Frequently Asked Questions

We list here some of the most frequently asked questions that come up when a church plans to present a Bible School using the CLT material:

1.  Who or what is CLT?

Calvary Life Tutors under the name Christian Life was a Private Higher Educational Institute, with accreditation from SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) and CHE (Council on Higher Education) during 2000 and until August 2003. It voluntary withdrew from accreditation when better options became apparent. We continued to offer mentoring for short courses which students opted to follow as skills development and life enrichment (at Bible Schools or Tuition Centres) to be evaluated by RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) as entrenched in the Education Law.

CLT now publishes course-material for training members in Ministry and Church Management. The material and suggested training method is of such high quality that the students can receive RPL for secular work and qualifications. In other words the work done can be credit-banked through an RPL evaluation towards a Certificate, Diploma and a Bachelor of Ministry or other degree at, for instance, any College or University.

The student can find a study group at a local Bible School where discussion groups, lectures and skills training are offered on a part time basis. This is what traditionally takes place in fulfillment of Christ's Great Commission. In order to earn a Bachelor degree, a student registers with Calvary and works mainly on his or her own while being mentored in close contact with a Tutor. The Bible School is run by the Pastor of the local Church as a registered Tuition Centre of Calvary Life Tutors in order to get academic advice for Tutors and can purchase suitable Calvary Academics material.

These courses are ahead of its time in being based on Objective Directed Learning. It takes the student through all the doctrines, but from a very practical point of view in order to transform the student in his or her ministry. We also offer mentoring to a study group for Masters and Doctorate of Ministry programmes for students who have registered at Calvary University. Other universities may also send students. The new material currently developed is published under the name Calvary Academics, which is our own label.

2.  How does it work?

The range of prescribed lectures may be presented in the local Church to their members and other Christians. Each student gets his/her set of illustrated lecture notes in book form (only available in two languages). The Pastor and chosen Church leaders present three lectures of forty minutes on one weekday night. No lectures need to be given during school holidays and therefore provides material for about 42 weeks. Students who are isolated from a Tuition Centre study on their own through a Tutor at their local church – with the help and the co-operation of their Pastor. This is, however, not our preferred method. Personal contact and example of life is the Biblical principle.

3.  What are the advantages of a local Bible School?

Students do not need to give up their job and relocate to a seminary. Since there is no high cost due to paid staff and special facilities, study fees are only a fraction of the normally offered prices. The student takes on the character of his own church and remains active in the body. Travel costs are reduced. Due to these advantages, a high percentage of members participate in the Bible School (10–50%). Each student must also make three disciples. Spiritual growth of the students boosts the morale in the church. A healthy and natural church growth is the result. Due to the group effect, the group-and-lecture study method is far more successful than secular correspondence studies without Tutor.

4.  When and how does one start?

Start any time of the year, preferably at the beginning of the first term or mid–year. Promote the Centre about three to four weeks beforehand. Show the study material to the students. Explain the definition and scriptural basis of the course to them. Show them how it conforms to the accreditation standards for recognition of prior learning. Give them a Ministry Prospectus (pdf) for further details. Tell them what the initial enrolment (R500) and the monthly tuition fees (R320) will be.

5.  How do we promote a Bible School?

It is important that you motivate the members about this new concept in your church. Let them feel that they need to be part of it if at all possible. Show them the sample material. Distribute promotional leaflets (see sample). Hand out some copies of the prospectus to the leaders, elders and enquiring students. Make sure that they realize they will be students (discipline) and will receive certificates (awards) at the end. Indicate that you expect current and future leaders to have gone as far as possible on the CLT Ministry course.

6.  Why have a Bible School and attendance Certificates?

Do not underestimate the importance of recognition. Most of these documents will be framed and displayed. To have consistent attendance of the lectures and have students who push through to the end, it is a successful incentive. Without the structured School and attendance Certificate concept, your studies for whoever wants to attend¯ could last only a few weeks. These awards also will have real value in the job market place (many Chaplains) and can count towards further training through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). As Calvary Life Tutors uses the Calvary Academics material and followed CQA (Christian Quality Assurance) for the educational standards, Calvary University accepts our credits for their qualifications 100%.

7.  What will your mentoring mean elsewhere?

The programme has been compared to most other available training material. It has been found to be of an exceptionally high standard and quality. As a result about 250 churches across South Africa have implemented this material to start a Bible School. About 12,000 students have or are studying through these courses in Tuition Centres or through Distance Tutors at their local Church. A Calvary student having completed the training for Ministry and as Church Leader should therefore be received in any of the Charismatic or Pentecostal denomination and it is well known amongst pastors of 24 different denominations and now has official SA accreditation.

