Learning to “Growing Down” at the annual certificate ceremony of the Centre for Faith and Community

Posted on June 12, 2023

On 26 April 2023, the Centre for Faith and Community hosted its annual certificate ceremony at the Universiteitsoord NG Kerk in Hillcrest, Pretoria.  Hundreds of graduates that completed dozens of different courses through the Centre were in attendance, along with their loved-ones and supporters.

The theme of the event was “Growing Down – Resist, Rebuild, Rise”, and the keynote speakers for the day were Mark Heywood, from the Maverick Citizen, and Mzwandile Molo, from the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.  What is more, the various members of the Centre staff were instrumental in the planning and staging of the occasion, one that blessed many from far and wide.

Committed to the formation of community and church leaders for contextual engagement in their communities, the Centre continues to offer relevant learning opportunities and engaged research themes both to students of Theology and Religion as well as practitioners of ministry and mission.

Its approach is to follow a praxis-methodology, assuming deep local immersion in communities, from where participants can employ analytical, reflective, visioning and strategic tools to read society, to foster critical consciousness’s, and to make lasting, needed urban change.

In the words of Prof Stephan de Beer, director of the Centre, “Among us today are urban ministers, child-care workers, people dealing with trauma, land and housing activism, those caring for the sick in hospitals, and the list goes on.  It takes all kinds to build healthy and viable communities. It needs all of us in this room to pitch up with our unique competencies and gifts and life stories, to shape new vision and new stories, that will arrest death and mediate life.”

The Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Pretoria, from which the Centre for Faith and Community operates, considers the courses and research of the Centre to be an essential, driving force in pursuit of its own vision to “facilitate life-affirming theologies by seeking to teach theologies that are constructive, critical, relevant, contextual and engaging; undertake quality, collaborative, inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary research; nurture transformative leaders that serve the academia, faith -communities and society; promote justice, peace, the integrity of creation, reconciling diversity and flourishing of human life; create a space for pluriversality, differing epistemologies,  inter-religious dialogue and new technologies; and engage critical reading of texts from religious, historical, and life experiences.”

Please visit https://www.research.centreforfaithandcommunity.co.za/ for more information about the Centre.

- Author Dana Mahan

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