Module Descriptions

Bachelor of Theology Community Leader in Christian Ministry (NQF 7)

For a description of each module, see Module Descriptions below

Core Curriculum

The Bachelor of Theology in Community Leadership is designed for a minimum duration of 3 years, involving a total of 384 credits. The programme is delivered through a combination of in-person contact sessions and distance learning.

Study Year 1 of 3 (NQF 5)

This module develops the skills needed for successful tertiary study, particularly listening and reading for comprehension, critical thinking in sourcing and evaluating academic material, structuring academic papers, writing clearly and logically, and referencing sources used. Students develop these essential skills through readings and talks and practise them in a supportive environment with detailed feedback. 

Through this module, students will learn to use a computer for emails, internet, word processing, spreadsheet development and electronic presentation suites. This will enable students to access the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) known as Funda, which is used by Cornerstone for communication with lecturers and administrative purposes, as well as research and submission of assignments.

Laying a foundation for a theology of mission by tracing the biblical (creation to Israel, Israel to Christ, and Christ to the eschaton) and theological (key movements and paradigms) trajectory of mission, this module seeks to develop an understanding of the nature and task of world evangelisation and mission. This foundation informs a more detailed engagement with Urban Mission, by introducing the theory and practice (locally and globally) of urban mission. And with special attention given to urban mission in cross-cultural contexts, students are also introduced to some important tools from the social sciences.

The first half of this module is designed to introduce the student to the nature, purpose and interpretative process related to the Scriptures. Attention is given to the historical backdrop of the Old and New Testaments, and to the development of the biblical canon (Jewish, Protestant and Catholic). Tracing the narrative trajectory of the Bible, this module is designed to equip students with a basic skill set necessary for the artful and faithful interpretation of the biblical text both within the church and public space.
In the second half of this module, students are introduced to the scope of the New Testament, as the testimony of the early Church, concerning the crucified and resurrected Jesus. The module follows the canonical order of the New Testament. Attention is given to historical background, interpretive issues related to literary genre, and to the theology and narrative integrity of the New Testament.

This module is designed to introduce students to the concept of integration and its implications both for Christian faith and praxis, and for the relationship between the disciplines of theology, psychology, and community development. The module frames these disciplines within their respective branches of knowledge, inviting students to consider how each discipline operates within a particular worldview. Students explore the necessity of moving from a compartmentalised understanding of their faith and vocation to thinking and living in ways that reflect integration between their faith life and their work life.

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to a foundation for conflict management that will guide community leaders in responding to interpersonal conflict. Students are introduced to the theory and practice of conflict mediation, equipping them with specific communication skills to enhance their relationships (interpersonal and intrapersonal). Students explore personal attitudes and approaches to conflict. This module makes use of case studies to assist students to reflect on the strategies, tactics and approaches used during conflict situations and emphasises the link between foundational beliefs, communication, behaviour and conflict.

Media and Society: Media and Society introduces students to a theoretical framework for analysing mass media in its historical and contemporary contexts. The role of the media in society will be interrogated in terms of media ethics and ideological influence. Students will develop a critical lens through which to examine how meaning is constructed and communicated across various platforms in a media-saturated world. The module will also give students the opportunity to practise basic writing and editing skills that complement those acquired in other first semester modules.

OR

Developmental Psychology: This module provides students with an overview of the major theories of Developmental Psychology. Furthermore, the module aims to help the student understand the course of human development from conception to late adulthood. The module also seeks to address contemporary concerns in lifespan development from conception to late adulthood.

OR

Counselling and Life Skills: This module provides students with training in how to develop and design life skills programmes, psycho-educational training and individual counselling interventions. This module provides an understanding of persons, ideas and principles in the sphere of human behaviour and examines how to manage structured psycho-educational activities in personal and group interventions and how to evaluate their success.

This module is designed to help the student build an ethical framework that considers a holistic understanding of the human person (head, heart and hands). Students are exposed to ethical theories that enable them to reflect on ways in which to respond to current moral, intellectual and social questions. Students work to integrate ethical theory into their experience of life and explore how this contributes to the good of the world.

