effectively, both for our own enjoyment and growth and as a step in the process of preparing to teach others.

This course will serve as an introduction to the Bible with a particular emphasis on the historical background, introduction to, and contents of, the books of Scripture

Introduction to and theology of the Synoptic Gospels and Acts. History of the Apostolic era. History of interpretation.

Introduction to the interpretation of the Bible, and especially exegesis, introduction to the study of the Pentateuch, the theme of the Pentateuch, the history of Israel to the time of the judges.

Introduction to Romans, Corinthians and Galatians. Central issues in Pauline theology. Political and social issues of the 1st century. Exegesis of 5-8 chapters from letters studied.

History of the Canon and Text of the Old Testament, history of Israel in the period of the monarchy, introduction to the Prophets and study of the books of the Prophets.

Introduction to John, Revelation and the General Epistles. Central themes in Johannine theology. The Hellenistic period, religions and cultures. Contemporary hermeneutics, focusing on the New Testament.

Introduction to and study of the books of the Writings, method in Old Testament theology, worship in Israel.

Biblical Languages

The Bible is our first port of call in finding out who God is. It is in the Bible that we read of God’s character. It is there that we see how God interacts with the world and understand what He has done on behalf of mankind. The Bible introduces us to the nature of sin and the means of overcoming it. It is there that we meet Jesus Christ and hear His teachings and are presented with His willing choice to make atonement on our behalf. The Bible brings us the good news of salvation – the gospel message. It is in the Bible that we understand morality as God would have us understand it. It is full of words of encouragement, of practical teaching for everyday life, and ultimately of hope for anyone who chooses to read it. It truly is the greatest book ever written!

It is this understanding that God chose to communicate to us using words that should motivate us to greater study of this Book. It is through beautiful words like “atonement”, “redemption”, “righteousness”, “peace”, “grace”, “sacrificial love”, “salvation”, “forgiveness”, “holiness”  and so many more that we understand God’s message. But these words were given to us in languages other than English. Therefore to understand the depth of these words, we need to understand the language in which they were given and the understanding of these terms in the culture in which they arose. How wonderful to be given an opportunity to study these things in greater detail in order that we may greater appreciate our God and therefore worship Him in greater truth.

God’s Word is the utmost gift He has given to His creation. But with this gift He has given a serious mandate:

Psalm 103:17-18: But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting, on those who fear Him; and His righteousness is to the sons of sons; to those who keep His covenant, and to those who remember to do His commandments.

The word “keep” means more than merely to obey. It means to guard, preserve, watch over, protect. Therefore our mandate with regards to the covenant of God (which is the ultimate message of Scripture) is to protect it! This is a high calling. If we are to protect the Word of God we have a responsibility to know it and to know it thoroughly.

Therefore, at BTC, we study the biblical languages in order to understand God’s message to the world in ever-increasing degrees. We study languages that we may see the glory of God more fully in order that we may praise and honour Him more – as He deserves. And we study biblical languages in order to fulfil the mandate to guard God’s word. It is through this intimate study that we can “rightly divide the Word of Truth” as workmen “unashamed” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Rev. Megan Braithwaite

In this course you will be introduced to the Greek alphabet, elementary grammar and syntax., and some of the Bible study tools which are available for those who know no Greek. You will also learn some technical names for describing these tools as well as the culture of the first century.

This course covers grammar, which is introduction to the morphology, syntax and semantics of Hellenistic Greek, with reference to Classical Greek.

This course moves onto the level of translation and exegesis of the New Testament itself focusing on grammatical and exegetical study.

This course covers the Hebrew alphabet and vowels, basic grammar, morphology and syntax, and the translation of sentences containing verbs with strong guttural letters.

This course covers the weak verbs and derived stems, and translation of sentences and simple Biblical Passages.

This course covers advanced grammar and translation and analysis of Biblical texts as well as main forms of the verb, the weak verb and verbal suffixes.

