What is SMTI and why does it exist?
SMTI (Strengthening Ministries Training Institute) exists to promote excellence in biblical counselling/discipleship in the local church by training and equipping pastors and other Christians in the theologically accurate and practical use of Scripture in understanding and solving the problems of people, and thus promoting growth in and usefulness for Christ in the church and world.

All the teachers at SMTI are committed to the sufficiency of Scripture in helping their students discover God’s answers to Life’s problems. Our training program is designed to prepare these students to counsel and disciple others from God’s word under the authority of the local Church in South Africa. It is, therefore, the aim of SMTI to strengthen the local church in South Africa by equipping believers to effectively use the Scriptures in their own lives and in the lives of others.

How are the classes in SMTI structured?
At SMTI we plan to offer four training modules per year. The teaching will focus on explaining the theory of counselling and promoting the application of Scripture to Life. Throughout the program we also intend to provide mentorship to students by qualified biblical counsellors.

Each module in the program will be presented over four or five weekends, Friday evening (5:30-8:30) and Saturday (8:30 – 4:30).

Students who have successfully completed the courses in the program will be given the opportunity to attend an Intern programme with SMTI. They will be encouraged to seek certification by NANC (National Association of Nouthetic Counsellors) and guided in the process of certification.

In addition to the regular courses that form the core of the training program, SMTI intends to present seminars that will focus on issues of interest to all Christians and not just those who are interested in being trained to be counsellors.

Similarly, SMTI also plans conduct special Pastors’ Conferences that will focus on subjects related to Biblical Counselling. Speakers at these conferences might include international speakers who are recognized as experts in Biblical counselling.

Who are the teachers in the SMTI program?

Dr Wayne Mack will be the main teacher in the courses taught at SMTI. He is a graduate of Wheaton College, Philadelphia Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary as well as having had extensive graduate studies at LA Salle University, Eastern Baptist Seminary, Wheaton Graduate School and Trinity Evangelical Seminary. Dr Mack was chairman of the graduate and under graduate counselling program at The Master’s College and Seminary. He and his wife Carol are members of and very active at Lynnwood Baptist Church, Pretoria.
Dr Mack is also a charter member of the NANC and for many years served on the executive board of that organization. In 2005, he was named a Member of the Academy of NANC and  Randy Patten, the executive Director of NANC, recently made this comment, “Dr Mack was only the fourth person to receive this prestigious recognition in all of NANC’s thirty one year history. Membership in the Academy is reserved for ordained clergymen who have made a significant contribution to the development of nouthetic (Biblical) counselling.”

Dr Mack will be assisted in the teaching by the following men:

Pastor Sybrand de Swardt is in the final phases of completing his MABC in Biblical counselling at The Master’s College and is pastor of Lynnwood Baptist Church in Pretoria. He is a graduate of the Baptist Seminary in Cape Town and has been in the pastorate for 7 years. Several years ago, he completed an intensive two year program in biblical counselling. In his ministry, Sybrand has done both extensive counselling and has taught counselling related issues.

Dr Joshua Mack has earned a masters degree in Biblical Counselling, a doctorate in expository preaching and is pastor of Living Hope Community Church in Sunnyside. He also provides oversight for the 1hope4africa.co.za mercy ministry. From 1998 to 2000 Joshua taught Biblical Counselling courses at The Master’s college in the USA. More recently, he has been involved in teaching in a pastoral training program here in South Africa.

Alan Lester has completed an extensive graduate program in Biblical Counselling and has had much experience in counselling. He is also a published author on Biblical Counselling issues.

 What specific courses may be offered at SMTI?

  • Introduction to Biblical counselling/discipleship
  • Methods of Biblical Counselling
  • Theological basis of Biblical counselling
  • Christian life issues
  • Marriage & Family counselling
  • Marriage & family topics
  • Essential qualities of biblical counsellors
  • Problem & procedures
  • Counselling practicum and observation
  • Hermeneutics, Counselling Youth
  • Counselling Issues, NANC seminar
  • Counselling Internship

 What course materials are used in the classes?
SMTI will provide a syllabus outlining the course assignments and the content of each course for each student.

The text books for each course are available from Augustine Book Room (012) 993-4606. Corner. Louise Botha and Hans Strydom, Constantia Park, Pretoria, South Africa.

 Where will the classes be held?
Most of the classes and seminars will be conducted at Lynnwood Baptist Church:
52 Jacobson drive, Lynnwood Ridge

For more information, please contact Ps Sybrand de Swardt: [email protected]

For registrations, please email [email protected]