Through a unique relationship with the Greenwich School of Theology (UK), students can earn bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees from North West University (Potchefstroom Campus), South Africa. Prospective students enroll through Greenwich and then work with Greenwich and North West tutors throughout the duration of the program. North West University then confers the degree on the student. While such an approach is unusual with the American system of higher education, institutional accrediting relationships are not uncommon in the British higher education system.
Greenwich School of Theology was founded in 1958 as an independent, non-denominational, non-sectarian theological institute. Originally offering courses in the USA as the Geneva Theological College, the work of the School was extended to the UK by the perseverance of the late Dr Rupert Judge and, through the years, considerable academic research and study has been achieved. In 1990, the School changed its name to Greenwich School of Theology.
Now, as then, the School maintains its own independent board of governors, tutors, examiners and external examiners, offering students distance-learning opportunities that lead to fully accredited degrees at Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral levels. The School's prospectus emphasises in its mission statement that prospective students "must be prepared to adopt a broad, scholarly and critical approach" and that its governing ethos is "firmly based on the academic study of Theology and related subjects".
GST is a non-profit making organisation, offering opportunities for higher education to those students who, for valid reasons, may not be able to pursue or possibly afford such courses elsewhere. Its faculty members are appropriately qualified academically to provide tutorial support to students and every effort is made by the Dean to facilitate direct contact between tutor/student wherever possible. This can be achieved directly or, as we are seeing in increasing measure, electronically.
The eight examiners of the School, as identified in the prospectus, are highly qualified academics with broad, varied experience and professional expertise. Their role is to offer guidance and advice to students as their course details are being decided, and to assess the finished work in accordance with the accrediting body, North West University (Potchefstroom Campus), South Africa.
In recognition of the School's mark of excellence, the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council (ODLQC) granted accreditation to GST in September 1997, welcoming its "important and distinctive role, which is not covered by any other accredited college ".