Frequently Asked Questions


Come here to find answers to commonly asked questions.  Use the search box below to find answers to your questions. For example, if you are trying to find out about your marks within a course you might search for "grades", "marks", "results", etc.  You may also select from one of the listed categories to see all the entries pertaining to that subject.  If there is a question you do not see listed, you may be best served by asking in the forums.  We will try to update the questions here regularly based on those showing up in the forums.


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Question:

What is recognition of prior learning (RPL)?

(Last edited: Monday, 9 June 2014, 9:09 PM)
Answer:

If you have already studied elsewhere or if you have appropriate ministry experience, you will probably qualify for prior learning credits, which will reduce the total cost and duration of your educational programme. You will be charged at a nominal rate for credits you have earned at institutions which are not accredited and registered, and for life experience, but all others are free.

When we receive your Application form, we will evaluate your existing qualifications and experience and advise you of the credits we are provisionally prepared to grant. We will then also advise you as to what steps you need to take to formalise these credits.


Question:

Does my denomination recognise the SATS qualifications?

(Last edited: Monday, 9 June 2014, 9:32 PM)
Answer:

There are a number of denominations currently enrolling students at SATS for their theological studies. You will need to contact the head of your denomination in order to find out if the SATS degree is sufficient for their denominational requirements. SATS does not ordain ministers.


Question:

Will I graduate after every 120 credits?

(Last edited: Monday, 9 June 2014, 9:33 PM)
Answer:

No, unless you enrolled for a qualification which only requires 120 credits. Instead, you will graduate once you have successfully completed the required number of credits for your desired qualification.


Question:

Does SATS have residential facilities?

(Last edited: Monday, 9 June 2014, 10:13 PM)
Answer:

No. The South African Theological Seminary is a distance learning education institution that allows you to study at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. We do not apply for student visas.


Question:

How do assignment due dates and different timezones work on MySats?

(Last edited: Monday, 9 June 2014, 10:13 PM)
Answer:

Almost every assessment task on MySats has a deadline known as due date or a closing date, depending on the type of activity (assignment, forum, test, etc.).

Deadlines are always shown on MySats in South African Standard Time, which is UTC+2. South Africa does not use daylight savings, so there is no change with seasons.

If you live in another time zone or a country that uses daylight saving, you can edit your profile such that MySats displays the deadlines in your local time. This will not, however, change the deadline at all; it will simply display the deadline in your local time.

timezone

If you are unsure of what your UTC timezone is, you can look here: http://www.worldtimezone.com.


Question:

What is a credit?

(Last edited: Monday, 9 June 2014, 10:16 PM)
Answer:

One credit equates to approximately 10 hours of time on task. For example, if a subject is 6 credits it will take you approximately 60 hours to complete, including research and writing of assignments. On average students should study between 8-10 hours per week. This would make a 6 credit subject 6 weeks long.


Question:

In what formats can I take my study materials?

(Last edited: Tuesday, 10 June 2014, 3:02 PM)
Answer:

We offer our distance learning courses in e-learning format only.  Students residing in South Africa may purchase their workbook(s) in printed format. However, all assessments must be uploaded onto the MySats site regardless of the format of the workbook.  The price of the printed workbook includes the courier delivery fee.


Question:

Help! MySats lost my work after requiring me to login again!

(Last edited: Saturday, 5 July 2014, 8:43 AM)
Answer:

It can be very frustrating to lose an assignment.  It has happened to all of us, whether it is the result of a power failure, the infamous Windows "blue screen of death", or a dear kitty cat chewing on your power cord.  Whatever the cause, it is very disheartening.

As far as MySats is concerned here are some steps you can take to make sure this doesn't happen to you.  MySats will require you to login again after 4 hours of inactivity, by which we mean page loads.  So if you are typing an assignment, take a break, come back 4 hours later, finish up and submit, you will find that MySats wants you to login again!  The unfortunate result is that you will likely lose what you have just typed.  

You will also be required to authenticate (login again) if you begin your session in one location then move to another location (with a different IP address- like a cafe or something).  This is required for security reasons.

If you anticipate doing either of the above, it is highly advisable that you type your work in a word processor and then paste into the text box.  Make sure you use this icon to paste anything from Word paste from word. This will ensure you do not have issues with formatting.

And remember, you can still lose work from your word processor if you do not save it often!  It has been said, "Jesus saves, and so should you..." So, save your work and avoid heartbreak.


Question:

How do I view my marks in a course?

(Last edited: Thursday, 23 October 2014, 10:55 AM)
Answer:

To get full feedback from your course facilitator plus the marks you achieved, you need to return to the activity after it has been marked, but to see your marks for all the assessments on a particular course, you must click the Grades link in the Administration block (left hand side) of your course screen:

admin block

This will display your User Report, which contains the mark and general feedback you received so far for every assessment on the course. It also shows you the course total (aggregate) to date:

gradebook

In this example, only the first assessment (Sample quiz 1) has been marked. The formula for this course total gives the two quizzes equal weight and ignores the assignments altogether. (Obviously, it is not normal to exclude assignments in the total!)

