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Higher Certificate in Christian Ministry

(Minimum one year, maximum 3 years, 124 credits)


The Higher Certificate in Christian Ministry provides Christians with foundational and practical training to equip and empower them to build God’s Kingdom in their sphere of influence.

Mode of delivery


Time Commitment

Two years part-time. On campus. January and July intakes.


Registered as Cornerstone Institute (RF) NPC with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997, Registration Certificate No 2001/HE08/006. SAQA ID 96412

Important Links




Admission Requirements

  • A National Senior Certificate or National Certificate Vocational (with certificate pass)
  • A Matriculation Certificate or equivalent
  • Mature age of 45 years can be admitted, determined by the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) portfolio of evidence provided 
  • The National Benchmark Test (NBT) results.

Richard Mee, a graduate of Cornerstone Institute and Head of Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies Department, completed a BPsych Equivalent (Pastoral Counselling) with UNISA and an MTh (Practical Theology) with Stellenbosch University. As a registered counsellor and a Pastoral Theology graduate, Richard teaches in both the Psychology and Theology disciplines.

Students who have completed the qualification should be able to:

  • Deepen their relationship with the Triune God and their trust in Jesus Christ as saviour and friend
  • Develop creative and critical thinkers who are catalysts for growth and renewal
  • Develop basic skills in reading the Bible and showing its relevance to meeting pastoral needs in churches and communities, especially in an African context
  • Understand how people’s worldview influences their concept of God and practice of spirituality
  • Gain a greater critical appreciation of their own theological view
  • Understand the basic principles of Christian leadership
  • Minister to people in different cultural contexts
  • Develop basic communication skills with groups and individuals
  • Have the possibility of further studies (modules can be credited towards our BTh programme).

Module Descriptions

Higher Certificate in Christian Ministry (NQF5)

Biblical Studies IA (12 credits)
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.

Biblical Studies IB (12 credits)
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.

Christian Spirituality Foundations (16 credits)
This module provides an introduction to Christian Spirituality as it has unfolded over time and explores different facets of
contemporary spiritual life and practice. It surveys various forms of worship as expressions of the range of biblical and traditional understandings, and also examines the theory and practice of worship in contemporary communities of faith and life. This module also includes a compulsory tutorial for spiritual formation.

Introduction to Public Theology (6 credits)
This module provides students with an introduction to the discipline of Public Theology, focusing on the contact points between the Christian faith and public life. Students learn about the interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary nature of Public Theology, exploring how theological engagements demand sound discourse and rigorous practically engagement within the range of contextual issues of contemporary society.

Change Leadership (6 credits)
This module provides a theoretically grounded overview of leadership from multiple perspectives. It aims to equip people to lead in their environments and to engage critically with leadership, especially in the South African and African contexts. Students will engage in the theory and practice of transformative leadership as well as personal or character development.

Worldviews of the South (6 credits)
This module provides an introduction to worldviews in general with focus on philosophies of the global South, Africa and the West, with the aim to build understanding and appreciation for how these shaped knowledge traditions and the social realities of our continent and the world at large.

Group Studies & Communication (12 credits)
This module seeks to introduce the student to the fundamentals of intergroup dynamics and communication in the global context of cross-cultural engagement. The themes of group formation and behaviours, social structure and societal hierarchies will be introduced alongside the themes of intergroup relations and the practice of communication with and between groups with diverse values, belief systems and societal standing. The module will reflect on the demands and required skills for social change interventions when working with diverse cultural, religious, language, socio-economic, and citizen communities, among others, including also the local and global realities of migration and immigrant communities.

Ethics & Global Citizenship (12 credits)
This module is designed to help the student build an ethical framework that takes into account 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.

Christian Ministry Fieldwork (6 credits)
The ministry practical module is a practical extension of the academic programme in the Certificate in Christian Ministry programme. It is designed to be a multidisciplinary application of what has been learnt theoretically and measures the practical capabilities of the student within a field or sphere of learning.

Counselling & Life Skills (12 credits)
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.

Pastoral Care Theory (8 credits)
This module is both a theoretical and praxis-oriented introduction to pastoral care and counselling. Some attention is given to the historical development of our understanding of cura animarum (care of the soul). Models and techniques of the pastoral conversation are learnt and practiced and a sense of pastoral identity is developed.
Academic Reading & Writing (12 credits)
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.

Information & Technology Skills (4 credits)
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.

Higher Certificate in CHRISTIAN MINISTRY (NQF5)

  • Worldviews of the South (6 credits)
  • Group Studies & Communication (12 credits)
  • Ethics & Global Citizenship (12 credits)
  • Christian Spirituality Foundations (16 credits)
  • Introduction to Public theology (6 credits)
  • Change Leadership (6 credits)
  • Academic Reading & Writing (12 credits)
  • Information & Technology Skills (4 credits)
  • Biblical Studies IA (12 credits)
  • Biblical Studies IB (12 credits)
  • Christian Ministry Fieldwork (6 credits)
  • Counselling & Life Skills (12 credits)
  • Pastoral Care Theory (8 credits)

Module descriptions and credits

For a description of each module, see ‘Module descriptions’ herewith above. Otherwise, get in touch with us via helpdesk for further inquiries.

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