An exciting and challenging experience
Studying with Greenwich School of Theology has been an exciting and challenging experience. The academics are of the highest standards and the work is both taxing and searching. Both academic promotors where vigorous in their direction and insightful in their critique. They were approachable and responded very quickly and concisely to the work as it was submitted. The whole process was efficiently aided through the administrative staff of Peg Evans, Tienie Buys and Karen Kirk. As a parish cleric in a busy local congregation being able to study without ever leaving home was an added bonus. I would recommend Greenwich School of Theology to anyone, their academics are rigorous and robust, their organisation is second to none and they occupy a unique place within the British academy by combining distance theological learning with the academic excellence of North West University, Potchefstroom.
GST gave me the flexibility I needed
GST gave me the flexibility I needed to undertake research from wherever my work took me in the UK and overseas. I appreciated the assistance given by the NWU library staff who responded quickly to requests for assistance in finding resources and made me feel that I was part of the university. The academic promoters stretched me to achieve the high standards required, for which I am grateful. In the UK and SA offices, the administrative staff encouraged and supported me throughout the academic process.
The highlight for me was attending the 2016 doctoral graduation at the Potchefstroom campus and meeting my co-promoter for the first time. I enjoyed visiting the historic university campus and taking part in the graduation ceremony. The atmosphere was friendly, celebratory and yet the tone was humble as we were reminded to give thanks to God for what he had enabled us to do. Afterwards, we had opportunity to meet the university administration in a celebratory meal and the next day, GST students were hosted by the Theology Department both on campus and off campus. The time was especially poignant for me as I had done my first degree in South Africa over 30 years ago and so it felt like a homecoming. I even discovered that I had not forgotten how to speak Afrikaans!
I will strongly recommend the GST/NWU programmes to everyone
My first GST/NWU contacts were with Peg Evans of GST and Tienie Buys of NWU, who shared with me all necessary information about my PhD program in theology, and got me started with the formalities. Soon after, I was working with my promoters, who were first promoter, Professor Koos Vorster and Second promoter professor Riaan Rheeder. I had long wanted to work with my project, which pertained to investment ethics, as seen from a Christian-ethical perspective, using the existing investment guidelines of the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund as basis for my research. From my research, my main findings was that investments always are value driven, and that investments may be performed within the traditional banking paradigm, but be guided by Christian-ethical principles and norms. From my research, I introduced a new investment methodology based on Christian ethics, which is termed as the Reoriented Investment Protocol, which will be foundational for his continued research here at NWU. No more than two and a half years after my starting the project, I was in Potchefstroom attending a fabulous graduation ceremony at NWU. I travelled there with my wife, and we were superbly taken care of by NWU/GST staff and faculty, for a full week! I will certainly look forward to my next visit, and in the meanwhile, I will strongly recommend the GST/NWU programmes to everyone that could find interest in attending. Thank you all at GST/NWU!
My experience was highly positive
My experience was highly positive first and foremost because of the support and infrastructure within GST & NWU. They were always sympathetic and available to encourage, direct and inspire. The feedbacks from my professors were always egging me to successfully complete what I had started. The administrative staff were quick and responsive to my needs and these made a huge difference. The PhD was distance learning. I never met my professors or the administrative staff until the graduation day. This goes to show how efficient the communication infrastructure was. We were in contact via emails and phone calls to administration. It took me nearly 5 years to complete. I am a Pastor, I work full time in education, married with children and have other commitments in my community. I could have finished in 3 years if I had all the time in the world. In essence, I am saying that it is doable. The reward and the feeling you get at completion are unexplainable.
I would heartily recommend GST
I did my PhD through GST and it took me about four years, although I had been working on the research area for a few years before that. I did it on a quasi-full time basis. This means that although I was working, my work allowed me to do much study. What I found most helpful was the support that I received from GST and North West University. GST is excellent in that they reply to emails very quickly, they guide you through every step of the way and they are always ready and willing to step in when you are in difficulty. I also found the North West library staff very helpful in helping me to trace and obtain obscure material. They too were only too willing to offer their services whenever I needed it. My supervisors were excellent too – quick to reply to emails, thorough in making corrections and suggestions, always learned and up-to-date in their area of specialisation.
From my experience, I would heartily recommend GST. They are authorised, well-known and established and genuinely interested in helping their students to improve and flourish.
