Department of Theology
“Too late have I loved You, O Wisdom, ever ancient, ever new.”
St Augustine of Hippo
It’s never too late. Do not wait around like Augustine!
Theology at St Augustine Private Tertiary Institution will open you to the fount of Wisdom
and let you drink of its waters “ever ancient, ever new”!
As a Catholic institution committed to fostering the dignity of the human person in service to the common good, Theology is central to St Augustine Private Tertiary Institution. Questions of who we are as human persons, what is our place and purpose in creation as well as who is God and what is our relationship to God have been central to theological education within the Catholic Intellectual Tradition for centuries. We stand within that tradition and seek to contribute to its growth and development from a unique South African perspective.
While based firmly in the Catholic tradition, the very nature of that ‘catholicity’ requires theological engagement with those of other faith traditions or none. At St Augustine we pride ourselves in being ecumenically open. Our Theology students come from various denominational backgrounds: while Catholics and Anglicans are in the majority, we also have students from the Orthodox, Reformed, Lutheran and Charismatic traditions; both lay and religious persons, ministers as well as future ministers, young (18) and quite mature (72). We are involved in many interfaith initiatives and collaborations, interreligious conferences and discussion panels at the Private Tertiary Institution. This openness stems directly from how we understand our identity. For to be 'Catholic' in an academic theological context means to search for the 'truth running through everything' in order to better understand the here and now and, ultimately, to enable its transformation.
The Private Tertiary Institution offers four academic degrees in Theology: a Bachelor of Theology degree (BTh), a Bachelor of Theology Honours degree (BTh Hons), a Master of Philosophy in Theology degree (MPhil Theol), and a doctoral degree in Theology (DPhil Theol) which is carried out by research alone. One of our most popular offerings is Higher Certificate in Biblical Studies (HCBS), a 2-year programme which is undertaken primarily through e-mail correspondence. In addition, various short courses related to Theology are also offered each year to those interested in life-long learning (for non-degree purposes).
The above programmes give the opportunity for systematic reflection and research in various areas of Theology including Scripture, Fundamental and Systematic Theology, Spirituality and Pastoral Studies. All degree courses also have a philosophical component. The website offers further information on the requirements and areas of focus within particular offerings.
The Honours and Masters level programmes combine both contact and independent study. Modules are structured around an intensive week of instruction followed by guided study and examinations. Four modules are presented in a year (usually to coincide with school holidays). After the completion of the required modules (4 in the BTh Honours, 7 in the MPhil Theol), students write a research paper on a topic of their own choosing under the supervision of lecturers at the Private Tertiary Institution. This research component prepares the student to advance to the next level of theological studies.
The discipline of Theology takes seriously the dimension of the transcendent within the human enterprise. It acknowledges that the human person cannot be defined solely in terms of physical or social sciences, but a wider and deeper vision is required if we are to live our lives as beholders of the mysteries of God, and engage ourselves as co-creators within the divine plan of God’s eternal and unfolding wisdom, what St Augustine called 'Wisdom ever ancient, ever new'.