The Bible Institute of South Africa
Principal’s Report – Graduation Ceremony 2014
Graduation is always the climax of the academic year as we recognize and celebrate the academic achievements of our students, and give thanks to God for His faithfulness and sustaining grace in the lives of the thirty-seven graduating students. Please pray for the Lord’s blessing on our graduates and their future service. The Bible Institute has been existence for the past 91 years during which time the LORD has used the college in a number of ways to further the cause of Christ and His Kingdom. Since 1923, the Bible Institute has always had a firm commitment to evangelical theology, the authority of Scripture, academic excellence, practical application of the Gospel and Christian mission, commitments that continue into the present.
We are thankful to the Lord for our administration staff and faculty. The BI faculty are a gifted team with a passion for Christ and His Gospel, combined with a reverence for God’s Word and a high view of doctrinal truth. They have a great wealth of ministerial experience. Their theology is reflected in their lives of godly and dedicated service to Christ and His people. They consider it a joy and privilege to teach and interact with our students both inside and outside the classroom. The faculty members of BI are not only pastors but also scholars. We have three PhDs on our full-time faculty; one faculty member is about to complete his Doctor of Ministry degree, and the rest of the full-time faculty members have already enrolled or are in the process of enrolling for doctoral studies. We are grateful to the Lord for the sacrifice the staff and faculty have made to serve at BI. It is a great privilege and blessing to serve alongside them. Please pray for a refreshing break over the Christmas holidays for the staff and faculty together with their families.
We praise the Lord for a fruitful Winter School held during two weeks in July this year. The two courses taught were Biblical Counselling and Ministry to Muslims. Both courses were well-attended. Dr. Greg Cook, the Soul Care Pastor at Christ Chapel Church in Forth Worth, Texas, USA, was the visiting lecturer for the Counselling course. The Ministry to Muslims course was facilitated by Rev. Gideon Beukes. There were a number of guest lecturers who participated in teaching the course.
We are thankful to the Lord for the way that the Christian Leadership Programme (CLP) and the Distance Learning Programme (DLP) have grown over the years. Currently we have 148 registered students in our Distance Learning Programme, one of whom graduates today. This year we had our first graduation service for the CLP at Helderstroom Prison. Four inmates graduated in the maximum security section of the prison. The Correctional authorities at Helderstroom have been impressed by the Christ-like lifestyle of those who have enrolled in the CLP and they have now contracted BI as a certified service provider at the prison. A new CLP class of twenty pastors was established at Kayamnandi in Stellenbosch this year.
We are thankful to the Lord for His provision this year. We received a number of donations from churches and friends of the college that enabled us to do some much needed renovations on campus. We installed conferencing facilities in our new Boardroom as well as refurbishing the office floors in Roxton and replacing the furniture in our reception area. The security on campus was significantly upgraded with surveillance cameras, galvanized fencing and an electric fence; these were installed around the college perimeter. We were also able to give bursaries to a number of students.
In September this year, we bid farewell to Rev. Peter Watson. As a college, we thank God for Peter Watson’s service as both Hebrew and Greek lecturer for the past ten years. Peter is now retired and will be greatly missed because he was “a father figure” to the students, staff and faculty. Peter has also been our model of what it means to live a godly life. At the end of this year, we say ‘goodbye’ to Mr & Mrs Wannemacher who will be retiring after fourteen years of service at BI. Bruce & Barbara have been a great blessing to the college both inside and outside the classroom. They will be sorely missed by the students, staff and faculty. We commend Bruce and Barbara to the God of grace, and pray that the Lord would bless and strengthen them as they begin a new chapter in their lives. Bruce & Barbara will be returning to the United States in early February 2015. The Rev. Dr. Errol Wagner, former pastor of George Baptist Church, now retired, taught two courses for us this past semester. We are grateful that he accepted our invitation to speak at our graduation service this year. Drs. Pete Smuts and Victor Kuligin both enjoyed sabbaticals for a semester this past year.
The Bible Institute is a great place to study theology and to be equipped for service in God’s Kingdom. This is not just the perspective of the staff, but also the testimony of our students and indeed, the testimony of the lives of our many graduates these past 91 years. Our commitment to the Holy Scriptures and the cause of Christ remains undiminished and so does the need for men and women of God who are called and properly equipped to serve Christ in the midst of all the difficulties and challenges of the 21st century. Our website (www.bisa.org.za) will provide any interested prospective student with a wealth of information about the ethos of the college and the programmes which we offer. There are residential and distance study options, as well as full-time and part-time, and degree and diploma options, that will equip students for Christian service, or lay a solid foundation for further theological studies. Please prayerfully consider whether or not the Lord is calling you to be better equipped for service.
In closing, we wish to thank the students, staff, faculty, Board of Directors, Trustees, friends and supporters of BI for their service to BI, and for their prayers and support in 2014. We do not take any of this for granted. It is a privilege to serve the Lord together as partners. We give all praise and glory to the Lord for His grace, provision and goodness to us this past year.
Sincerely in Christ,
Dr. Daniel Simango, Principal, Bible Institute of South Africa
This latest BI Newsline contains news about the Fun Trail Run, the visit of Dr Bob Yarbrough and Bill Shields plus info on what our grads will be up to next year. Grab a coffee and relax.
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