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The Department offers various undergraduate modules in three subjects, namely Theological Studies, Ethics, and Hermeneutics, towards various qualifications.

Ethics

Students from across the university may register for modules in Ethics for various purposes, including the following

  • Some students take Ethics as a major, especially towards the BA, BPsych or BTh degrees;
  • Some students take Ethics as a first-year subject (only) towards a bachelor’s degree in almost every faculty at UWC; and
  • Some students take individual modules in Ethics as electives to complement their other subjects, especially towards the BA and BTh degrees.

The modules in the field of Ethics explore the moral and religious foundations of society to reflect on the development of a human rights culture. The following questions are typically posed in the field of Ethics:

  • What is an appropriate vision for a good society? How can we share our vision with others and work together to build the society we want?
  • What virtues and character traits make one a good person? How do we form virtuous people, people of moral character?
  • What are the values, rules, and goals that guide our actions? How can we make moral decisions responsibly?

In each case, the ways in which religious traditions inform moral judgements are considered. These questions are placed in the context of debates on societal issues such as:

  • Human rights and civil society;
  • Economics, labour, and business;
  • A sustainable environment;
  • Gender and human sexuality; and
  • Religious plurality.

The ability to reflect critically on moral problems, engage in contextual analysis, weigh up options, and be informed by theories is an asset in a wide variety of occupations. One needs ethics if one wishes to help build the moral and religious foundations of society. The Ethics module will equip students to address this need in the context of teaching, community work, social work, health services, management, and commerce. The question is not so much, “What can you do with this subject?” Instead, the question should be, “What can you do without the skills this subject will provide?”

Students who envisage a career in teaching, community work, social work or management will find modules in this subject invaluable. Religious education within the South African school system also requires an understanding of the moral and religious foundations of society.

First Year

The modules offered in Ethics at the first-year level reflect on the moral and religious foundations of the South African society. It discusses questions that are crucial in every sphere of life. How does one take responsible decisions? How can we nurture virtuous persons, people of good moral character? What vision can we share for a just society in South Africa? How can we develop a sense of public morality? How do worldviews, religious beliefs, and moral codes inform, influence, and distort moral discourse? The following modules are offered:

Ethics 111: Introduction to Ethical Theory and Practice

  • Paper 1: Moral Decision-making: Case Studies
  • Paper 2: A First Introduction to Ethical Theory

Ethics 121: Religions, Worldviews, and Morality

  • Paper 1: Worldviews and Morality
  • Paper 2: Moral Codes in Various Religious Traditions

Second Year

  • Ethics 211: Introduction to the Study of Religion
  • Ethics 212: Moral Discourse on Human Rights and Civil Society
  • Ethics 221: Moral Discourse on Economics, Labour, and Business
  • Ethics 222: Religion and Culture: A Survey of Contemporary Religious Movements

Third Year

  • Ethics 311: Moral Discourse on the Environment
  • Ethics 312: Contemporary Ethical Theories
  • Ethics 321: Moral Discourse on Gender and Human Sexuality
  • Ethics 322: Moral Discourse on Religious Plurality
To take Ethics as a major subject, students must complete all the modules mentioned above. Students may also take modules in Ethics as electives to supplement their major subjects in other areas.

Theological Studies

These programmes may be taken with a view to the ordained ministry in various confessional traditions (the BTh), part-time ministry as a ‘tentmaker’ (e.g. a major subject towards a BA – see below) or ministry as a lay leader (PLATE – see below). Theological training at UWC:
  • Is non-denominational and encourages ecumenical dialogue;
  • Is deeply rooted in the South African and African contexts and addresses issues such as HIV/AIDS, poverty, gender equity, and environmental sustainability;
  • Seeks to bring theory and practice closely together so graduates may best serve their local communities; and
  • Stimulates critical reflection and fosters moral responsibility.
The BTh degree is designed to provide training for Christian leadership in the South African context. Students from a wide variety of churches study theology at UWC, including, for example, students from the AFM, African Independent Churches, Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Congregational, Methodist, Moravian, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Reformed, and Zionist churches. This degree aims to:
  • Provide students with adequate training in Christian leadership;
  • Provide students with a solid background in theology;
  • Equip students for a variety of Christian ministries; and
  • Enable students to provide informed leadership in the face of community needs caused by HIV/AIDS, poverty, violence, unemployment, human rights violations, environmental destruction, etc.