Christian History

“History is bunk,” Henry Ford is supposed to have said. So why include Christian History in a theological curriculum? Very simply, because Christian History is the memory of the church, and we can’t hope to understand the contemporary situation of the church, its beliefs and its practices, unless we cultivate a Christian memory which tells us where we have come from and how we got to be the way we are. Of course, Christian History will not solve all of our problems, but hardly any discipline will give us a better understanding of those problems.

The apostle Paul’s image of the church as the body of Christ is crucially important; but we ought to take more seriously the fact that the body of Christ extends not only “horizontally” throughout our world, but also “vertically” back through time, and there doesn’t seem to be any good reason why we should cut ourselves off from our Christian forebears just because they happen to be dead!

On the contrary, the Christian tradition is a very rich one indeed, and the aim of the Christian History curriculum is to facilitate a first-hand encounter between students and the great Christians of the past, by means of their own writings wherever possible.

Bernard of Chartres put it like this, back in the Middle Ages:
“We are like dwarves on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their great size.”

That’s the invitation of Christian History. Enjoy the ride!

The two courses offered by the College in Christian History are designed to provide an overview of the sweep of Christian History, and to introduce students to their Christian forebears by means of their own writings wherever possible. Special attention will be given to the mission activities of the church and to the development of the church in Africa.

Overview of Christian History from the end of the apostolic age until the late middle ages. Themes include the expansion of the church in the early centuries, theological developments, the relationship between church and state, the development of devotional movements, and efforts made to reform the church in the late medieval period.

The Reformation. This great transitional movement between the medieval and modern periods is studied in detail, with attention being given to Luther, Zwingli, the radical Reformation, the Reformation in England and Scotland, and the Catholic or Counter-Reformation. The course then introduces the student to the development of Christianity until the modern era. Students will be introduced to Pietism, Puritanism, Arminianism, the evangelical revivals and the Great Awakening, and the impact of modern science and philosophy on the development of Christian thought.

Mission Studies

In 1908, Robert Horton, wrote:

We are pledged to Missionary zeal and ceaseless activity –
First, because the Bible is a Missionary Book;
Secondly, because the study of the World, as it is, reveals the fact that the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is precisely what it needs;
Thirdly, because the success of the work, so far as it has gone, is surprising, and shows clearly that if the church were united, and set upon discharging the obligation, it would be quite possible, within one generation, to cover the earth with the knowledge of the Lord.

BTC Southern Africa affirms this pledge. It is as valid and prophetic today as it was in 1908.

Our aim is to play a role in encouraging churches to be involved in the task of reaching the world for Jesus Christ. This we aim to accomplish through the influence we have on the learners who study through the College. We also want to contribute by exploring how mission is to be done in, and from, our unique situation here in Southern Africa.

We are committed to the belief that the whole church in Southern Africa needs to be taking up the challenge of being salt and light within our region and to the ends of the earth.

The mission studies at the College are closely integrated into the whole training programme offered by the College. We aim to instill in every learner who studies through the College, a vision of the role of the church in mission. We then seek to equip learners to be able to introduce and develop meaningful mission involvement in the context of their future ministries.

For those who are preparing for, or engaged in, long-term cross-cultural mission service, we provide training that is academic, relevant, spiritual, and practical. Learning activities range from lectures, personal study, practical mission trips, visits by active missionaries, interviews with mission leaders, and regular prayer for God’s work around the world.

A strong emphasis is laid on the cross-cultural nature of mission. Significant time is spent exploring the nature of culture, our own personal cultural biases, and preparing the learner to enter, and effectively minister within, a culture other than their own.

Another feature of the mission training is the deliberate exploration of principles rather than specific methods, so as to produce missionaries who are able to adapt to the many varieties of situations which may be encountered on the mission field.

All this is with the ultimate goal that God would get the glory due His name.

A course that aims to motivate learners by looking at what mission is, why mission is a vital part of Christianity, and an examination of the contemporary situation.

An overview of the local church, mission organisations and missionaries, their respective roles and responsibilities in world mission.

This course will equip students to win others by exploring principles for evangelism. A key focus will be reaching people at different commitment levels, including unchurched, seekers and churched people.

The learner is introduced to the nature of culture, the challenges of living and ministering in a multi-cultural society and how to survive and thrive in a culture other than your own.

We live on a planet with a vast variety of people, cultures, religions and environments. The Gospel is for all, and this course seeks to give the learner an overview of the harvest fields that Jesus called “plentiful”.

Seeking to answer the question of the “how” of mission, the course takes an in-depth look at strategic planning, its place in ministry, and the practicalities of implementation. There is also an analysis of trends and issues facing contemporary mission.

The learner will be guided in researching aspects of Missiology, ministry and missionary life that are relevant to their proposed field of future ministry.

The learner will be guided in researching further aspects of Missiology, ministry and missionary life that are relevant to their proposed field of future ministry.

Youth Studies

The Youth courses at BTC Southern Africa have been designed in response to the current trend towards highly specialised ministry to children, teenagers and young adults. The studies are intended to produce suitably qualified youth pastors and youth workers who are equipped to reach youth with the Gospel and provide them with the opportunity and means to grow in Jesus Christ.

This course will equip students with an understanding of contemporary society, youth culture, personality development, ministry principles, programming guidelines and approaches to organisational structure.

This course will equip students with skills for personal spiritual growth and for effective leadership in youth ministry.

Young people are in crisis, and probably always have been. This course in Youth Studies will examine the life realities experienced by a cross-section of young people, from dying to enslaved to okay youth. Based on a pen-sketch consideration of a cross-section of young people, attention will be given to principles and practice of ministry to youth in crisis

This course will equip students with a theoretical understanding of spiritual growth in youth and a practical understanding of facilitating spiritual growth in youth.

This course will equip students with skills to approach the vital area of equipping youth as part of the discipleship process and with strategies to equip youth to evangelise and minister among their peers.

While the term youth ministry is generally used to refer to ministry to young people, most people involved in youth ministry do not minister to the entire spectrum of persons referred to as youth: children, teenagers, young adults. While it is necessary to expose all learners to the nature and demands of ministry to all three main age group categories of young people, it is also necessary to allow learners to focus on one of these age groups. This course will require learners to pay general attention to ministry to all three age groups, and then to give specific attention to one of the age groups

One of the greatest challenges faced by young people (children, teenagers and young adults) is that presented by the realities of the social environment in which they live. The social context of young people cannot be ignored in the search for effective youth ministry, and this course requires the learner to select on aspect of social context and to reflect on youth ministry in the chosen context.

Pastoral Studies

“ . . . until Christ be formed in you.”   Galatians 4:19 (KJV)

Pursuing theological training can be an intensely intellectual experience. Grasping the deep doctrinal truths of our faith and exploring Scripture in the languages of those who heard it first is exhilarating and exciting stuff.

At the same time, the days of theological training can be some of the driest spiritual times of our lives. Ministers and students studying for ministerial calling are perhaps among the most susceptible to allowing the study of the tenets of the faith, wrestling with theological doctrines and the study of Scripture to be driven by an academic necessity or professional motivation.

When God becomes the “business of our busyness” we can, ever so subtly, begin to substitute the time spent in preparation for ministry for our own personal need for a living dynamic relationship with the One of whom we study and speak. It is easy for students and ministers to justify the hollow spiritual shell that forms in their lives because the demands of assignments and other ministerial responsibilities leave no time for the care and nurture of their own soul. We lose sight of the truth that it is “Christ who is our life,” (Col. 3:4) and not our theological studies nor our intellectual gains.

Spiritual formation of students is an essential and often overlooked aspect of ministerial training. Without it we make assumptions about the spiritual health of our student body and then lament in disbelief over the moral failures that disqualify otherwise theologically erudite ministers.

