The Bible Institute of South Africa
Principal’s Report given at the Graduation Ceremony
Graduation is a time of celebration when we recognize and celebrate the academic achievements of our students. We thank God for our graduating students. God has sustained them through their studies and it is our prayer that the Lord would bless their future service. We are thankful to the Lord for sustaining the ministry of the Bible Institute of South Africa for the past 93 years.
We thank the Lord for a good intake of new students this year (10 Gap-year students; 17 LTh students; 15 DLP students and 53 CLP students). Our administrative and teaching staff have been wonderful servants of the Institute. We are grateful to the Lord for the sacrifice they have made to serve at BI. It is a great privilege and blessing to serve alongside them. Please pray for a refreshing vacation period over the Christmas holidays for all our staff and their families.
Dr Bill Mounce visited the Bible Institute in early March this year. He gave a series of evening lectures on the book of Titus and presented a post-graduate seminar. We are grateful to the Lord for his ministry in our midst and for the donation of his personal Greek resources to the Faculty. Mrs Robyn Mounce, his wife, gave an interesting and informative talk to the BI ladies which was appreciated by all who attended.
A fruitful Winter School was held during two weeks in July this year. Two courses were taught - Biblical Counselling and Ministry to Muslims. Both courses were well-attended. Dr Greg Cook and Rev. Joe Mayden from the USA were a great blessing to our students in the Biblical Counselling Course. As a college, we are thankful to Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, Texas for sending Dr Cook and Rev Joe Mayden to us. The Ministry to Muslims course was facilitated by Rev. Gideon Beukes. There were a number of guest lecturers who participated in teaching the course. The student feedback for both courses was very positive. We thank the Lord for the guest lecturers who taught the course – they were a great blessing to our students.
This past year, the Lord has used the Christian Leadership Programme (CLP), the Christian Foundations Programme (Gap-Year) and Licentiate in Theology (LTh) Programme - contact and distance modes - to equip our students for ministry. Dr Robert Yarbrough and Rev Bill Shields from St. Mark Lutheran USA sponsored and facilitated two Pastors’ Conferences for the CLP, one in March and the other one in October this year. Both conferences were a great success.
We are thankful to the Lord for His provision and protection this year. We received donations from churches and friends of the college that enabled us to give bursaries to a number of our students and to do some renovations on the college campus. A new gate was installed at Harris Road and more parking spaces were created by opening the tennis court for parking. The security on campus was also upgraded.
Our LTh Distance-Learning Programme has been accredited by the Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA). We are still waiting for the outcome of our accreditation applications from the South African Higher Education authorities. We were informed that our applications will be tabled at their meeting this month. Pray for our applications to be successful so that BI can grant government accredited degree programmes.
Dr Timothy Churchill, our new Academic Dean, has joined the Bible Institute family. Dr Churchill and his wife have three daughters and a son. Their son lives in Canada and graduated from university earlier this year. Please pray for the Churchill family as they adjust and settle into their new surroundings.
In other staff news, Mr David Fitz-Patrick, our Registrar/Librarian, has just completed 29 years of service at BI. We thank the Lord for his significant contribution to the ministry of the Institute. With effect from January 2017, Mr Fitz-Patrick will step-down as Registrar, but will continue to serve as the BI Librarian. Rev Matthew Haynes and his family have just returned from their ‘home assignment’ in the USA. Dr Karl Peterson and his family are in the States until January 2017 reconnecting with their supporters. Rev Paul Karstens, our Dean of Students, is on Sabbatical during the first semester of 2017.
Dr Darrell Bock, a renowned Gospels scholar, will be visiting BISA next year in July to give a series of lectures on Luke’s Gospel. We are looking forward to his ministry on our campus.
This past year, some of our staff members were involved short-term missions trips to Kazakhstan, Namibia, Myanmar and Mozambique in partnership with local churches. We thank the Lord for their safe travels and for the many lessons learned. These missions’ trips broaden their perspectives and strengthen the missions’ ethos of the Institute.
