The below letter from ATS’ rector to prospective students might help you better understand your options with regard to how you can structure your studies.
Dear prospective student,
I have the pleasure to extend a great welcome to you at ATS. May your studies be of the most exciting times of your life.
To make the start of this new journey at ATS easier for you, I want to convey some important information to you.
- The curriculum of both the diploma and degree consists of six major subjects running over a period of 3 years. For a Degree, there is also one Biblical language subject; either Greek or Hebrew.
- The six subjects are:
- Dogmatics & Ethics;
- Practical Theology;
- New Testament;
- Old Testament;
- Missions and
- Church History.
- Each subject has a first semester module and a second semester module. This is to divide the work into smaller part so as to make the workload more manageable.
- A module’s work is completed by writing an examination at the end of each semester.
- If you enrol for all six subjects in one year you will have to do twelve modules: six during each of the two semesters. Additionally, if you are a BTh student, during one of the three years you would also do one Biblical language that will extend over two semesters.
- This first choice, namely to take all six subject simultaneously, may be a manageable option to some of you, if you have enough time available for your studies. It is intended as a full-time option.
- I often suggest to students to take a slower, and more manageable option that offers specific benefits. For example, a five year route:
- 1st year: choose only 4 subjects out of the 7 subjects (6 + one language): 4 modules during first semester and 4 modules during second semester.
- 2nd year: choose a further 4 subjects and 1 language:
5 modules during first semester and 5 modules during second semester.
- 3rd year: 4 subjects: 4 modules during first semester and 4 modules during second semester.
- 4th year: 2 subjects: 2 modules during first semester and 2 modules during second semester.
- 5th year: 2 subjects: 2 modules during first semester and 2 modules during second semester.
- In the above option your study programme will be prolonged by two years, but this should not deter you for the following reasons:
- You are a distant student who will not attend full-time classes, therefore you must give yourself more time. Utilise the advantage that distance training offers namely that it is a little more flexible to accommodate your situation.
- We want you to enjoy your studies as the best time of your life and to experience spiritual growth. If you overload yourself, your studies can become overwhelming.
- To take two years longer to obtain your qualification is not a problem, but what may become a problem is that, should you become overwhelmed, you may not complete your studies at all and that will be a great pity.
- Another advantage is that you’ll have a lessor financial burden each year.
- We will be glad to welcome you at ATS, but more so that you graduate as a successful student who enjoys the ministry.
- You must remember that you start your ministry the day that you start your training at ATS. There are also options that will allow you to start with workplace experience, while you are busy studying. Such an option will greatly increase your learning experience. One such option is CFM International, a well-known non-denominational association of independent churches in South Africa. After successfully completing your first year’s studies, CFM International will ordain you with the understanding that you continue and complete your studies.
May the good Lord bless you.