NOTE: Following the launch of this new website, our Training pages are also having an overhaul. An updated training site will be available here in the weeks ahead.
A Brief History or our Training Programme
TWFTW’s training program started with completely non-formal training, when the first translators were trained in their own country (Zimbabwe). This developed into a period of formal training at the Africa School of Mission. A further development was decentralization of the training, in 1997. The program has now emerged as a combination of formal training, self-study and on-the-job training in the countries (or as close as possible to) where the would-be translators reside.
Key Features of TWFTW’s Training Programme:
- An opportunity for early involvement in the translation process
- Recognised by an academic institution
- An opportunity for academic progression in the student’s country of residence
Facts & Figures
In the last 34 years 1,085 people from 26 nations have participated in our undergraduate training programme, the Diploma in Bible Translation (DBT).
188 people from 11 different nationalities have graduated with the Diploma, after an average of five years of study, which comprises intensive modules, self-study and on-the-job training.
362 students are currently enrolled. They represent 129 languages with Bible translation need. The great majority are involved in first time translation of the Bible into their language or preparing to do so. Last year 10 students graduated, and so far 55 have joined the training programme this year. The current students represent 14 nationalities and train in one of 14 locations where we currently offer the DBT training or by distance.
To download a leaflet about the DBT programme click here. For more details on where and when training is offered click here.
TWFTW Training Film
The purpose of our integrated training is to give those who feel themselves called to Bible translation the opportunity to obtain practice-oriented training. Our focus is on building a core of trained and qualified indigenous Bible translators. Ultimately we aim to create opportunities that they develop to their maximum potential.
To provide academically grounded, practice-oriented training in Bible translation
To arouse a desire for lifelong learning
To enable progression to further studies
To develop relevant attitudes, skills and knowledge. For more details click here
To prepare candidates for a long-term future in the field of Bible translation including leadership and passing on gained expertise to new candidates
Our training consists of formal training, non-formal and on-the-job training. The Diploma in Bible Translation programme takes 4-5 years to complete. The formal training is delivered in intensive modules, usually once or twice a year for a 4-5 week period. The intensives are followed by self study and on-the-job training under the guidance of a mentor for the rest of the year. Similarly, our MTh in Bible Translation Consultation combines academic rigour with practical experience through an internship.
Early Involvement in Translation
We aim to involve students in translation within the first two years of their training. We believe that our integrated approach sharpens translation skills as actual translation experience is increased and complemented by a range of intensive modules.
Through our training programmes we seek to develop the whole person. This includes attitudes, skills and knowledge that are crucial for the work of Bible translation. To read more click here.
The sequencing of modules, duration of the DBT programme and manner of learning is to some extent flexible. By adapting our programme to the requirements of the students and the location, we are able to deliver it effectively in different contexts.
We seek to provide training in the countries of prospective translators, with the least amount of disruption to their own lives and those of their communities. To see where our training is currently offered click here.
Our training is open at both ends. This means that we consider applications on a case by case basis from those who do not satisfy all entrance requirements. On the other hand we seek to provide sufficient academic grounding to enable students to proceed with further studies. Our Diploma in Bible Translation is recognised as equivalent to two years of a BTh degree at the distance education institution SATS. Once students have graduated with a DBT they can complete the final year of the degree programme in their country of residence through distance education at SATS. After completing a BTh Honours they can enrol in our MTh in Bible Translation Consultation and study for a PhD in Theology with the focus of Bible Translation.
For more information read Barry Funnell’s article about Holistic field-based training. BarryFunnell-Holistic Field Based Training
Diploma in Bible Translation (DBT)
Our Diploma in Bible Translation programme is a result of 30 years experience in training Bible Translators. It began in South Africa and is now offered in Africa and Asia. Watch the video to learn more about the programme. To download a leaflet about the programme here.
MTh in Bible Translation Consultation
Our Master of Theology programme in Bible Translation Consultation combines academic studies with practical experience. It can be commenced throughout the year and started in any country. It takes 3 years to complete. For more information about the programme click here.
Worldwide the demand for Bible translation consultants is great. In the Bible translation process, the checking of draft translations with such an expert is the bottleneck that often leads to delay in providing translated scriptures to communities in which no scriptures as yet exist. Our MTh programme in Bible Translation Consultation seeks to provide a practice-oriented opportunity for national translators and expatriate candidates to qualify as Bible Translation consultants. The programme is offered through the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), a distance education institution. Our graduates will accelerate Bible translation as they assist translators to bring a faithful translation of God’s Word to their own people without unnecessary delays.
Admission & Fees
For further enquiries about admission and fees click here to contact SATS or email us.
Transforming Lives and Communities
Earlier this year I asked graduates, facilitators, lecturers, Bible translation consultants and others what difference our integrated training makes in the long run. The answers leave no doubt that it transforms people. It has a ripple effect changing people from the inside out. And those people in turn change their communities.
Impact of Holistic Bible Translation Training
Once people learn more about the Bible and understand it much better their confidence grows. Many of our students come from marginalised communities. When they discover the richness of their language, they start to take pride in it and grow in confidence. As they are exposed to different world views their own world view broadens and the ongoing practice of translation under guidance of experienced practitioners and specialists nurtures problem solving skills and critical thinking. They speak out in the community and take social action. Communities are changed because people are changed from the inside out. To know how you can be involved in changing lives from the inside out through Bible translation click here.
Advancing Bible Translation
Eighty percent of all DBT graduates are still involved in the field of Bible translation. In addition, the great majority of our current students are involved in translation, mostly as trainee translators. The majority of our students work with TWFTW. Others work with our partners and other like-minded organisations, including SIL International, Bible Society and Lutheran Bible Translators.
Opening doors to Further Studies
The DBT is recognised as 2 years towards a BTh at the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), an accredited distance education institution. For further information on SATS click here.
The Diploma in Bible Translation training programme (DBT) evolved in the 1980s when a Zimbabwean team asked theApostolic Faith Mission in South Africa for help to translate the Bible into their own language. Over the course of several years Greek scholar and founder of TWFTW, Véroni Krüger (DLitt), developed an interdisciplinary training programme which he and some others taught in a non-formal setting,
Formal Training (1988-1997)
From 1988 – 1997 the training was offered as a two year course in White River, South Africa; first at the Africa School of Missions and later at their own premises. Twenty two students who envisaged a cross-cultural ministry graduated with a Diploma of Bible Translation. When, however, only 6 of them became involved in Bible Translation, it was decided to relinquish training in South Africa and focus on training candidates from Bible-less groups in their respective countries.
Integrated Training (1998-current)
Since 1998 we have offered the Diploma in Bible translation programme in an integrated manner of formal, non-formal and on-the-job training. We have held training events in the DR Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Eastern Europe and South East Asia. The programme is recognised as equivalent to 2 years of a 3-year BTh programme at the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), a distance education institution. For details of current locations and upcoming DBT training click here.
Since 2012 we are offering a MTh in Bible Translation Consultationthrough SATS. It follows the same practice-oriented approach as the DBT programme. Students can complete the bulk of the modules in the country where they live. For more details about our MTh programme click here.
Training Locations since De-centralisation (1998-current)
Training Events in 2017
|Dates||Country||Location||Medium of Instruction||Details|
|15/05/26/05||Slovakia||Hlinné||Slovak and Romani|
|03/07-28/07||Ethiopia||Addis||Amharic, English||DBT 3|
|21/08-25/08||Slovakia||Hlinné||Slovak and Romani|