BACHELOR OF ARTS (THEOLOGY) DEGREE – 4 YEARS NQF Level 7
The Bachelor of Arts (Theology) programme is to provide a student with the necessary skills to perform the basic functions of a spiritual leader within the Christian context of pastoral ministry. The student is provided with the academic knowledge and accompanying skills which will enable the pursuit of further studies in the areas of systematic theology, practical theology, and biblical languages.
Apart from the core subjects the student can choose from two concentrations. Each provides the basic training necessary for pastoral ministry employment in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Concentration are offered in the areas of Biblical Exegesis which includes added training in biblical languages and exegetical skills, and Pastoral Care which provides additional training in psychology and pastoral counselling. The programme is broad-based, which allows the student not only to develop specific skills, but also to be able to make a contribution to the community at large. Furthermore, broad-based learning also equips the student to be critical, analytical and an innovative thinker. It also encourages inter-disciplinary learning.
Although there are other institutions that offer similar programmes, Helderberg College, however, as a provider of Private Higher Education, sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, provides employees for its church organization within the context of the Seventh-day Adventist Church philosophy on education. This concept will not compromise the requirements of a broad-based programme of education in Theology. It provides the basic competencies as required for this qualification. The programme provides the training in critical and analytical thinking that contributes to values of society.
The programme also contributes to an ongoing need in the development of communities, as skills are imparted that will assist the student in making a positive and a meaningful contribution, particularly in the area of moral regeneration proposed by government.
The BA Theology programme has the purpose of equipping students to be pastors in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It also provides theoretical and practical learning in the field of theology in preparation for post-graduate work in the various theological disciplines.
FACULTY MISSION STATEMENT
The Faculty of Theology commits itself to foster the knowledge and love of God through its scholarly engagement within the Christian tradition. The Faculty has positioned itself for the training of value driven leaders for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and society alike. It further commits itself to rigorous scholarly inquiry, spiritual formation, social justice and practical engagement in a variety of ways that will empower its students, to develop their knowledge and sharpen their skills so as not only to benefit themselves but also society at large.
The successful graduate may be eligible for employment in pastoral ministry within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Other related areas of ministerial work include Chaplain, Pastoral Counsellor, Teacher/lecturer, and work in community development. Graduates will be equipped to pursue related areas of specialization in post-graduate studies. Further outcomes include:
- A broad understanding and appreciation of the field of Theology, incorporating the following theological disciplines: i. Systematic Theology; ii. Practical Theology; iii. Biblical Studies; iv. Missiology; and v. Pastoral Care.
- An in-depth understanding of the Seventh-day Adventist theology in particular, its practical aspects, and its application in a Southern African context.
- The ability to think and reason theologically with an appreciation of the probable impact of differing theoretical theological models with regard to both faith and behaviour.
- Theoretical knowledge and understanding of the essential components of the Christian faith.
- An understanding and basic proficiency in Biblical Greek and Hebrew (the languages of the Bible).
- Proficiency in skills associated with pastoral servant leadership including: i. Preaching; ii. Teaching; iii. Pastoral counselling; iv. Evangelism; and v. Church administration.
- A thorough working knowledge and familiarity with the content of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.
A broad understanding and appreciation of the field of theology in both its theoretical and practical aspects including Systematic Theology, Practical Theology, New and Old Testament Studies, Missiology and Pastoral Care.
The ability to think and reason theologically with an appreciation of the probable impact of differing theoretical theological models with regard to both faith and behaviour.
The ability to apply the theoretical content as well as the practical aspects of the programme into church contexts and pastoral districts with an awareness of cultural, ethnic, class, gender and generational distinctions.
Proficient in skills associated with pastoral servant leadership including, but not necessarily limited to, preaching, teaching, pastoral counselling, evangelism, Biblical exegesis, chairing of committees, a sympathetic and caring disposition, an ability to practically apply the fundamentals of conflict resolution, and a humble attitude conducive to continued learning.
Be committed to conducting pastoral duties with integrity and fidelity. Commit to behaving with total professionalism, keeping confidences, showing a strong work ethic, and treating others with respect and understanding. Commit to personal spiritual development and growth by living the faith, heartfelt prayer and Bible study, and commit to understanding and applying the notion of servant leadership, recognising the requisite need for constant humility in this role.
Graduates from the Bachelor of Arts (Theology) Degree may pursue post graduate studies in at least the following areas: Systematic Theology, Biblical languages, New and Old Testament, Church History, Homiletics, Pastoral Ministry, Evangelism, Missiology, Youth Ministry, Pastoral Clinical Care, and Pastoral Counselling. On application for post-graduate studies, certain universities may require bridging work (such as post-graduate diplomas) depending on a student’s chosen area of specialization
The successful graduate may be eligible for employment in pastoral ministry within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Other related areas of ministerial work include Chaplain, Pastoral Counsellor, Teacher/ lecturer, Evangelist and Community worker, or project management.
For further information concerning graduation requirements, and a more detailed review of the concentration and curriculum, please see pages 188 to 212 of our Prospectus. The Prospectus can be found on our Downloads page.