The BTh degree is well suited for ordained pastors, priests, ministers, reverends, or pastoral counsellors. Theological Studies also allows students to develop skills in a variety of other areas, especially in community leadership. This degree will enable students to follow a career in teaching, community work, and counselling. The inclusion of non-theological subjects provides flexible career opportunities, especially for the ministry in congregations that cannot necessarily afford salaried pastors.

First Year

The following modules are compulsory for the BTh degree:

Theological Studies 111: Introduction to the World of the Bible

  • Paper 1: The World of the Old Testament
  • Paper 2: The World of the New Testament

Theological Studies 121: Introduction to Christian Studies

  • Paper 1: The History of Christianity in a World Perspective
  • Paper 2: Christian Identity

Ethics 111: Introduction to Ethical Theory and Practice

  • Paper 1: Moral Decision-making: Case Studies
  • Paper 2: A First Introduction to Ethical Theory

Ethics 121: Religions, Worldviews, and Morality

  • Paper 1: Worldviews and Morality
  • Paper 2: Moral Codes in Various Religious Traditions

Hermeneutics 121: Rhetoric and Interpretation

  • Paper 1: Introduction to Public Speaking
  • Paper 2: Introduction to Biblical Interpretation
*English 105 is recommended as an elective for students registered for the BTh degree.
*Additionally, students need to select further modules with a total of 30 or 45 credits from any other modules offered at UWC, but preferably in one subject area.

Second Year

The following modules are compulsory for students registered for the BTh degree:

  • Theological Studies 211: The Study of the Prophetic Literature
  • Theological Studies 212: The History of Christianity in the South African Perspective
  • Theological Studies 213: Christian Formation and Education
  • Theological Studies 221: The Study of the Gospels and Acts
  • Theological Studies 222: Biblical Interpretation: Various Approaches
  • Theological Studies 223: The Doctrine of God
  • Ethics 211: Introduction to the Study of Religion
  • Ethics 222: Religion and Culture: A Survey of Contemporary Religious Movements

The following modules are recommended as electives for students registered for the BTh degree. Students must select modules with a total of 40 credits from these electives:

  • Ethics 212: Moral Discourse on Human Rights and Civil Society
  • Ethics 221: Moral Discourse on Economics, Labour, And Business
  • Psychology 211/221
  • Social Work 2
  • Any other second-year modules offered in the Faculty of Arts

Third Year

The following modules are compulsory for students registered for the BTh degree:

  • Theological Studies 301: Christian Ministry, Leadership, and Proclamation
  • Theological Studies 311: The Study of the New Testament Epistles
  • Theological Studies 312: The Doctrine of Christ
  • Theological Studies 326: The Doctrine of the Church in Ecumenical Perspective
  • Theological Studies 314: Pastoral Care and Counselling
  • Theological Studies 321: The Study of the Pentateuch and the Writings
  • Theological Studies 322: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
*Theological Studies 301 carries 20 credits whereas all other modules at second and third-year levels carry 10 credits each.

The following modules are recommended as electives. Students must select modules with a total of 40 credits from these electives:

  • Ethics 311: Moral Discourse on the Environment
  • Ethics 312: Contemporary Ethical Theories
  • Ethics 321: Moral Discourse on Gender and Human Sexuality
  • Ethics 322: Moral Discourse on Religious Plurality
  • Psychology 311/321
  • Social Work 3
  • Any other third-year modules offered in the Faculty of Arts

Lay Theological Education (PLATE) Programme

This programme provides theological training at a tertiary level for lay people in leadership positions in churches in the Western Cape region. It is aimed at people who are already serving as leaders in local congregations, for example as preachers, counsellors, Sunday School leaders, Bible Study group leaders, youth leaders, women’s group leaders and leaders of Christian community organisations.

This programme assumes that Christian ministry is the responsibility of the whole people of God. The notion of Christian ministry includes ministries inside local Christian communities, but also the manifold ministries of Christians in the context of civil society. The programme recognises the increasing need for appropriate theological education for lay leadership.

Theological education at UWC is thoroughly ecumenical and responds to societal challenges in the African and South African contexts. Through this programme, UWC offers students access to university education as “A place of quality, a place to grow”.

The programme is offered under the auspices of the Continuing Education courses at UWC.