This module offers a comprehensive understanding of leadership from various theoretical perspectives, aiming to empower individuals for effective leadership in various contexts, particularly within South African and African settings. It delves into transformative leadership theory and practice, fostering personal and character growth. Additionally, the module introduces students to conflict resolution theory and practice, imparting essential communication skills to enrich inter-group and interpersonal relationships. Students gain insights into their conflict attitudes, self-reflect on approaches, and explore diverse conflict types through case studies. The module underscores the interconnectedness of communication, behaviour, and conflict, with a focal point on reconciliation strategies, enriching the learning experience.

This module is designed to introduce the student to the methodology and discourse of both systematic and practical theology and provide a framework within which to make sense of these disciplines, how they overlap and intersect, what specific angles of vision they offer the church in its engagement, theologically and practically, with the world. Special attention is given to the relationship between theology and its cultural contexts, particularly within a South African context.

In this module focus is given to tracing the scope of the Old Testament, as a shared testimony, concerning its central character, Yahweh. The module follows the ordering of the Hebrew Bible. The first part of the module gives particular attention to the Torah and Early Prophets. The second half of the module traces out the meaning and theological significance of the remaining books of the Old Testament, giving particular attention to Israel’s counter-testimony as recounted in the Latter Prophets and Writings. Attention is given throughout to historical background, interpretive issues related to literary genre, and to the theological frame and narrative integrity of the Old Testament.

Digital and Visual Media: The module offers students a critical introduction to different media forms and genres with a particular focus on digital and visual media. Provided with the basic vocabulary for the production and critique of film, television and photography, students will analyse content from various critical perspectives, including genre, spectatorship, framing and narrative theory. Digital media will be approached with an emphasis on evolving technology, user interactivity, problems of intellectual property, and the role of social media.

OR

Psychology: An Introduction: This module aims to provide the student with an understanding of persons, ideas, and principles in the sphere of human behaviour, which we understand as the social sciences. The historical development and current status of psychology, investigative activities, and significant findings are reviewed. Psychology: An Introduction will also engage with psychological thought in relation to the South African context.

OR

Crisis Counselling: The student will do fieldwork in an area of Christian Ministry as an extension of the academic programme. Fieldwork is a multidisciplinary application of what has been learned theoretically. It measures the practical capabilities of the student within a field or sphere of learning.

Study Year 2 of 3 (NQF 6)

This module comprises two parts.
Part 1: Applied Hermeneutics: Reading from the Margins. Here students are introduced to the importance and value of reading the Bible with others (i.e., the marginalised, whether women, children, the poor, the illiterate). The module enables the student both to recognise the value of being a trained reader and the responsibility to use such training in transformative, public, connected, dialogic and integrated ways. The module combines both theoretical and practical outcomes. The theoretical outcome of the module is achieved by defining who the others are and by laying the conceptual framework for what it means to read with others and how practically to do so. The practical outcome is achieved by assigning students to an actual reading site in which they will participate by applying the theoretical framework.
Part 2: Theoretical Hermeneutics. In this part, the branch of knowledge known as hermeneutics is explored in greater detail. Concerned with the art and science of establishing meaning through interpretation, this part provides the necessary orientation for making sense of Scripture. This includes cultivating, in the student, an awareness of the otherness of Scripture, both in its form and in its content; surveying the richness of the many ways in which one might approach the Scriptures and thereby appropriate its meaning; and, offering some guidelines for sensitive engagement with the Scriptures towards establishing meaning. A significant amount of time is dedicated to examining biblical texts within their socio-rhetorical setting.

This module is designed to explore how people make meaning out of life's experiences. Consideration is also given to the application of this theory to the general areas of developmental psychology, the theology of Christian formation and maturity. Additionally, students explore meaningful ways in which to bring together the theory and practice of Christian spiritual formation. This module also includes a compulsory tutorial for spiritual formation.

