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.
Distance learning: Putting the practice back into theory
Further studies such as Masters and Doctorate degrees are often completed part-time in order to accommodate an already busy life and career. But distance learning can also allow students the opportunity to concurrently put the theory they are researching into practice. Franciscan Sister Minoress Patricia Jordan is a case in point. While completing her Doctoral research into Franciscan solitude at the Greenwich School of Theology, she chose to stay in full time ministry at the convent of St Clare in Derbyshire and oversee the building of a Portiuncula.
This Franciscan retreat, which was recently nominated for an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects, is based on the Portiuncula in Assisi where the Franciscan movement started and contains five hermitages that practically reflect its principles of simplicity and contemplative prayer.“I wanted sound and rigorous biblical and Franciscan research to find expression in a new building that would meet the spiritual needs of twenty-first century Christians,” explains Sr Patricia, Novice Mistress and Director of Formation at St Clare. “I had to find a way forward that would suit my present commitments and yet allow something new to emerge both theoretically and practically. Greenwich School of Theology gave me the support I needed to translate my dream into reality.
I remained in full time ministry and managed to study at a pace that suited my needs.” This Portiuncula with its eco-friendly features and beautiful views over the Derbyshire countryside was not the only result of Sr Patricia’s research – she has also written two books, recently published by Gracewing Publications: An Affair of the Heart and Come Apart and Rest a While.
“It would not have been possible for me to complete study at this depth if residential weeks or weekends were required,” notes Sr Patricia, who has now added the role of Director of the Portiuncula to her many achievements.
I received speedy and wise advice from my Promoters, Profs Rees and Du Plooy.
Throughout the three years of my full time research for my PhD I was faciliated in every way by both the Administrative Staff at GST(UK) and the North West University, South Africa. I received speedy and wise advice from my Promoters, Profs Rees and Du Plooy. Both men offered me scholarly guidance and patient help and nothing seemed to be a nuisance to them. They encouraged me and when my research was going off course they told me so! I came to respect and admire them, both as academics and Christian gentlemen.
The UK and South African Administrative Staff were excellent too. I never had to wait too long for advice. The whole experince of working with GST(UK) and the North West University proved to be enjoyable and profitable while, at the same time, very demanding. I can and will recommend the GST/NWU to anyone desirous of higher theological education.
Equivalent to a regionally accredited degree from a higher educational institution in the United States
I just received official documentation from World Education Services (WES) that my PhD from North-West University, a nationally accredited degree, is equivalent to a regionally accredited degree from a higher educational institution in the United States. The news is really great not only for me but also for both Greenwich School of Theology and NWU.
I want to encourage GST and NWU to be listed on WES as a world-wide institution of higher education at http://www.wes.org/ In so doing, you may attract students not only from the USA but all around the world.
Please share the news with the faculty and staff at GST and my spiritual brothers and sisters in South Africa.
My experience with GST/NWU has been very gratifying and rewarding
My experience with GST/NWU has been very gratifying and rewarding. While the work required was demanding, my supervisors guided me through the entire process, not only providing me excellent academic assistance but also meaningful personal support and encouragement. The British system of supervised research is tailor-made to the needs of self-motivated pastors and interested others who wish to pursue higher academic credentials granted by an accredited university. I highly recommend the GST/NWU program.
The degree is actually granted by North-West University (South Africa). This university has 60,000 students on three campuses. Also they have an excellent library and many journals (many digitalized) that students can access for their research. This is important.
The demands were quite high but not overly so in my opinion. I originally submitted my doctoral thesis over one year ago and I was sent back to the “drawing board” to do another year’s work. My thesis ended up at 160,000 words, which of course is much longer than required but I wanted to write more than is required.
The people I worked with, both in England and South Africa were friendly and helpful. I recommend the program.
This is a great program!
I am currently in my 3rd year at Greenwich School of Theology and am more excited than ever. This is a great program!
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