I am so grateful to God for my GST/NWU experience
Being able to attend the graduation in Potchefstroom was a particular blessing that my wife and I will cherish for the rest of our lives! It was a moving culmination of the years of research and writing. But, as was mentioned during the ceremony, I am reminded that receiving the PhD is not the end, but only the beginning of the journey. The graduates were charged with the responsibility to press the boundaries of knowledge through continuing research, writing, and teaching. May the Lord grant me wisdom, discipline, and strength to glorify him in new and better ways.
From a grateful graduate,
My experience as a student was so very rewarding
I want to express my deep appreciation to all of you at GST. My experience as a student was so very rewarding and I could not be more pleased with the PhD program and the level of instruction and support that I received. I am most happy to recommend GST to anyone interested, and if there is any way that I may serve you in this way I am most delighted do so.
I highly recommend your program
The road travelled for my doctoral program at NWU/GST has been arduous but never onerous. Like its subject, the sweet journey of research and composition has aided me in a measure of intimacy with God in relationship and beholding his glory. Of course, there are the many conversations, debates, and disputations with other seeking individuals and communities over time and present, in person, in books and other forms of media, which contributed to a rigorous process of the independent, dialectical, heuristic processes of learning. A special note of gratitude to those whom allowed me, at times, differing views from their own; although, often rigorously questioning my support for such conjectures and recommending helpful readings. Among them, thanks to Professor Dr. Lioy‘s for his rigor, reviews, related research, book recommendations, including his monographs, attention to detail, and especially alternative viewpoints on Lutheranism. Thanks to Professor Dr. Vorster for his extensive critiques, recommended research, and reading sources especially in the subject of imago Dei, his recommendations of Van Huyssteen Alone in the World? and Canlis‘s Calvin’s Ladder. Both promoters have been of great value to this doctoral work and to my personal growth and understanding especially in the areas of academic standards, dogmatics, and spiritual transformation. Although his involvement was brief, Professor Dr. Warner, too, has been of great value to this endeavour and me. His understanding heart provided comfort regarding critiques that can, at times, seem too punctilious and personal in nature.
Liaison Administrator, Dr. Peggy Evans‘ pleasant reception at GST, Central Office UK, has been a kind guide in the process of administrational necessities and standard UK English usage, thesis format, and expectations. I treasure her gentleness. Also thanks to Tienie Buys, a Liaison Administrator in the Faculty of Theology at North-West University, Potchefstroom, who joined the process a bit later, for her part in assuring an uninterrupted NWU connection. I extend my gratitude for the library services of the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus. The access to extensive journal and academic resources was especially useful to my research, arguments, and composition. Such access, without the provisions of NWU, would have been prohibitively cumbersome and expensive. The incidents of my life, both trials and mercies, have taught me deeply and enriched me beyond measure. Whatever small light I may have been able to shine in this work is due to God‘s mercies, the people, and the incidents noted. Moreover, of exceeding note, it is God‘s mercy and grace that have nourished me, nurtured me, and made me capable for this task. Thank you North-West University, Potchefstroom and Greenwich School of Theology. I highly recommend your program to anyone seeking the highest education able to participate in the rigors of independent study in the spirit of a Cambridge approach.
I received expert guidance
Throughout my Ph.D. research at GST, I received expert guidance, constructive criticism, and sincere encouragement from my advisors and the administration. The fruitful process not only resulted in a published book (Music in Biblical Life, McFarland & Co., 2013), but also opportunities for career advancement at the seminary where I teach and work as an administrator (Academy for Jewish Religion, California). I have eternal gratitude for the rigorous and inspiring instruction I experienced at GST.
The best academic experience I have had
For several years I had been interested in doing a research doctorate in Theology through a South African university. The affiliation between NWU and GST made this practical and affordable. The experience turned out to be the best academic experience I have had. The GST staff and my promoters exceeded all my expectations, providing the timely guidance and thoughtful criticism that greatly improved the quality of my work. Upon completing the program, I was fully satisfied with the process and the many wonderful scholars who had invested their energies in my scholarship and the fulfillment of my goals. Best of all, I fulfilled the research agenda of my adult life through this program.
Upon completion of the degree, I submitted my doctoral credential to ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators), which is required by my university to verify non-US equivalency. As expected, ECE verified the equivalency, so the degree has improved my standing within my university community, which was one of my goals in seeking the degree. I have and will continue to recommend this excellent program to other colleagues in my field who are interested in a doctoral program.
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