In the context of globalisation, this module traces some of the key theological trends and figures in the twentieth and twenty-first century. The module critically assesses the trends and figures by carefully considering how politics, economics, gender, ethnicity etc., inform and shape contemporary theological reflection. In doing so the module is designed to challenge students to continue in critical theological reflection by returning to the beginning, to the biblical revelation of God, in response to the new challenges confronting the church.

The purpose of this module is to lay the foundation for contemporary theoretical approaches to reconciliation and peace-making. While this module introduces students to the various models of peace-making at interpersonal levels, it is more specifically aimed at exploring reconciliation in social and political settings. The module is located in the concrete realities of South Africa, paying specific attention to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). It will also explore themes such as forgiveness, restitution and human dignity.In the second half of this module, students are introduced to the scope of the New Testament, as the testimony of the early Church, concerning the crucified and resurrected Jesus. The module follows the canonical order of the New Testament. Attention is given to historical background, interpretive issues related to literary genre, and to the theology and narrative integrity of the New Testament.

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to a foundation for conflict management that will guide community leaders in responding to interpersonal conflict. Students are introduced to the theory and practice of conflict mediation, equipping them with specific communication skills to enhance their relationships (interpersonal and intrapersonal). Students explore personal attitudes and approaches to conflict. This module makes use of case studies to assist students to reflect on the strategies, tactics and approaches used during conflict situations and emphasises the link between foundational beliefs, communication, behaviour and conflict.

In this module students engage in the application of leadership theory as it relates to the three majors, namely Theology, Psychology and Community Development. Here students explore the practice of leadership in the context of the church, faith-based organisations and the public sector. Attention is given to issues such as the process of effectively utilising and developing human resources, sharing control and responsibility, teamwork, conflict management, strategic planning and managing diverse communication styles in the three areas of Theology, Psychology and Community Development.

Building on our understanding of God’s story and its trajectory in human history, this module looks at the question of human identity. It works from the premise that the meaning of life, of what it means to be human, to be created, comes into sharper focus when viewed biblically and theologically. Moving from the various biblical, theological and historical responses to the question of human identity, the module looks to the doctrine of Christ for its ultimate answer, unpacking the story of God’s restoration in and through Jesus Christ. Implications of this doctrine are considered in the light of South African contextual realities.

This module is designed to introduce the student to the study of the communication process in various contexts, including cross-cultural contexts. The dynamics of interpersonal, intercultural, group and mass communication are explored, with special focus on communication in teaching and learning. This includes the study of public speaking, audience analysis, listening, speaking, and conflict management. With the basic theoretical framework in place, students are equipped with the necessary skills for effective sermon preparation and delivery. Attention is given to increasing the student’s ability to express ideas clearly and competently, in both written and oral forms of communication, giving the student a comprehensive understanding of the theory and praxis of expository preaching. Students are also exposed to a variety of topical and evangelistic preaching models in order to increase their awareness of the importance of these homiletical methods in the preaching process

Pentateuch: This module is a focused study of the Torah (or Pentateuch) with particular attention given to the nature and character of these writings as Israel’s core testimony concerning Yahweh. Some attention is given to the theological motifs (Law and Justice, Political Deliverance, and Economics and the Poor) embedded within the Torah and to the role of these motifs in community identity formation.

OR

Synoptic Gospels: This module is a focused study of one of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke – Acts) within its historical and literary context and places a significant emphasis on the descriptive task (exegesis of representative passages within the specified Gospel) to note distinctive theological themes. Special attention is also given to the synthetic task of locating the Gospel within the broader canon of the New Testament Gospels.

Study Year 3 of 3 (NQF 7)

This module is a practical and generally community-based extension of the academic programme in Christian Ministry. Fieldwork is designed to be a multi-disciplinary application of what has been learnt theoretically during the programme. As such it measures both the practical capabilities of the student within a field or sphere of learning and the ability to integrate theory and praxis.

