Degrees in Theology can be obtained online and are becoming increasingly popular. Students should check that the courses on offer are from accredited institutions. In South Africa, senior level theology teachers with eight or more years of experience can earn in the region of R980,815 annually.
Open distance learning is the perfect solution for students who do not have the time to attend physical classes. St Augustine College is a reputable online educator that allow theology students to learn at their own pace. Courses cover everything from Doctor of Philosophy in Theology to MPhil in Theology.
St Augustine College in Gauteng is an online course provider accredited by the South Africa Department of Higher Education and Training. Students engage in two major sources for theologising:
Theology courses are offered at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and range from a Bachelor of Theology to a MPhil and the DPhil in Theology. Higher Certificates in Biblical Studies are also available.
Doctoral degrees at St Augustine College are based purely on research. Candidates, liaising with the Theology Department, submit pre-proposals for the project. Once accepted by the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee (FHDC), a supervisor is appointed to direct students to prepare a full proposal. This should take no longer than six months. Once the proposal has the FHDC's approval, candidates embark on the proper research and writing of their dissertations.
A minimum of two years is required for a doctoral degree. Students will undertake their project under the direction of a supervisor or, in some cases, two co-supervisors. Co-supervision is sometimes suggested by the FHDC when multi and/or interdisciplinary research projects are undertaken.
Doctoral candidates are also encouraged to consult with other lecturers at the College, the Head of Department, and the Academic Dean. If necessary, contact with scholars from other institutions, both national and overseas, can also be facilitated. Apart from the library at St Augustine's, doctoral candidates have access to several electronic resources subscribed to by the College, as well as to the libraries at other universities.
Every year, Doctoral Seminars are held at the College to enable candidates to present their work in progress, to receive feedback on their findings, as well as advice on methods of research from Faculty members.
Apart from attending four quarterly teachings during the postgraduate lecture lessons of the academic year, students must complete formative and summative assessment tasks. All students must also complete an 18,000-word research paper on an approved topic.
While there is no strictly defined word limit for a doctoral dissertation, most of the research papers submitted by candidates in Theology range from 300 to 500 pages. Once finalised, the dissertation undergoes a blind review by two external examiners, one of whom is an international scholar who write a detailed report on the research paper. Student dissertations are evaluated by the FHDC and degrees awarded by St Augustine College, dependent on any required corrections.
The final step in the process is the publication of the successful doctoral dissertation. Although this step remains the decision of the author of the dissertation, St Augustine College encourages doctoral graduates to publish their work to make it available to a wider audience.
St Augustine offers short courses, certificate courses and a range of degrees from bachelors to doctorates. All courses are recognised and accredited by the relevant branches of South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training.