What is the history of Strengthening Ministries Training Institute?

It is with gratefulness to God that we share the progress that Biblical Counselling has made over the last eleven years in South Africa as well as the significant growth it has had over the last two years.

Dr Wayne Mack came to South Africa eleven years ago to teach Biblical Counselling. At that time, he was the only light on the Biblical Counselling tree in the country. During those formative years, he trained over 250 men (mostly pastors) and women in Biblical Counselling. Some of his students pursued their MA in Biblical Counselling through the Master’s University. They were nationals who are currently teachers in the Strengthening Ministries Training Institute (SMTI).

Two and a half years ago, Dr Wayne Mack gained permission to establish the Association of Certified Biblical Counselling Africa (ACBC Africa). A diverse representation of South African cultures forms an integral part of the steering committee. The presence of nationals lecturing at SMTI and being involved on the steering committee of ACBC Africa indicates that Biblical Counselling has come home.

These nationals are the driving force behind establishing a working relationship between a training institute and a certification body (ACBC Africa). Further, these Africans are seeking accreditation from the Counsel of Higher Education (CHE) for a MA in Biblical Counselling through the SMTI programme.

Exponential growth in the Biblical Counselling movement has been seen over the last two years due to the first and second annual ACBC Africa Conferences as well as various Road Trip Conferences.

“While many have departed from truly biblical counselling, Wayne Mack has not. When you sit under his teaching, you can be sure that his training will guide you into scriptural principles and practices from beginning to end. We are thankful to God for raising him up and equipping him to equip others.”

– Jay Adams

Biblical Counselling

What are the distinguishing features of biblical counselling?

Biblical counselling is conscientiously and comprehensively Christ-centred. He is the centre and the circumference of counselling, and everything in between. Examining the nature and causes of human difficulties involves understanding the ways we are unlike Christ in our values, aspirations, desires, thoughts, feelings, attitudes, actions and responses. Moreover, biblical counselling teaches how to acquire, through Christ, the power to replace these behaviours with Christ-like qualities.

Biblical counselling is only effective if the person has experienced the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and when they have come to Christ in repentance and faith and acknowledged Him as Lord and Saviour. In Christ, believers have all they need for effective and productive living. Biblical counselling teaches and reinforces salvation-centred theological convictions which influence, permeate and control every aspect of believers’ lives.

Biblical counselling believes that the local church is God’s instrument for calling the lost to Himself and the context in which He brings people to sanctification. He uses the church to motivate individuals to take off the old manner of life and put on the new. Thus, biblical counselling seeks to train the church body to help believers live their new life in Christ.

Biblical counselling uses Scripture as the source for understanding the nature of humankind and finding ways to resolve its problems. It is totally grounded in the belief that God’s Word is all-sufficient for comprehending and resolving the real issues of life.


How are the classes in SMTI structured?

Strengthening Ministries Training Institute offers week-long, evening contact and online classes. The teaching will focus on explaining the theory of counselling and promoting the application of Scripture to life. Throughout the programme, qualified biblical counsellors will provide mentorship to students.

Week-long Classes

SMTI presents week-long classes through 8 modules in total over 2 years, with 4 modules per year. Each module is presented over 1 full week; Monday-Friday, 8 am – 5 pm. This means in-class interaction happens 4 times a year, while assignments are completed throughout the weeks between class.

Biblical Counselling Equip Classes

SMTI presents one or two day seminars throughout the year. The classes are designed to refresh students who have completed the SMTI program and introduce prospective students to Biblical counselling principles.

Online Classes

SMTI presents online classes through eight modules over two years. The first four modules are completed online and the last four modules are completed through contact sessions. Each online module is completed over a number of weeks, while each contact module is presented over one full week in various locations in South Africa, from Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm