Who is the MTh programme for:

The programme is designed for those Christian students who want to receive a degree from an internationally recognised university while remaining in their ministry setting. OCRPL is keen to equip future Christian leaders, particularly those who intend to teach Islamic studies and set up Islamic Departments in their local universities, colleges or seminaries. The degree is recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and will also suit those who want to continue their education and do a PhD degree.

Examples may be:

  1. A seminary lecturer from the 2/3rds world who seeks a Master’s degree in order to teach in the field of religion and culture.
  2. A mission leader who has significant experience in missions who will gain useful expertise for ongoing mission work in the field of religion and culture.
  3. Church ministers guiding their constituency in their relations to a majority religion who wish to upgrade their competencies and credentials.
  4. People involved in ministry in the public square, such as Christian development, religion, politics or Christian ethics.

Qualification required:

Graduate students with a degree in theology or similar with a commitment to approaching the questions surrounding religion and conflict in their region academically.

About the MTh programme

The blended-learning MTh Religion and Culture Studies programme is a combination of online conferences, regular Zoom seminars, and a residence programme (Covid-19 permitting in 2022/2023). The programme consists of five taught modules followed by a mini-dissertation.

Module 1: Research Methodology (20 credits)

Module 2: Hermeneutics (10 credits)

Module 3: Living Islam (20 credits)

Module 4: History of Islam (20 credits)

Module 5: Christian-Muslim Encounters (20 credits)

Qur’anic Arabic for Beginners

Mini-dissertation/ MTh thesis (90 credits)

The first module is an intensive two-week Research Methodology seminar. Following this, students meet for weekly online sessions (except for Christmas and Easter breaks). Students will complete preparatory readings and submit their reading assignments before each session. At the end of each module, students write an essay (10 pages). OCRPL offers Qur’anic Arabic for Beginners’ alongside the coursework. Once students finish with their coursework, they commence writing their mini-dissertation (60-62 pages). The dissertation is worth 90 credits and should be submitted within a six months period. On completion of the programme, the student will have achieved 180 credits.

OCRPL Partnership with UP and IUDI

The University of Pretoria  is one of Africa’s top universities and the largest contact university in South Africa. We produce socially impactful research to find solutions for the world’s most pressing issues. We have a high quality of teaching and learning in the classroom, online, or in communities. We have support in place for our students to graduate on time as well-rounded, responsible citizens fully prepared for the world beyond university.

OCRPL runs the programme in partnership with the University of Pretoria (UP) in South Africa and IUDI in Cameroon. The content of the OCRPL programme is essentially the same, whether a student is registered at UP or IUDI. The only differences are:

  1. The Master’s Degree awarded by UP or IUDI according to registration
  2. University of Pretoria requirement for a prior clearance from The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)
  3. Some variations in the administrative procedures and requirements
  4. Emphasis – more academic approach at UP and more missions-oriented at IUDI
  5. Overall cost


If you aim to enrol at the University in Pretoria, you will be required to get a SAQA clearance first. SAQA is the South African Qualifications Authority that evaluates oversees diplomas and assigns a score for them. A minimum required score for the MTh programme at the University of Pretoria is eight. One can apply for SAQA online: https://www.saqa.org.za/.

OCRPL knows which institutions are validated by SAQA for their qualifications. These are mainly state recognised universities but do include some other theological training institutions. Before deciding which university to apply for, we would recommend checking first with OCRPL as to whether your institutional qualification at Bachelor’s level is on the SAQA list. We can also tell you which Institutions are definitely not on SAQA’s list through experiences with previous candidates. Getting clearance from SAQA is a lengthy process and fees vary. OCRPL will help to cover SAQA fees for eligible candidates.

Duration of the programme:

The duration of the MTh program is 18-24 months with a two-week online intensive seminar in the first year, and a possible two-week residential conference in 2022/2023 (depending on the Covid-19 situation; otherwise a residential conference will be again conducted as a two-week intensive online seminars in 2022/2023).

There is a possibility of finishing the whole programme in one year, if all the assignments and MTh thesis are submitted ahead of schedule.

Estimated Cost:

The estimated fees for the 2022-2023 year are as follows:

First year:

University of Pretoria:

$20 registration fee + $1,568 tuition fee = $1,588 per year

IUDI in Cameroon:

$30 registration fee + 1,112 tuition fee = $1,142 per year

Second year:

The estimated fee for the second year is lower for IUDI, but the same for UP.

You, your institution or sponsoring body will be requested to cover the fees for the course.

There may be a possibility of providing a partial scholarship (up to 50%) but only to selected candidates. Please see the scholarship application here