As a theological faculty at BTC we have a responsibility to our students to do more than fill their heads with deep theological truths. We must give attention to both the heart and the will of our students.

Spiritual formation is, simply, guiding and facilitating the ongoing process of sanctification that God is bringing about in the lives of believers. At BTC we seek to help students understand that process of spiritual growth through a several points of interaction:

  1. BTC offers a course in spiritual development in which students can the psychological, theological and spiritual dynamics of their ongoing growth in Christ.
  1. There is the opportunity for ongoing spiritual accompaniment in which the reality of the presence of God and the lived experience of faith are better understood and embraced.
  1. Students are provided the chance for pastoral counseling on an ongoing or short-term basis.  Additionally, we provide the opportunity for mentoring on an individual or group basis through which we allow students to move beyond the classroom experience and into a life lived and experienced with Christ.

We are committed to providing an atmosphere in which the student can pursue the highest standard of theological education and at the same time be “rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:7 (NRSV)

In a world where God’s people increasingly are longing:
<blockquote>to experience the warmth of true biblical community;
to worship Father, Son and Spirit in a way that proclaims the uniqueness of Christ, and brings deep healing individually and corporately;
to taste the power of Christ to radically transform our lives and our societies;
to walk and live in the power of the Spirit;
to proclaim the truth of our faith with the boldness and effectiveness of the first apostles;
to rediscover how to mentor and shepherd converts in a way that leads them into their unique expression of Christ-likeness;</blockquote>
we take seriously our mandate to prepare men and women for a lifetime of ministry.

Based on the firm foundation of biblical studies, church history and theology, BTC Southern Africa offers this course to equip learners for ministry.

This is an introduction to preaching the Bible. The course specialises in Expository Preaching providing both the theory and the practical exercises in the sculpting of a sermon.

This first course in Pastoral Studies seeks to introduce the church in the context of the demands of local church ministry. This study is based on a brief introduction to a Biblical understanding of the church, with an emphasis on the church’s identity as a dynamic organism. Attention is then give to the research of Natural Church Development in terms of the quality characteristics of healthy churches, and the biotic principles of church life. The course concludes with a brief consideration of the church and the future.

The course seeks to draw from the rich tradition of the Christian church through the ages, as well as more recent psychological insights, whilst maintaining a fundamental commitment to evangelical, Biblical values. The student should leave the course with a fuller understanding of what is necessary for the rich nurturing of his or her own spiritual life and some of the pitfalls which need to be avoided on the way, particularly for those in leadership.

This course is an attempt to uncover the Biblical theology of worship. While it may be a contentious issue — depending on one’s tradition or preferences — Scripture does provide powerful guidelines which need attention and application. God’s revelation in Scripture is the only foundation, source and instruction adequate for leading His people in worship; it tells us how He wants to be worshipped and that is our essential guide.

This course utilizes insights from Narrative Counselling and will seek to equip the students to listen to their own stories and the stories of others in ways that allow for fresh new perspectives on the past and new ways of interpreting the present, that give hope and direction. Learning to hear God’s voice and learning to discern God’s unique vision and purpose for one’s own life and the lives of others are an important part of this course. The place of repentance, forgiveness, and facing one’s own despair also play an essential part in equipping one to be an able shepherd of others. Attention will be given to individual topics such as Suicide, Depression, and Post Traumatic Stress.

This course is designed to develop a Biblical understanding of the caring function of the congregation and how this function is expressed practically through the lives of the pastor and members. An emphasis on total congregational care is given, where every member is considered to be a caregiver and essential to the spiritual and psychological health of the church.

This course focuses in detail on aspects of ministry relating to the day-to-day running of a church. The course will feature areas such as finances, church discipline, leadership and administration.

Systematic Theology

Although many people have found the study of Systematic Theology to be fascinating it is not intended to be an end in itself, but rather a means to the greater glory of God as you relate to Him in a deeper and more responsible way.

