Message from the Deputy Dean

Part of the vision of the Faculty of Theology and Religion is to undertake quality, collaborative, inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary research, to promote justice, peace and the integrity of creation in its research, to reconcile diversity, and also to focus on the flourishing of all life. With this vision, the Faculty has aligned itself with the vision of the university to be recognised as a leading research-intensive university in Africa, recognised internationally for its quality, relevance and impact.

Currently, the Faculty is embodying this vison in many ways. Excellent universities all over the world highlight research as one of their most distinguished and competitive strengths. This is also the case for the Faculty, especially when one looks at the research achievements of the Faculty in the recent past.

Since 2017, the QS World University Rankings Index ranks faculties or seminaries that have as focus theology and/or religious studies under a new category/subject field of ‘Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies’. The 2020 QS World University Rankings Index, in the ‘Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies’, has placed the Faculty among the top 50-100 out of 476 universities. In the H-index ranking category, the Faculty was placed #5, and ranked #26 in the category citations per paper. This is an exceptional performance, if one takes into consideration that the Faculty, for example, is ranked higher than Harvard University (#9) in the H-Index category, and the University of Oxford (#27) in the category of citation per paper. The Faculty is clearly recognised as one of the leading research intensive faculties in the world and an important international player in the field of theology, religion and divinity.

In The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, the only global ranking table that assesses universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the research output of 768 universities from 85 countries, the University of Pretoria is ranked in a position between 101-200. According to this ranking, the University’s focus is on SDG #3, #9, #16, and #17. The Faculty has contributed substantially to research in the fields of good health and well-being (SDG 3) and peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG 16), thus supporting the University in its achieved ranking. For SDG #16, the Faculty, in the field of History, Philosophy and Theology, is ranked #68 in the world.

A further indication of the Faculty’s strong research tradition is the fact that almost all the academic staff of the Faculty have been awarded a South African National Research Foundation (NRF) rating. The Faculty thus has specialists in all of the six traditional theological disciplines, academic staff that are able to supervise post-graduate studies on almost any topic. The Faculty offers honours, Master’s and PhD-programmes, and have postgraduate students from all over the world. If you consider the possibility to pursue your postgraduate studies at the Faculty, it will give you the opportunity to acquire specialised knowledge in your chosen field of study.

We are looking forward to have you as a postgraduate student!

Ernest van Eck

Deputy Dean: Faculty of Theology and Religion



Published by Petronel Fourie

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