BISA recently celebrated its first ever 50 year reunion of past students. About 40 students who graduated in the 1960's met on campus for a day of fellowship, food and memory sharing. It was so encouraging to hear about their faithful service to the Lord since graduating from BI, some with a lifetime of missions’ service in Africa and Asia. Attendees came to the event from as far as Gauteng and KZN, and many others who could not attend sent greetings. We salute our past students who have borne the heat and toil of the day in their Christian service. Soli Deo Gloria!
Many current students and graduates have testified that the Bible Institute is a great place to study the Bible and to be equipped for service in God’s Kingdom. 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 information about the ethos of the college and the programmes which we offer. There are residential and distance study 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 Lord for our students, past and present, the SRC, staff, Faculty, Board of Directors, Trustees, friends and supporters of BI for their service to the Bible Institute and for their prayers and support in 2016. 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
Principals report on the year 2015:
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 in existence for the past 92 years, and we are grateful to the LORD for the way in which He has used the college 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 BI faculty are not only pastors but also scholars. We would like to congratulate Dr Karl Peterson who completed his Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree through Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and Rev Matt Haynes who completed his Masters of Theology degree in Old Testament at NorthWest University. This year, Dr Victor Kuligin’s book, The Language of Salvation: Discovering the Riches of What It Means to Be Saved was published by Weaver Book Company. 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 Romans and Ministry to Muslims. Both courses were well-attended. Dr Douglas Moo from the USA was the visiting lecturer for the Romans 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. The student feedback for both courses was very positive.
We are thankful to the Lord for all the BI programmes: the Christian Leadership Programme (CLP) and the Licentiate in Theology Programme. The Lord has used these programmes in preparing Christian men and women for ministry. Dr Robert Yarbrough and Rev Bill Shields from St. Mark Lutheran USA sponsored and facilitated two Pastors’ Conferences for the CLP, one in March and the other one in October this year. Both conferences were a success.
We are thankful to the Lord for His provision and protection 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 the college campus. Some of the college buildings - Daintree, Douglas, Kingon and Marsh - were painted and re-carpeted. The security on campus was upgraded with galvanized fencing and an electric fence, installed in front of Douglas, Kingon and Marsh buildings. We were also able to give bursaries to a number of students. The Lord protected BI from the surging fire that burned the mountains near the college.
In 2016, Mr Haynes, our Old Testament lecturer, will be on ‘home-assignment’ together with his family, visiting their supporters in the USA. They will return to BI in January 2017. In August 2016, we will be welcoming a new Academic Dean, Dr Timothy Churchill, and his family to BI.
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 92 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, 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 2015. 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
Report made to the students and friends of the college in November 2015 at Graduation.
2014 was the time when the Bible Institute of South Africa (BISA) entered its 91st year of faithful service in training men and women to know Christ and make Him known. We had a number of internal appointments during the year as well as several staff pursuing further studies, which are worthy of note.
Dr. Daniel Simango took office as the new BISA principal in January and the inauguration service was attended by Daniel’s parents, from Zimbabwe, together with 200 past and present students and friends of the college. Gideon Beukes is the newly appointed Vice Principal of the Bible Institute; he lectures on the book of Acts and Early & Medieval Church History. Pete Smuts is the Dean of Post Graduate Studies (Honours and Masters) and was the Acting Academic Dean for the second semester; Pete lectures on Greek Grammar and the General Epistles. Errol Wagner, the pastor of a local fellowship of believers in George, joined us for one semester and lectured on the book of Isaiah as well as Pneumatology & Christology.
Karl Peterson submitted his doctoral dissertation to Westminster Theological seminary, Philadelphia and Mr Gideon Beukes received Ministerial recognition in the Baptist Union of Southern Africa. Mr Matt Haynes, lecturer in Old Testament, is pursuing a second Master’s degree, and Mr Bradley Trout, lecturer in New Testament Greek, has submitted his Masters dissertation, both with NorthWest University.