As your mark for each assessment is captured, the course mark will be recalculated to include it. The course total is calculated according to the formula specified in your study materials; it differs from course to course.


Question:

What are the distinction marks?

(Last edited: Thursday, 11 December 2014, 1:26 PM)
Answer:
The level for distinction in all undergraduate degrees is 80%.  In the postgraduate school, honours and master's degrees have a cum laude distinction at 75%.  PhD level study only has pass or fail.

Question:

What do I do when I need help with my assignment?

(Last edited: Friday, 12 December 2014, 1:28 PM)
Answer:

If you would like to discuss any part of your coursework you can contact the your course tutor. His/her contact details may be found on the course home page. 


Question:

How do I obtain an extension for an exam or assignment?

(Last edited: Friday, 12 December 2014, 1:35 PM)
Answer:

Extensions are only granted in extreme circumstances such as severe illness or death in the family. Please contact the Registrar.




Question:

How do I pay?

(Last edited: Friday, 12 December 2014, 1:50 PM)
Answer:

Option 1: Bank Deposit

Banking Details:

  • NAME OF BANK: First National
  • BRANCH: Fourways View
  • BRANCH NUMBER: 251655
  • NAME OF ACCOUNT: S A Theological Seminary
  • CHEQUE ACCOUNT #: 51321182366

Option 2: Online payment at SATS website

You can also pay online at our website www.sats.edu.za with a credit card. To access our online payment facility:

Click on Pay Online

Option 3: Internet Banking

You can make an online transfer from your bank account to the SATS bank account using the information in Option 1.

Option 4: International payments

Foreign students, if you cannot pay by one of the above-mentioned options you will need to pay by Tele-transmission - please do not send personal cheques. You will need to go to your bank and fill in a form. You will need the following information:

  • SWIFT ADDRESS: FIRNZAJJ
  • NAME OF BANK: First National Bank Division of First Rand Bank Ltd.
  • BRANCH: Shop rs0032, Fourways View, Corner of Cedar & Witkoppen Rds, Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • BRANCH NUMBER: 251655
  • NAME OF ACCOUNT: S A Theological Seminary
  • ACCOUNT #: 51321182366

Should you wish to come into SATS to enrol or pick up your courses there are credit card facilities available.

ALL PAYMENTS MADE TO SATS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

PLEASE email or fax confirmation of payment. Please include your name and student number.


Question:

How do I write exams?

(Last edited: Friday, 12 December 2014, 1:58 PM)
Answer:

The instructions on MySats will tell you all that you need to know about the nature of the test.  For most part, SATS makes use of open-book, multiple-choice tests which do not require an invigilator.


Question:

When do I pay?

(Last edited: Friday, 12 December 2014, 2:05 PM)
Answer:

To enrol you will need to pay the amount indicated on your Application feedback letter, which includes the enrolment fee (once off) as well as credits earned from non-accredited institutions or through life experience, and the amount for your first two courses.

Students who are enrolling for subsequent courses should pay the amount for those courses and fax or email proof of payment. Once we have your payment confirmation, we will upload or send your courses.


Question:

Will I be able to contact other students?

(Last edited: Friday, 12 December 2014, 2:06 PM)
Answer:

Some coursework may involve interaction with other students through the MySats website.  There may be other opportunities to interact with fellow students in the open student fora as well. However, students' private contact details are not shared without written consent from the student. Our our current database does not provide for this.  


Question:

How much bandwidth or data do I need for a single course?

(Last edited: Friday, 20 February 2015, 12:49 PM)
Answer:

The amount of data required for one course will vary greatly, depending on the course in question.  The counseling courses, for example are interactive and employ multimedia content across all courses.  For this reason, counseling courses require more bandwidth and data than most other courses.

At the present time, most Bth courses require fairly modest data usage.  With a few exceptions, one could safely estimate approximately 50-100MB of data per course, not counting any data needed to research for your assignments.  With research included, we would suggest an estimated 150-200MB of data per course.

NB. Some courses are more interactive, requiring audio lectures, teleconferencing, or other multimedia components.  In these cases data consumption would be much higher.  Here are some of our interactive courses and some guidelines on the amount of data consumed in each course.

  • Introduction to Biblical Greek/Hebrew
    • This is a full-year course consisting of weekly teleconferenced lectures and interaction with course content.  It would not be unusual to consume more than 2gb of data for each term (BGK1121 and BGK1122/BHB1121 and BHB1122).
  • All courses in the Higher Certificate for Christian Counseling (HCCC)
    • All counseling courses are comprised largely of SCORM lectures, consisting of audio and slide presentations.  One should plan to consume 500Mb - 1Gb of data for each counseling course.  Not counting any data required for your research.
  • THE2123 - Doctrine of Salvation
    • This particular course in the Bth consists of extensive audio lectures and other interactions.  One should expect to consume at least 500Mb of data for this course, not including what is required to complete the research.


