BTh – Admissions

The minimum admission requirement is a National Senior Certificate (NSC) with a minimum of 30% in the language of learning and teaching [ESSA: English] of the higher education institution as certified by Umalusi, coupled with an achievement rating of 4 (Adequate Achievement, 50-59%) or better in four subjects chosen from set 20-credit NSC subjects.

Alternatively a accredited Higher Certificate or an Advanced Certificate or Diploma in a cognate field may satisfy the minimum admission requirements.

In cases where the last (relevant) academic certificate is a foreign one students will have to submit the SAQA Certificate of Evaluation together with their application.

Above and beyond the governmental admission requirements the Seminary expects certain non-academic criteria to be in place:

  • Christian of good standing and character
  • Acceptance of ESSA’s Statement of Faith
  • Ethical and Moral integrity (see “Code of Conduct”)
  • Capable of reading/writing academic English
  • Computer proficiency (electronic communication, submitting and receiving electronic documents, etc.)
  • ESSA reserves the right to request testimonials from the previous institution. This request may be made from ESSA directly to the institution or may be requested from the student.

ESSA reserves the right to not admit students in spite of meeting any or all of the above criteria.

Admission procedure

Potential students will submit completed application forms to ESSA. On payment of the application fee (see “Fees” for further details) the application will be processed and, if satisfactory, the student will be invited to an interview.

All required documents must accompany the application form. There are no entrance examinations. Previous experience, especially in ministry is considered.

On receipt of all the required data, the information will be passed on to the Academic sub-committee for assessment. This is made up of the Principal, the Academic Dean, and the HoD’s as well as the Registrar – based on availability. The Academic Dean gives final approval. A Student Contract will be drawn up and signed by both parties. Only then will the student be fully registered in the programme.

On acceptance (or provisional acceptance) students are issued with relevant documentation in preparation for their studies. This documentation may include the Study Handbook, Prospectus, Ministry Experience Report, Policies Booklet, study material, and any other documents deemed necessary by the Seminary.

Students will be invited to the Orientation course. The orientation course will introduce students to the academic concept, the Do’s and Dont’s of the Seminary as well as the registration procedures. Students will fill in preliminary Registration for the year as well as Registration forms for the first course and any other course students wish to register for at that time.

Candidates may be accepted provisionally as students until such a time that an interview can be arranged on campus. Provisional acceptance does not guarantee a right of admission. The provisional acceptance is a courtesy on behalf of the Seminary to allow students to process visa and other permits toward studies at the Seminary. Provisional acceptance of a student may be withdrawn at any time before the conclusion of the interview. Any tuition fees (excluding the application fee) paid to the Seminary will be refunded in this case.

It should be noted that in the case of an unsuccessful interview, or any other reason leading to the student NOT studying with ESSA, the Seminary will fulfill its legal obligations, e.g. to inform the Department of Home Affairs of the fact that the conditions of the study permit are not being met.

It should also be noted that ESSA has a “rolling admission” meaning that students can enter the programme at any point rather than having to wait for the beginning of a new academic year. However students are required to apply no later than 6 weeks before the first course they wish to register for. This should provide sufficient time for the Seminary to process all documents and submit the study material to the student in time for said course.