Restoration of human identity (and of the cosmos) is signalled in the constitution of a community in Christ, called and empowered by the Spirit to stand as a sign of God’s redemptive purposes. In this module, students wrestle with the role of the Spirit in restoration, enabling, commissioning and empowering, the establishment of a new community and its nature and purpose. The module has as its starting point the continuing work of the Spirit both in the restoration of the cosmos and in the establishment of the church as an expression of the eschatological trajectory of God’s story. Implications of this doctrine are considered in the light of South African contextual realities.

This module applies the approaches and skills learnt in Pastoral Care Theory to specific crises, such as illness, dying, bereavement, mental illness and family breakdown. Institutional ministries that deal with these issues are visited, providing students with practical experience in one such institution.

Old Testament Prophets: This module comprises two parts.
Part 1: Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings provide the basis for a survey of Israel's history from conquest to exile. Special emphasis is given to the investigation of the relationship between Israel's historical traditions and its theological appropriation of these traditions around such themes as election, law, land and leadership.
Part 2: The literary structure and theological significance of the latter prophets are examined with attention being given to seeing the prophets within their own historical context and in light of the New Testament. Exegesis of representative passages is included.

OR

Old Testament Writing: The study and meaning of wisdom in the literature of the Old Testament are investigated. Special attention is given to the nature of Hebrew poetry, literary structure and the importance of developing a biblical theology of the wisdom writings. Exegesis of representative passages is included.

Pauline Writings: This is a focused module designed to provide students with points of orientation for understanding Paul and the letters attributed to him. The module enables students to navigate the Pauline Writings by setting both Paul (as author, pastor and missionary) and his letters within their historical, socio-cultural, theological, exegetical and ecclesiological setting. Within this matrix, students read and engage texts within the body of the Pauline Writings. 

OR

Johannine Writings: This module is a focused study of the writings attributed to John – the Gospel of John, the Letters of John, and the Apocalypse of John. Students will examine these writings by attending to the testimony they render concerning the crucified and resurrected Christ. Attention is given to the issues of authorship, literary and rhetorical structure, theological motifs, with a view to understanding their vision and purpose both within their ancient and the contemporary church settings.

This module is a practical and generally community-based extension of the academic programme in Christian Ministry. Fieldwork is designed to be a multi-disciplinary application of what has been learnt theoretically during the programme. As such it measures both the practical capabilities of the student within a field or sphere of learning and the ability to integrate theory and praxis.

In the context of globalisation, this module traces some of the key theological trends and figures in the twentieth and twenty-first century. The module critically assesses the trends and figures by carefully considering how politics, economics, gender, ethnicity etc., inform and shape contemporary theological reflection. In doing so the module is designed to challenge students to continue in critical theological reflection by returning to the beginning, to the biblical revelation of God, in response to the new challenges confronting the church.

This module is a practical and generally community-based extension of the academic programme in Christian Ministry. Fieldwork is designed to be a multi-disciplinary application of what has been learnt theoretically during the programme. As such it measures both the practical capabilities of the student within a field or sphere of learning and the ability to integrate theory and praxis.

This module is designed to explore how people make meaning out of life's experiences. Consideration is also given to the application of this theory to the general areas of developmental psychology, the theology of Christian formation and maturity. Additionally, students explore meaningful ways in which to bring together the theory and practice of Christian spiritual formation. This module also includes a compulsory tutorial for spiritual formation.

OR

Synoptic Gospels: This module is a focused study of one of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke – Acts) within its historical and literary context and places a significant emphasis on the descriptive task (exegesis of representative passages within the specified Gospel) to note distinctive theological themes. Special attention is also given to the synthetic task of locating the Gospel within the broader canon of the New Testament Gospels.

This module looks at the necessity and importance of an integrative approach to responding to a range of critical issues of relevance for both the church and public space. Within a worldview framework, students wrestle with contemporary issues – including personhood, community belonging, power, economics and education and the intersection of these issues – from a biblical and theological perspective. 

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