Some Suggestions for Conserving Bandwidth

Many courses contain video introductions.  Although these videos are helpful and do contribute an aspect of variety to the course, they are not required, nor do they contain any content not found in the study guides or other course documents.  If your bandwidth is tight, avoid watching the videos, or try to watch them when you connected to the internet via a public Wifi hotspot.

For courses that consist of audio or multimedia components, you may be able to download some of these elements whilst ustilising a public Wifi hotspot or other terrestrial link.  If possible, avoid downloading this components whilst on mobile data.


Question:

Why Can't I go beyond the profile screen?

(Last edited: Thursday, 14 May 2015, 2:06 PM)
Answer:

If you are logging in for the first time, or if your email address is refusing our emails, you may find that you will be continuously returned to the profile screen upon login.  The profile screen allows you to edit important details related to your account.  Most things are optional, but your email address is required.  We need a way to get in touch with you, to tell you about upcoming due dates, responses to your forum posts, or when your marked assignments are ready to be collected.  All of these notifications happen over email, so we require a legitimate and fully functional email address.

Adding your email to your profile is straight-forward.  Simply add your email to the indicated field and click "update profile":



After you have successfully recorded your email address, our system will send a confirmation link to the address you have provided just to ensure you can receive our emails and that you have not made any typing mistakes.  Just click the confirmation link and you will be ready to go on the MySats system.  This process usually only takes a minute or two, so if you do not see the confirmation email, make sure you check your spam filters to ensure it didn't end up there.  We also recommend that you add the address "noreply@sats.edu.za" to your address book, just to make sure MySats emails are not trapped in your spam folders.  If after checking your spam folder/junk mail, you still do not find the confirmation link, please contact us using the Live Help or Email us link at the top of the MySats page.  We keep a close watch on bounced emails, so if our emails are not getting through we might be able to help you out.


Question:

I stopped getting forum notifications. What can I do to fix it?

(Last edited: Thursday, 14 May 2015, 2:17 PM)
Answer:

If you suddenly discover that you are not receiving our emails, make sure you check that your email on file is current.  You can do this by editing your profile.  Click the user menu on the top right > click preferences > edit profile.   (see how here).

If there is an old email on file which you are no longer using, make sure you provide your new address and confirm it using the link that will be sent.

If your email has not changed, but mail from our system has suddenly stopped, make sure you have our address (noreply@sats.edu.za) stored in your address book to prevent any spam protection features from trapping our emails.

Finally, if you have done all the above and still do not receive our mail, try contacting us using the "Email us" or "Live Help" links at the top of the MySats webpage.  We monitor bounced emails closely, so we may be able to help.


Question:

Do I need textbooks?

(Last edited: Monday, 18 May 2015, 8:29 AM)
Answer:

All of the courses within SATS' first year curriculum are self contained and therefore do not need any textbooks, with the exception of the following:

Greek and Hebrew:

  • Mounce, W. 2003. Basics of Biblical Greek (Second Edition). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
  • Pratico, G. and van Pelt, M. 2007. Basics of Biblical Hebrew (Second Edition). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Higher Certificate in Christian Counselling:

  • Collins, G. 2007. Christian Counseling - a Comprehensive Guide (Third Edition). Dallas: Nelson.
  • McMinn, M.R. & Campbell, C.D. 2007 Integrative Psychotherapy - toward a Comprehensive Christian Approach. IVP Academic
  • Meier, Minirth, Wichern & Ratcliff. 1999. Introduction to Psychology and Counseling: Christian Perspectives and Applications. 2nd Ed. Baker Books.
  • Tan, S. 1991. Lay Counseling: Equipping Christians for a Helping Ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

The third year subject, PRA3121 - Conflict and Reconciliation requires the following textbook:

  • Sande, Ken. 2004. The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict Grand Rapids: Baker Books.

READERS: Due to the fact that many of the prescribed theological textbooks are sometimes difficult to find and extremely expensive, the South African Theological Seminary has compiled Readers for courses within the Higher Certificate and Bachelor programmes.

These Readers include selected extracts from all the books recommended for the courses in these two programmes, as well as a selection of other relevant documents which we are sure will assist you as you complete each assignment. So that we do not infringe any copyright laws, we have signed a contract with the Dramatic Arts and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO), the terms of which enable us to include these extracts in the Readers.

Although the Readers are provided to you free of charge, you will still have the option to obtain the textbooks if you would prefer.

Our agreement with DALRO does not allow us to distribute Reader electronically. However, we have received permission to store them on a secure website from which SATS students can access them. Please note that the Readers are exclusively for the use of SATS students.



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