8.  My Church Board is interested – what is my first step?

We can send you a Starter Pack, which includes a Lecture Book as an example. A follow-up on this is a set of the master forms as part of the Administration Pack. These are to be printed to be used for administration. The masters include the registration form. Carefully read the Centre Guide before you start. We suggest you print out about 10 or 20 copies of the Concise Prospectus to hand out to serious prospective students. We also supply an Accreditation Guide and the CQA Blue Book for registration with Christian Quality Assurance. The Blue Book must be completed before you will receive your CQA Certificate of Accreditation as Centre.

9.  What do I do when I receive the information material?

First of all lay the matter before the leadership of the church. Discuss all the advantages for the church and the members. Let them page through some of the books. Show them the range of topics and the logical progression. Get them become excited about the Bible School and Tuition Centre concept. Set a target date to start. Pre-register students by taking their names and giving them a student number. Students will realize it is for real, something is going to happen. (Final registration involving fees will come later.)

10.  How do we present the lectures?

Get some of the elders, leaders or students who are able to teach¯ to help you with the lecturing whilst studying. Every lecturer who goes through the course can also receive an attendance Certificate or Diploma. (They do not need to do it a year ahead of the others.) In the second Phase/year, you may have enough lecturers so that you only need to teach some of the topics and can give your time to other matters of the church. Lecturers should register for a Diploma in Mentoring (two years). It is advisable to show the students that the Bible School is an important part of your vision to make disciples and train workers as well as equipping leaders.

11. How is the Bible School organized?

Appoint lecturers, an Administrator and a Dean (head of the Tuition Centre). If you do not have an associate Pastor working with you, one of the leading members may assume this position. Every Tuition Centre must also have a Quality Officer. This is a person with a B.Ed or HDE or similar educational qualification. He/she will mark 10% of the tests at the end of the year, especially the lowest and highest marks. The Quality Officer may also be able to give a few lectures to improve the skills of the lecturers. Most of the forms you need have already been designed for you. The Masters Forms in the Centre Guide gives an indication as to how the masters could be used. They are provided in the Admin Pack.

12. How do we order more lecture books?

When you know more or less the number of students that will attend, you may order the material from us between 8:00 am and 3 pm Monday to Friday. We will send you the first six books with an invoice enclosed. Orders are usually posted the same day if the order was placed before 11:00 am. Parcels should arrive 3 to 4 days later. Should you wish to collect, we can give you your parcels when you arrive. Orders are usually picked up by PostNet on Tuesday and Thursday if the order was placed before 10:30 am. To post the whole year's curriculum for one student costs R75. (R15 per Kg) Parcels should arrive 2 to 3 days later at PostNet. Should you wish to collect, you will have them when you arrive here. Ask for PostNet when you ordered late. Otherwise we will use the Post Office as in the past for the cheapest service. If you have an account with another courier, they may give you a speedy service. We do not contract with other couriers.

International parcels are sent by airmail from airpot to airport by air parcel post if you order for the whole year and for all the students. You will then have to clear the goods (quite easy) or use an agent (which is expensive). We then need your Physical Address as well as a telephone number and contact person. If you live near an international airport, it is not too difficult to clear goods. It is just a matter of filling in some forms. All extra costs are for the Tuition Centre’s account. Note: In 2014 we sent 14 full sets to Perth for R3926.

13. What about the finances?

The material is made available to you on a Bible School account. The three digit account number is used for ordering and must be indicated when payments are made. You should plan to send the balance of the account within 7 to 30 days. To register as a Christian Tuition Centre costs R200 plus R195 for the information material. An amount of R150 per year will be charged at the end of April as an accreditation fee which covers our accreditation costs.

You should also keep an accurate record of the student’s payments on a copy of one of the forms provided. If there is a shortfall, the church board should undertake to make up the balance. Some students could perhaps be subsidized to 50% or sponsored 100% by you. Do this after careful consideration. If any lecturer wants to upgrade their own qualification, the local Bible School should consider to grant a bursary for the first lecturer who is willing to study for a Bachelor in Ministry.

