Message from the Dean

The Faculty is one of the leading theological institutions in Africa and is known for its quality research, relevant teaching and learning programmes, and community engagement, especially through its Centre.

The Faculty has more scholars who have received National Research Foundation (NRF) ratings than any other South African faculty of theology and annually produces hundreds of peer-reviewed articles published in highly accredited national and international journals. It undertakes cutting-edge research on relevant, contextual, interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary levels. It acknowledges that such work cannot be done in ivory towers and aims to engage in life-changing and transforming research that makes a difference in communities and society in general.

As far as teaching and learning are concerned, the Faculty continues to pursue excellence by seeking to address current issues and struggles, such as decolonisation and Africanisation, especially in relation to the establishment of sustainable cities and communities. We use diff erent methods in our instruction to encourage critical thinking, investigation, interactive and participatory learning, alternate forms of assessment and the use of technology. Furthermore, our teaching modules are directed to incorporate non-theological modules to enable students to also train for careers outside of Theology. We have well-qualified, experienced and dedicated lecturers who are committed to assisting students at all levels of study.

In its intention to work towards the common good of society, the Faculty has entered into partnerships with several stakeholders, which include but are not limited to churches, government and non-governmental organisations, community leaders and ministries. In our eff orts to achieve transformation, we seek to foster inclusivity, embrace diversity and promote equity. Our students come from at least 33 diff erent denominations, and we are determined to create a new culture that embraces a true ecumenical spirit and posture.

In 2018, the former Faculty of Theology was renamed Faculty of Theology and Religion. The addition of Religion was an attempt to be more inclusive and to welcome people of other faiths. The Faculty is still primarily Christian in its theological orientation, but realises the need to engage in dialogue and research with other religions on important themes, for example, religious violence and fundamentalism, as we seek to create a better world and fullness of life for all.

 

Saint Anselm of Canterbury defi ned theology as ‘faith seeking understanding’. In a world characterised by enormous complexities, injustices, diff erentiations and global struggles, we need to consistently grapple with our understanding of God, life and reality. The Faculty of Theology and Religion thus off ers relevant, critical and contextual teaching, quality research and community engagement to prepare students to respond to the challenges of life, make a diff erence in society, provide the tools and skills needed to apply knowledge to given contextual experiences, and create an environment in which new ideas and thoughts can emerge. It facilitates life-affi rming theologies, nurtures transformative leaders, promotes justice and peace and prepares students for a changing environment and world. Whether you are training for ministry in the church or the ‘marketplace’, this is the right place to be as we bring faith and context together, dissect and analyse the realities of life and explore questions related to spirituality, beliefs and faith practices.

We welcome you to the Faculty of Theology and Religion and hope that you will enjoy the journey!

Prof Jerry Pillay

 

Published by Petronel Fourie

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