You may participate in this programme in one of the following two ways:

  • By attendance only: If you attend the classes for an entire module and complete a minor task by the end of the module, you will receive a UWC-validated Continuing Education Certificate of Attendance.
  • For credit purposes: You may apply for admission to register for a module to obtain credits for it. You then must attend the same classes, but you also must do some coursework assignments and write examinations. Successful students will receive a UWC-validated Continuing Education Certificate for each module completed.
*Please note: You may register for all the modules in the programme or one module only.

The whole programme consists of eight modules over two years, two in each semester. Each of the modules is subdivided into two parts (or papers).

Classes take place at UWC on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for six weeks per module. Sessions will be from 18h00-20h00 each evening.

If you register for a module to obtain credits, you must do the required coursework stipulated in the module outlines. You must also write an examination for each of the two papers during the June or November examination period of the relevant semester.

If you complete all eight modules in the programme (15 credits each), this is equivalent to the first year of university studies (120 credits). Successful students may approach the Department to continue their studies towards a BTh degree aimed primarily at the ordained ministry.

2020

  • First Year: ETH111; ETH121; HER111; HER121?
  • Second Year: TST211; TST212; TST221; TST222?
  • Third Year: TST312; TST314; TST322; TST326?

2021

  • First Year: CHR111; CHR121; TST111; TST121?
  • Second Year: TST213; TST214; TST223; TST224??
  • Third Year: ETH311; ETH312; ETH321; ETH322 

Any person who wishes to participate in the programme by attendance only may apply. In this case, there are no admission requirements, but five years’ experience in positions of lay leadership is highly recommended. No credits are given.

If you wish to obtain credits for a module, there are two possibilities:

a) The standard admission requirement of a Grade 12 certificate with either matriculation or age exemption (for those 23 years and older). This applies to students who wish to pursue studies towards a BTh degree (120 credits).

b) Students who do not have the above requirements but still want to obtain credits may do so within the CE/DLL framework. They must present proof that they have completed Grade 10, but they may also be considered based on the Recognition of Prior Learning. The number of credits is 60.

The programme is built on the assumption that many people have previously obtained qualifications in other walks of life and wish to further their theological education given the responsibilities they have as lay leaders in local churches.

*Please note: The programme operates on a cycle, which means you can enter it at the beginning of any paper.

If you wish to enrol for this programme, please do the following:

  • All prospective students should complete the required application online at www.uwc.ac.za.  
  • All applicants will receive a letter of admission.
  • All applicants should pay the appropriate registration fees before registration.

For information kindly contact us:  

Ms Claudene Sebolai (Coordinator)
csebolai@uwc.ac.za

Lloyd Chetty (Admin)
lchetty@uwc.ac.za

Tel+27 (21) 959 2206

Hermeneutics

How can we read and interpret texts responsibly and adequately? This question is important for people in many disciplines, including language, communication, law, and biblical interpretation. The modules that are offered focus on the development of basic academic skills in close reading, logic, communication and persuasion, and the theory of interpretation (hermeneutics).

Hermeneutics 121: Rhetoric and Interpretation

  • Paper 1: Interpretation and Persuasion
  • Paper 2: Introduction to Hermeneutical Theory

Hermeneutics 122: Rhetoric and Logic

  • Paper 1: Interpretation and Persuasion
  • Paper 2: Introduction to Logic

It is possible to register for any of the full programmes offered by the Department on a part-time basis. Students who are interested in registering for the BTh programme on a part-time basis must note that all modules are compulsory.

The following first-year modules must be completed over a two-year cycle. Tuition for these modules is offered after hours through the PLATE programme:

  • Christian Ministry 111, 121 (15 credits each);
  • Ethics 111, 121 (15 credits each);
  • Hermeneutics 111, 121 (15 credits each); and
  • Theological Studies 111, 121 (15 credits each).

The second- and third-year modules may be completed over a three-year cycle. The following modules are all compulsory:

