As often reminded that in the most difficult of times, we see God’s hand leading most clearly. It is when the storm rages the loudest; we often hear God speak most tenderly. Despite the uncertainty COVID-19 has brought upon us all, including CTBS, there is, however, a confident knowing that God is our helper. The expression following "help" can be defined as “as in front of". Hebrews 13:6 reminds us "So we say in confidence; the Lord is my helper [is in front of us]; I will not be afraid". It is the Lord leading us that we can report the following:
1. Teaching During Lockdown
Like most institutions, Cape Town Baptist Seminary is also feeling the direct impact of COVID-19. The hard Lockdown instituted by the Government of South Africa to prepare adequately for the peak of the virus came suddenly. During the first term of studies, the integration of the day and evening students brought a sense of synergy and comrade onto campus. Having just completed our first term exams, the sudden closure of life as we know it resulted in the Seminary moving towards a blended mode of teaching and learning.
Despite the interruption of the in-person learning process, there are many reasons for us to give thanks. The period under Lock-down caused us to apply our minds strategically and imaginatively and to adapt our teaching resources differently to enable CTBS to continue with the provision of quality theological training.
Therefore, we would like to report that despite the pressure Lock-down placed our students, the support rendered by the Board of Directors and the Faculty to our studends enabled 98% of students to passed the writing of their online-exams sucessfully.
We are thankful to the Lord that two weeks before the hard Lockdown, we contracted the services of Educative Technology, to onboard all of our courses onto the CANVAS Learning Management System (LMS). The implementation of the new LMS at the cost of R180.000.00 was not in our planned budget for the year. However, the Lord graciously provided the funds to make the transition from in-person lectures to blended learning without compromising the quality of training offered at CTBS.
This new normal of learning and teaching was a steep learning curve for both student and Faculty. The new LMS was received very optimistically because of the opportunity it presented to the Seminary for expansion in the future. At the beginning of June, two and a half months after the COVID-19 closing of the campus office, a staggered approach for the re-opening the offices and re-entry of staff unto campus was introduced. Stringent measures are put into place, to make sure that social distancing and sanitizing are practised consistently creating a safe working environment.
We welcome Dr Jeremy Wygaard, who joined our Adjunct Faculty in April teaching our specialization courses in Youth and Children's Ministry. He is Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Life Zone Soccer International. In 2013 he graduated with his PhD in Theology and Development from the University of Stellenbosch.
After 23 years of faithful service to the Lord we say farewell to Mrs Kathy Miessner who served as counsellor to our students and on the Adjunct Faculty.
2. Webinars During Lockdown
Part of the very pronounced feature during Lockdown were the many Webinars hosted, and CTBS took advantage of this space hosting three Webinars ourselves namely: Pastoring during and After COVID-19: This took a form of a panellist conversation between 4 seniors Pastors. We had over 60 participants from all over South Africa in attendance.
Due to the sensitivity of this topic and the nature of the content, we could not publically advertise this webinar inviting Dr Patrick Sookdheo is a specialist in Islamic Studies and the International Directo of Barnabas Fund. His discussion focused on Understanding Islam: Ideologically and Strategically. We had 55 delegates who participated in this teaching.
In collaboration with Langa Baptist and Dr S. Zondi, we were privileged to host a workshop on Homiletics 101 presented by Dr Kimberly Credit from Payne University. Over 110 participants were in attendance.
3. Future Webinar
In September, it will be our wonderful priviledge to host a distinguished Evangelical Scholar, Prof. Dr Amos Yong from Fuller Theology to discourse on the topic: The Future of Evangelical Theology.
4. Finances During Lockdown.
Understanding the financial implication that COVID-19 has on all our donors, we are thankful to many of our friends who continue to support the Seminary in these difficult times. Your generous contribution is a consistent reminder that, the Lord goes before us. He is our helper.
5. Health During Lockdown
While three of our staff members contracted the virus, Dr Mulenga, our Student Dean was most serious of them all, spending six days in ICU. We are thankful to the Lord for their full recovery. Four of our students also reported to have contracted the virus, but have since recovered. We are also grateful to the Lord for the successful operation and recovery of Dr E. Andre, one of our Directors.
As lockdown measures ease, we are expecting an exponential increase in infections in South Africa. Cape Town being the epicentre of the pandemic in Africa, we request your continued remembrance of the Faculty, staff and students in prayer as we continue to prepare people to be on mission with God.
As we continue to follow the leadership of Christ through dependence upon his Holy Spirit, we are thankful to the Father for his faithful protection and the financial provision for the continued sustainability of Cape Town Baptist Seminary.
If you do not support the Seminary financially, we ask you to consider doing so prayerfully. All donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible.
Account Holder: Cape Town Baptist Seminary Foundation
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch: Tyger Manor
Branch Code: 050410
Acc. No.: 272 690430
Acc. Type: Current Acc
Swift Add. : SBZAZAJJ
Thank you to all our supporters for your continued prayerful and financial support to CTBS as we train men and women in ministry for Christ’s church and to the world.
Battling to reach us?
Please note that we have had issues with our telephone connection over the past few months. The contact number is the 021 637 9020 and the 084 061 2658 is being discontinued. You may use the following details if you are unsure. Thanks for being patient with us
Cape Town Baptist Seminary