Bible Institute of South Africa
The Bible Institute of South Africa is an evangelical Bible college located in Kalk Bay, a suburb of Cape Town on the False Bay coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. The college has students from all over Africa, as well as from Europe, Asia and North America.
The Bible Institute of South Africa, known as BISA, is a bible training college. Since its founding in 1923 BISA has trained over two thousand men and women in a variety of subjects including hermeneutics, biblical and systematic theology, the doctrines of scripture and Hebrew & Greek bible languages.
Courses and accreditation
BISA is affiliated with North-West University (previously Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education), an internationally recognised university in the North West Province of South Africa. The programmes of North-West University are offered at the Bible Institute as a NWU off-campus learning centre. Through this affiliation BISA offers Bachelors, Honours and Masters Degrees registered in terms of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
The college has 300 students who are involved in a selection of courses including the Distance Learning (by correspondence), Christian Leadership (part-time studies), BTh Honours and MA(theol). The residential courses include a Gap-Year (with practical ministry experience), a 3-year bachelor's degree in theology (accredited by NorthWest University) and a 3-year Licentiate in theology (accredited by the Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa)
History and Principalship
In the early part of the 20th century formal theological education in South Africa was only available in the universities. In the 1920s three church leaders, the Rev. Marsh, Rev.Douglas and Dr. Kingon, were concerned with the commitment to bible teaching in the theological departments of the time. With this in mind they wished to endow a theological professorship at one of the South African universities, but because of the prevailing liberal theological influence, their wish was frustrated. They subsequently planned to establish a college where the evangelical doctrines of the bible would be taught. In 1923, they founded the Bible Institute of South Africa in Mowbray in the Cape Peninsula. Their intention was to create academic training of a high quality – at a degree level – in order to provide Churches in South Africa with men and women equipped to meet the challenge of a post-war world.
Immediately prior to World War II the Institute moved to Kalk Bay, and has developed into the present campus where the teaching programmes have local and international academic recognition at the degree level. The Bible Institute of South Africa is accredited by the Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA), for the Licentiate in Theology. The programmes of the North-West University (NWU) are offered at BISA as a NWU off-campus learning centre. Through this affiliation, the Institute offers Bachelors (residential and distance), Honours and Masters degrees. BISA also offers a three-year part-time Christian Leadership Programme.
Since inception, the Bible Institute has appointed 11 Principals – Alfred Daintree (1923-38); Joseph Ward (1939); Arthur Taylor (1940-45); Stuart Law (1945-53); Sandy Gilfillan(1953-1959); Murdo Gordon (1960-81); Clive Tyler (1981-1994); Bryan Williams (1995-1999); Tom Austin (2000-04); Raymond Potgieter (2006-11); Daniel Simango (2014 - ) supported by full-time, and part-time lecturers from diverse nations. In 1997, the Institute entered into a partnership agreement with Mission to the World (MTW) – the missionary sending agency of the Presbyterian Church in America – in terms of which a number of MTW teachers have joined the Faculty.
The Bible Institute of South Africa partners with several Missions Agencies giving students both pre and post-graduation opportunities to work cross culturally in society.
BISA is a bible training college but is non-denominational. The method of study and teaching employs a historic Protestant and Reformational hermeneutic in the interpretation of the Bible. The teaching ethos is two-fold, not only to impart knowledge, but to take that knowledge and use it in the development of the skills and character needed by the student to be effective in life and service.
The outcome for each student is to be able to think creatively and critically about issues to be faced in the context of service, doing so in a way that is biblical and sustainable in a multi-denominational, multi-cultural and international community.
The Principal, Dr Daniel Simango, is from Zimbabwe and holds a Licentiate in Theology (LTh) from the Bible Institute of South Africa (2000), a BA in Theology (Cum Laude), a BA Honours in Theology from Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (2002), and a MA in Old Testament from North West University (2006). In 2011, Daniel completed a PhD in Old Testament at North-West University. He lectures Old Testament and Hebrew courses to the under-graduate students and also supervises post-graduate students in Old Testament studies.
The Bible Institute motto is "To know Christ and to make Him known".
- Bible Institute of South Africa