This year Bruce and Barbara Wannemacher retired after 14 years as lecturers at BISA. They will be greatly missed and remembered for their gift of hospitality to the students. We also bid farewell to Rev. Peter Watson who retires from BISA, but will pursue Bible writing for children. We thank God for Peter Watson’s service as both Hebrew and Greek lecturer for the past ten years.
We were delighted to have 41 students graduate from BISA in December 2014. Our sincere desire is to increase this number every year. This requires an active enrolment strategy and we welcome your participation in encouraging suitable men and women, in your church or family circles, to train at Bible College.
BISA runs a tight but well organized Administration ship with Maurice Espin at the helm, backed by Brett and the office ladies, Lorna, Mary Ann and Kathy. Cynthia takes care of all Distance Learning matters. Joseph Beattie joined the Admin staff, part time and is building a new database for the college. The lecturers carry a full teaching load each term, plus preaching and teaching engagements across the country and they continue to attract visitors to evening classes. Evening classes are held on campus every Monday and are invaluable for people wanting to take study of scripture to a deeper level. We encourage you to enrol for classes beginning in February 2015.
Mr David Fitz-Patrick wears two hats –he is our Registrar, itself a full time job, yet he managed to access 800 new books in 2014, as well as convert all library data (25,000 records) from Dbase 3 plus format to MARC (Machine Readable Cataloguing) in preparation for conversion to Mandarin library programme in 2015. Mandarin will enable BI to put the library catalogue on the web and the library will have its own website. Students will be able to access the library anywhere via the net and will be able to download catalogue records from Library of Congress and British Library. Once Mandarin is loaded, interlibrary loans with major academic libraries will be possible.
The college hosted a number of visiting lecturers in 2014 including Jim Mason (Canada), Bob Yarbrough (USA), Chris Warton (a good BI friend from SA), Gregg Cook (USA) and Brian Edwards (UK). Five teams of students, each with a lecturer went on ‘Ministry Week’ to minister in communities in Lavender Hill, Villiersdorp, CPUT campus and Helderstroom Prison. One group held a church meeting within the sound of gunfire!
We extended our presence beyond Cape Town in March when four faculty members held a morning seminar of classes in the Johannesburg area. Following that, Mr Karl Peterson chaired a Pastors conference in Mozambique and Dr. Victor Kuligin travelled to Sofia, Bulgaria to teach two modular courses (Ecclesiastes and New Testament Survey) at a Christian university.
In addition to publishing his second book ‘The Language of Salvation: Discovering the Riches of what It Means to Be Saved’, Dr. Kuligin wrote a chapter on 1 & 2 Thessalonians for a New Testament Survey book.
Mr Mike Walker, author and local resident, presented a paper at the September meeting of the Kalk Bay Historical Society which focused on the Rev. Edward Marsh, one of the founders of the Bible Institute of South Africa in 1923. With the Lord’s grace we can affirm that the initial vision of BISA being “evangelical in foundation and interdenominational in character” has remained firm. The BISA motto will always be ‘To Know Christ and to make Him Known”
We praise the Lord for a fruitful Winter School held during two weeks in July. The two courses were Biblical Counselling and Ministry to Muslims; both were well-attended and a number of guest lecturers participated. We encourage you to consider taking time in the middle of 2015 to join us in one of these stimulating courses.
Enrolments continue to swell the already 148 registered students in the Distance Learning Programme. The DLP is designed for students unable to attend the LTh programme on campus. A distance learner from Walvis Bay, who graduated this year is now planning a church plant in Northern Namibia. Do you know of anyone who would benefit from this course?
The CLP enrolment is growing annually; a new class of twenty pastors was established at Kayamnandi in Stellenbosch this year. We had our first graduation service for the four student inmates who completed their studies whilst in the Maximum Security section of Helderstroom 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. The CLP attracts men and women committed to studying God’s Word in weekly evening classes across the Cape Peninsula and surrounds. Following three years of study they graduate from BISA with a three-year Certificate in Bible and Theology. If you know of anyone who might benefit from this tuition, please contact us.
