The Evangelical Seminary of Southern Africa needs to have a contingency plan in case the hoped for accreditation is NOT granted by the departments. It would not just be wrong but morally irresponsible to attract students, only to cast them aside if things don’t work out. Of course “things not working out” is quite a vague description and there are a number of possible scenarios connected to that description. One of the less positive scenarios would be that ESSA’s registration application (to DoHET) is turned down and that the reasons given make it clear that ESSA will never achieve registration as a Private Higher Education Institution. Currently there is no reason to think that this will be the outcome, but … weirder things have happened. Any other scenario would be less fatal and would create some serious obstacles, but nothing that can’t be dealt with.
Hence ESSA needs to prepare a contingency plan in case we do start to offer a BTh programme, with the expectation of accreditation being granted, and then being surprised by a negative decision from the Department of Higher Education and Training. The Seminary is happy to be able to offer such a plan. We have been in negotiations with the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), a long-standing partner institution of ESSA. SATS is willing to grant credits for any studies (completed courses) done at ESSA in 2015, provided that the student transfers to SATS and continues her or his studies at SATS.
Just to avoid confusion: This does not guarantee credits for all studies but it will only allow for credits to be granted (via RPL) in the case of students transfering to SATS in the unlikely event of ESSA not achieving accreditation. Students will, of course, be free to apply to any other institution of their choice and ESSA will assist them, within reasonable limits. However there is no guarantee that these institutions will grant credit for those courses completed through ESSA. With SATS ESSA has an understanding that all of ESSA’s courses will be of acceptable quality for SATS to grant credits.