14.  How do students receive credits?

The Bible School registers as a Tuition Centre of Calvary Life Tutors (R200 fee), facilitates lectures and gives the students Lecture Books and Work Books. The students write mentoring tests and the TC allocates practical marks for their skills and assignments. The total pass mark is 50% for the Certificates, 55% for the Diploma and 60% for students who have registered at a University to complete the Bachelor programme. First Class is set at 70% and Cum Laude is 80% (usually not more than about 20% of the Phase 1 class). The first three Phases (three academic years) gives the student 240 credits to offer as RPL (80 on Cert level and 2 x 80 on Diploma level). The Calvary University considers that the three years of part time studies are a sufficient prerequisite to be accepted for the third year degree program (B.Min.), phase 4 and 5.

Following the new educational trend of reaching OUTCOMES, the B.Min year material is designed to emphasize the function of the FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY of Eph 4:11,12. This programme consists of 17 modules in two phases. It provides 150 credits of 10 nominal hours each. Of these, 30 credits are of a Management or Pastoral nature. The course therefore allows portable credits from a B.Com. degree or other Management qualifications. Extra modules (up to 70 credits) may be taken in order to apply for a major in Theology, Pastoral Counselling or Church Management. This is indicated by means of an endorsement.

15.  Can we start at the Leadership Training Course?

Calvary mentors students through a life-long learning experience. When offering prior learning credits to an educational institution, they will look at the logical sequence of such learning. All the Bible Schools therefore do the topics consecutively in their logical order. Leadership is part of the second Phase (Diploma in Leadership) and is not a separate programme. A Certificate or Diploma can therefore only be earned by doing every individual course in its natural order. A student who has completed another ministry or theological programme and/or can present prior learning credits due to years of ministry experience and seniority, may be allowed to start at the Diploma year. In this case the leadership modules will be the first material the student will receive.

16.  Where does evangelism fit in?

The Evangelism Training Modules can be presented as it best fits in with your church year program. It can be presented as a seminar on a weekend or camp. All students should receive the Evangelism Kit, which is a sample set of outreach and discipleship guides.

Evangelism has two sections. The Evangelism Training is the basic training course and should be presented first to the students. This deals with the how to¯. After practical experience, the Soulwinners Guide is presented. This part of the course is more problem-solution orientated.

17. What about the practical work?

The assignments in the back of the A5 books are practical and employ discussion, meditation or report writing. Two of these assignments count towards the first component of the module mark. There is also a prescribed TASK (practical work) for each module. This is marked using a Task Assessment Schedule Kit. This mark is the second component of the module mark. The Workbooks are used to guide students through the lectures again at home. Tests are set using these Workbook questions to attain a third mark. These three marks are added together to provide a composite module mark. Phase 1 to 3 have practical workbooks handling all the practical work: MPX1 to MPX3.
Mentored Students (living too far from a Tuition Centre and having only a Tutor) can register on the Calvary Academics Platform (website) for R120 per qualification and write web-based tests counting 30% of the final mark. The remaining 70% may be marked as formative evaluation by the Tutor as follows: 50% Assignments; 10% Tasks (practical work); 10% Group Work / Discussion. Modules may differ in this. Hereby evaluation is secure in the absence of a nearby Tuition Centre’s quality infra-structure and we have proof of the required tutoring. Distance training is not our preferred way and the student should still attend some offered lectures on Saturdays at a regional Support Centre. Forty such centres are envisioned – eight of them at CU Campuses.

18.  How can a student study further?

Calvary Life Tutors fulfils a quality educational role by publishing material for training students in study groups and Bible Schools. The quality of the material and proposed training method is such that the earned credits can be banked at Calvary University which now has South African accreditation (No 19604/2C/12). Bible Schools who want to offer mentoring for these training courses up to Diploma level (in the form of short courses), register with us to become a Tuition Centre.

Calvary University [CU] has developed a degree year to give their student an opportunity to achieve a Bachelor of Ministry qualification with CLT earned credits. We also help students who have registered for a B.Min (Honours) or an M.Min. or a D.Min. degree. For this we act as mentoringTutors. Calvary is regarded as being on the forefront of mentoring in SA. As the time passes, we may be getting more and more co-operation and recognition from other Universities. The aim is that they will allow the student to continue with an Honours or Masters degree program. This has been made possible by the fact that we have adopted International Standards of Accreditation and are listed by CQA who state that we offer quality education supervision and training facilitation which is on a standard acceptable to Private Higher Educational Institutions, such as CU. Even so, we do not issue qualifications. We only act as tutors.