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 replacing the furniture in our reception area and pulling up the carpeting and refurbishing the office floors in Roxton. What we did not know was that the floors of Roxton are made of pristine Burmese teak, a very costly wood. They now look magnificent. Following a spate of car break-ins, the security on campus was significantly upgraded with surveillance cameras, galvanized fencing and an electric fence installed around the college perimeter.
Sickness dogged us this past winter and several students and staff contracted, amongst other things, pink eye and German measles, but to offset that, between the staff and students we’ve had two weddings, one engagement and two bonny babies born. The Bridal Institute’s reputation is well founded.
Two events this year helped to keep us in the community eye; a Schools Open Day in September followed two weeks later by a Fun Trail Run. We will be doing these again so do keep a lookout next year for an email giving details. If you know anyone who’d like to get college email news, please let us know.
Finally, and with grateful thanks to the Lord for His provision, we were able to give bursaries to a number of students. The challenge of living and studying in Africa means that many capable students are denied theological training because of lack of resources. We continue to pray for the funding to accept and keep every worthy student who applies to study at the Bible Institute. If you would like to be a part of training men and women for ministry in Africa and beyond, please consider our Student Bursary Fund.
May our Lord, Jesus Christ provide for us in 2015 as we seek to know Christ and make Him known.
Soli Deo Gloria
Compiled by Dr D Simango and Mr S Courtney; edited K Noland
A Brief History of the College
In the early part of the last century formal theological education in South Africa was only available in the universities. In the 1920′s three evangelical ministers – the Revs. Marsh and Douglas, together with Dr. Kingon – were concerned with the loose commitment to the gospel in the theological departments of the day. With this in mind they wished to endow a theological professorship at one of the South African universities. However, because of the prevailing liberal theological influence, their wish was frustrated. Undaunted, they determined to establish a college where the evangelical doctrines of the Word of God would be taught. Consequently, in 1923, they founded the Bible Institute of South Africa in Mowbray in the Cape Peninsula. Their intention was to create academic training of a high quality – at a degree level – in order to provide the Church in South Africa with men and women equipped to meet the challenges of the time.
Immediately prior to World War II the Institute moved to Kalk Bay, where from small beginnings it has developed into the present extensive campus. Its programmes enjoy local and international academic recognition. The original intention of the founders has therefore been fulfilled. The Bible Institute of South Africa is accredited by the Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA), for the Licentiate in Theology. BISA also offers a three-year part-time Christian Leadership Programme.
Throughout its history, the Institute has always been interdenominational. It has trained or contributed towards the training of evangelical ministers for most of the South African denominations e.g. the Assemblies of God, the Baptists, the Brethren, the Church of England in SA, and the Church of the Province of South Africa, the Dutch Reformed Church, the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Congregational Church and other African Churches. Missionaries, too, have gone out to serve on foreign fields in most of the well-known missionary societies.
In 1997, the Institute entered into a partnership agreement with Mission to the World (MTW) – the missionary sending agency of the Presbyterian Church in America – in terms of which a number of MTW missionary-teachers have joined the ranks of the Faculty and have made a significant contribution to the Institute’s training programmes. Over the years, the training offered by the Institute has also been enhanced by many local missionary agencies that have partnered with the Institute in different ways, reinforcing its commitment to global missions. We are grateful to the Lord for the many friends of the Institute who have faithfully prayed and supported the work of the Institute over the past 90 years.
Over the decades, the Bible Institute has appointed 11 Principals – Alfred Daintree (1923-38); Joseph Ward (1939); Arthur Taylor (1940-45); Stuart Law (1945-53); Sandy Gilfillan(1953-1959); Murdo Gordon (1960-81); Clive Tyler (1981-1994); Bryan Williams (1995-1999); Tom Austin (2000-04); Raymond Potgieter (2006-11) – ably supported by many full-time, and part-time, lecturers who have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the authority of God’s Word and the centrality of Jesus Christ and the Gospel.
In January 2014, Dr. Daniel Simango commenced his role as the 11th Principal of the Institute.
We give all the praise to God!