Our History

 

About Greenwich School of Theology

 

Greenwich School of Theology was founded in 1958 as an independent, non-denominational institution. Originally offering innovative distance-learning degree programmes in the USA as Geneva Theological College, the work of the school was later initiated in the UK through the perseverance of the late Sir Rupert Judge. GST has continued throughout to maintain an independent board of directors, tutors, examiners and external examiners. It is a non-profit making organization (Charity number: 1097904) and remains pledged to its mission statement:

Greenwich School of Theology is committed to the academic study of theological and religious subjects. Students from all backgrounds, who are prepared to adopt a broad scholarly and critical approach, are welcome.

The vision of the School is to enable, equip and empower all those whose aspirations are focused on extending their theological education to do so, irrespective of circumstances that might otherwise hinder their progress.”

From the outset, the necessity for formal accreditation of the School’s degree programmes, by a government funded university, was recognized and driven by the then Dean of Studies, Revd. Professor D Byron Evans. With the support of all GST governors and staff at GST, this goal was finally realised in 1997 when the formal association between Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (now North-West University) and Greenwich School of Theology was confirmed by legal agreement. This enabled GST to co-operate with North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), South Africa: a government funded university founded in the Nineteenth Century and a member of the ACU (Association of Commonwealth Universities). Distance-learning opportunities are offered to students worldwide. These can lead to the award of fully accredited theology degrees at Master’s and Doctoral levels, conferred by NWU in its capacity as an accredited institution.

Essential co-ordination between the staff members of GST and colleagues at NWU is implemented and monitored by the GST Dean, Professor Dries du Plooy. He has held this post since taking retirement as Dean of the Faculty of Theology at NWU. The two institutions continue to develop a close working relationship, to manage educational initiatives and to share in the supervision and vital support of their students. In support of the Dean, two GST Liaison Administrators – Tienie Buys at the Faculty of Theology NWU and Peg Evans at the GST Central Office UK – manage and monitor the day-to-day business of the school.

Those GST tutors and examiners, approved and appointed formally by North-West University, are highly qualified academics with broad and varied experience and professional expertise. In cooperation with their NWU colleagues, each offers guidance and advice to students when their course details are being decided and assesses the developing and finished work so that it meet the regulations and requirements of the accrediting body, North-West University.

In recognition of the School’s mark of excellence, the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council (ODLQC) granted recognition to GST in September 1997, welcoming its “important and distinctive role, which is not covered by any other accredited college”.

 

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