  • Theological Studies 211, 212,213, 214, 221, 222, 223, 224 (10 credits each);
  • Ethics 211, 212, 221, 222 (10 credits each);
  • Theological Studies 311, 312, 314, 321, 322, 326 (10 credits each), 301 (20 credits); and
  • Ethics 311, 312, 321, 322 (10 credits each).
  • Tuition for these modules is offered after hours according to the following cyclical pattern:
Modules Offered 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
First-year level CHR111
CHR121
TST111
TST121
ETH111
ETH121
HER111
HER121
CHR111
CHR121
TST111
TST121
ETH111
ETH121
HER111
HER121
CHR111
CHR121
TST111
TST121
ETH111
ETH121
HER111
HER121
CHR111
CHR121
TST111
TST121
Second-year level TST213
TST214
TST223
TST224
ETH211
ETH212
ETH221
ETH222
TST211
TST212
TST221
TST222
TST213
TST214
TST223
TST224
ETH211
ETH212
ETH221
ETH222
TST211
TST212
TST221
TST222
TST213
TST214
TST223
TST224?
Third-year level ETH311
ETH312
ETH321
ETH322
TST311
TST321
TST312
TST314
TST322
TST326
ETH311
ETH312
ETH321
ETH322 
TST311
TST321
TST312
TST314
TST322
TST326
ETH311
ETH312
ETH321
ETH322
Tuition towards TST301 (Christian Ministry, Leadership and Proclamation) will be offered every year. Classes will be scheduled in a double period, one afternoon per week during working hours extended over both semesters. Students registered for the BTh programme on a part-time basis must plan their studies that they will have one afternoon free for one year in the three-year cycle.

Students living elsewhere in the Western Cape region may also find it possible to register for the honours and the structured master’s programmes on a part-time basis. Since there are no residential requirements for the Master’s by Thesis or the doctoral programme, students can complete these programmes anywhere in the world as long as regular contact is maintained with the supervisor.

 
 

The following modules are compulsory for the BTh degree:

Theological Studies 111: Introduction to the World of the Bible

Paper 1: The World of the Old Testament
Paper 2: The World of the New Testament

Theological Studies 121: Introduction to Christian Studies

  • Paper 1: The History of Christianity in a World Perspective
  • Paper 2: Christian Identity

Ethics 111: Introduction to Ethical Theory and Practice

  • Paper 1: Moral Decision-making: Case Studies
  • Paper 2: A First Introduction to Ethical Theory

Ethics 121: Religions, Worldviews, and Morality

  • Paper 1: Worldviews and Morality
  • Paper 2: Moral Codes in Various Religious Traditions

Hermeneutics 121: Rhetoric and Interpretation

  • Paper 1: Introduction to Public Speaking
  • Paper 2: Introduction to Biblical Interpretation
*English 105 is recommended as an elective for students registered for the BTh degree.
*Additionally, students need to select further modules with a total of 30 or 45 credits from any other modules offered at UWC, but preferably in one subject area.

The following modules are compulsory for students registered for the BTh degree:

  • Theological Studies 211: The Study of the Prophetic LiteratureTheological Studies 212: The History of Christianity in the South African Perspective
  • Theological Studies 213: Christian Formation and Education
  • Theological Studies 221: The Study of the Gospels and Acts
  • Theological Studies 222: Biblical Interpretation: Various Approaches
  • Theological Studies 223: The Doctrine of God
  • Ethics 211: Introduction to the Study of Religion
  • Ethics 222: Religion and Culture: A Survey of Contemporary Religious Movements

The following modules are recommended as electives for students registered for the BTh degree. Students must select modules with a total of 40 credits from these electives:

  • Ethics 212: Moral Discourse on Human Rights and Civil Society
  • Ethics 221: Moral Discourse on Economics, Labour, And Business
  • Psychology 211/221
  • Social Work 2
  • Any other second-year modules offered in the Faculty of Arts

The following modules are compulsory for students registered for the BTh degree:

  • Theological Studies 301: Christian Ministry, Leadership, and Proclamation
  • Theological Studies 311: The Study of the New Testament Epistles
  • Theological Studies 312: The Doctrine of Christ
  • Theological Studies 326: The Doctrine of the Church in Ecumenical Perspective
  • Theological Studies 314: Pastoral Care and Counselling
  • Theological Studies 321: The Study of the Pentateuch and the Writings
  • Theological Studies 322: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
*Theological Studies 301 carries 20 credits whereas all other modules at second and third-year levels carry 10 credits each.

The following modules are recommended as electives. Students must select modules with a total of 40 credits from these electives:

  • Ethics 311: Moral Discourse on the Environment
  • Ethics 312: Contemporary Ethical Theories
  • Ethics 321: Moral Discourse on Gender and Human Sexuality
  • Ethics 322: Moral Discourse on Religious Plurality
  • Psychology 311/321
  • Social Work 3
  • Any other third-year modules offered in the Faculty of Arts