Anselm, an eleventh century theologian, expressed his approach in these terms: “I believe, in order that I may understand” (Credo ut intelligam). We trust that, working from the foundation of a living faith in the living God, students will come to a deeper understanding of God’s revelation of Himself to us, which will lead in turn to an increasingly deeper faith.

Furthermore, theology should never be divorced from devotion. The fourth century monk Evagrius Ponticus made the following pertinent observation: “If you are a true theologian, you truly pray; if you truly pray, you are a true theologian.” It is our prayer that such an ideal may be accomplished in the lives of students as they study theology. Certainly, there can be no more lofty object of our contemplation than God himself! The ultimate aim of the course is thus not passing the examination, but bowing before the Lord our Maker in praise and worship.

The six courses which are offered in Systematic Theology are designed to provide students with a broad grasp of the doctrinal content of the Christian faith, and to help them see how this doctrinal content should impact on contemporary belief and practice.

An Introduction to the Study of Systematic Theology: its nature, method, task, sources, language and relation to other disciplines.

Revelation: the nature of revelation; general and special revelation; the inspiration, preservation and authority of the Scriptures. Doctrine of God: the reality, names and attributes of God; the Trinity; creation; the providence of God; theodicy (the problem of evil); the doctrine of God as the foundation of ethics; angels, the special agents of God.

Humanity: the origin and nature of humanity; the “image of God” in human beings; the origin and nature of sin. The Person and Work of Christ: the Deity and Humanity of Christ; the virgin birth; Christ as Saviour; theories of the atonement; justification, sanctification, glorification.

Salvation: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit; the nature of the life in Christ; faith, conversion, discipleship; the corporate life of the Christian; the church, its ministry and its ordinances; the ethics of human relationships.

Eschatology: the Kingdom of God as the goal of history; personal eschatology (death and the hereafter); signs of the times; the return of Christ; the final state.
The primary part of this course covers the traditional themes associated with eschatology. There is a strong research component and exposure to the book of Revelation. Several ‘models’ of theology are explored.

Behavior as a distinctive Christian nature is nurtured in this course. The outcome of what we believe theologically is anticipated in the way we behave. Several relevant issues to the South African context are researched.
Ethics: the ethical implications of the Ten Commandments; the ethics of Jesus Christ; contemporary ethical issues.
Modern theology. A course aimed at helping students to understand contemporary developments in theology.

Research

During a learner’s course of studies at the College, there may be an area or areas of ministry interest which have either not been covered or that have been dealt with in a relatively introductory manner. This course offers to the learner the opportunity to choose a particular area of research to which they would like to give further attention. In consultation with an allocated lecturer, the learner will be required to complete set research as determined and defined by both the lecturer and the learner.

During a learner’s course of studies at the College, there may be an area or areas of theological and/or ministry interest which have either not been covered or that have been dealt with in a relatively introductory manner. This course offers to the learner the opportunity to choose a particular area of research to which they would like to give further attention. In consultation with an allocated lecturer, the learner will be required to complete set research as determined and defined by both the lecturer and the learner.

During a learner’s course of studies at the College, there may be an area or areas of theological and/or ministry interest which have either not been covered or that have been dealt with in a relatively introductory manner. This course offers to the learner the opportunity to choose a particular area of research to which they would like to give further attention. In consultation with an allocated lecturer, the learner will be required to complete set research as determined and defined by both the lecturer and the learner.

Want to know more?

Contact us or download our college Prospectus to find out more about your study options and courses

Find out more by viewing our Prospectus

©2017 BTC | Terms, Conditions & Policies | Contact Us

Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa is an Association incorporated under section 21 Reg. No. 2003/019542/08 BTC is registered with the Department of Education as a Private Higher Education Institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997.Registration Certificate N0 2000/HE08/004.

paygate-card-brand-logos

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

Create Account