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Bible Institute of South Africa 
Principals Report 
2018


 

            Gideon BeukesThe purpose of a Principals report is to provide supporters and friends with information on how the college has been performing in the past year and how we expect to grow in the next.  This is BI’s 95th year and every programme that we offer at college must reflect our BISA Mission statement: ‘To equip Christian men and women in Biblical truth and ministry in order to fulfil the Great Commission in Africa and throughout the world’  Likewise, every rand that we spend must reflect our vision statement:  ‘for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to be proclaimed in every Church, market place and society.’

This Report will look at Staff, student, academic and campus developments.

Regarding student numbers, you see in front of you, men and women graduands representative of a much larger student body, many of whom who are already serving in local churches, and others who are intentional in their desire to do ministry after they leave BI. We want to see men and women thrust into ‘fields white unto harvest’.  If that doesn’t happen, we’re not doing our job properly at BI.

Our student body remains stable at around 50 on-campus students, 100 off-campus CLP students, studying one night a week for three years, and just under 40 Distance learners.  Our distance learning programme has the capacity to give quality bible training to leaders in the largest city or humblest village in Africa. 

What gives us this opportunity to reach so many, so far away?  It’s our newly acquired learning management system known as BISA Online. Mr Louis Barry, an educational technologist who happens to be a past BI student, manages the system which functions as an online campus. It’s actually a digital classroom, internationally known as ‘Canvas’, there are huge benefits for both student and tutor, such as:

I. Course material, set books and resources can be accessed from just about anywhere on earth.

II. Assignments can be submitted and received & recorded from any location at any time.

III. Students anywhere in the world can be graded and given instant feedback. Grades are captured, calculated and accessible at any time during or after the course, which is a great help to students requiring transcripts.

IV. Student performance is tracked in real time. This means that academic problems, with remedial solutions can be identified early in the students’ academic year.

Canvas is closely integrated with the college’s cloud-based admin system developed by Tim Churchill, our academic Dean, which we call “Basis”.  

Oh!  How things change… instead of the student being in the classroom, the classroom and library can now be in the student’s pocket.  The Bible Institute is already beginning to move to the leading edge in educational technology.

When we received accreditation last year for the Bachelor of Theology degree we were delighted and couldn’t wait to implement the change.  I’m sad to say that we are still waiting.  We are ready with potential students, courses, lecture material and advertising but we cannot move an inch forward without our registration number.  It’s been a year of follow up, prayer and pleading, but the authorities have yet to release that special number to us.  Both the BTh and the BTh Honours courses are waiting for the go-ahead.  In the meantime our accreditation with ACTEA is rock solid and the Licentiate in Theology is a degree worthy of pursuit.

Our Principal, Dr Daniel Simango is on Sabbatical until next term.

Our staff continue to travel on mission and ministry; the places this year included Crete, Namibia, Myanmar, Panama and the UK.   Staff members have been BISA representatives at conferences run by TEASA, the Gospel Coalition and the Association of Certified Biblical Counsellors.   Guest teachers have included Bob Yarbrough, Bill Shields, George H Guthrie and Greg Cook from the USA

In the course of the year Matt Haynes received his PhD in Old Testament studies from the Northwest University and we congratulate him.

Three senior staff attended the 2018 ICETE consultation in Panama City and I was one of them.  ICETE is the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education and at the conference an important topic was accreditation for untrained men and women already in church leadership. As you will know, our own CLP programme was designed many years ago to meet this need, particularly on the Cape Flats.

Our mid-year Muslim course, although much needed, saw a drop in attendance so we will be rethinking our strategy for this training, so important in the W Cape.

BI is a great venue for functions and has been used for Open Day, our 95th anniversary celebration, several CLP seminars, Holiday Lets and the occasional wedding. In 2019 we will host the Grace Minister’s Conference as well as a seminar with ‘Answers in Genesis’

Over the past two years we have made renovations to our student’s residences, a staff house and a major makeover to our Kitchen.  This year we tackled the Cape water problem by sinking a borehole in a corner of the carpark, 120 metres deep. This is stage one of a 3-phase plan to supply all the buildings on campus with drinkable water.

In the Library David FitzPatrick continues to barcode every book – he has over 25 thousand notches on his belt so far.

Day to day campus life is not always glamorous but it is challenging. We expect our students to attend the Visiting Christian workers Class every Friday, where they learn about ministry from workers in every field of service. We expect our students to attend the Missionary prayer meetings three times a semester, where they pray for workers on the field and for unengaged people groups. We expect our students and staff to attend Chapel twice weekly, where we hear expository preaching and where we pray for one another and our country and we expect them to attend Quiet Day, once per semester which is a day set apart for reflection, retrospection and recommitment.

 At the Bible Institute we have high expectations of our students and staff.

But as the world changes, so do colleges and students, so do strategies, expectations, methods and outcomes.  We are grateful to the Lord to be a part of this change and yet to remain faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ and His unchanging Word.

 

Graduation ceremony on Thursday 15 November 2018

 

Graduation 2015 panoGraduation invite flyer 2018