Theology Stellenbosch

 

PROF. k. August

Community Development

Tel: +27 21 808 3856 | Fax: +27 21 808 3251 | Email

Background

After completing his basic theological studies at the Moravian Theological Seminary (1971) and at UNISA (1976), Prof August studied Systematic Theology, specializing in the Theology of the Cross (Luther, Zinzendorf and Moltmann) at the University of the Western Cape. Since his ordination in 1976, he managed and served two rural Moravian settlements and two urban congregations. Besides his service in various church commissions, he served as one of the synodical chairmen for three national synods of the Moravian Church in SA. He also represents the Moravian Church on various ecumenical bodies, e.g. the World Synod of the Moravian Church, the Lutheran World Federation and the Distance Theological Education Commission of the World Council of Churches.

In 1988 Prof. August was appointed as rector of the Moravian Seminary where he had served as lecturer for ten years (1978-1988). In 1993 he qualified as a teacher at UNISA (postgraduate HED; main subjects: History and Biblical Studies) and during the following four years he taught at the Voorbrug Senior Secondary School at Delft, Cape Town. As from 1996 to 1998 he studied Public Administration and Development Management at the University of Stellenbosch in preparation for the post in Theology and Community Development at the US, which he has held since 1998.

Qualifications

Dipl in Theol (Joint Board 1971); BA(Theol) (Unisa 1976); Licenciate in Theology (Morav Theol Sem 1976); MTh (UWC 1984); Postgraduate HED (Unisa 1993); MPA (US 1999); DTh (US 2003).

Vision

Prof August's task and passion is to develop social services of the church in society as a theological discipline. This development - ministry demands a specific public profile of the church which, in turn, challenges theological training and practice. The Faculty of Theology must accept its social responsibility as partner in the struggle for survival, the transformation and the awareness of society, especially in a young democracy such as that of South Africa.

The social dimension of the church's life and proclamation is an inextricable part of the church's fundamental character. The church is in the world - being its context and external environment. As such, the humans and the ecology of the world are the field of its proclamation. The church can only fulfil its Godly imposed calling and function in relation to vital problems within society and the geographical environment! The church's task resides, not in avoidance, but in engaging and transformation of the world. This is the area in which the church must realise its 'salt-leaven-and-light' function in obedience to the values of God's Reign on earth. Because Theology is serious about 'God's love for the world' (Jh 3:16) and because of the firm belief that the church, in fact, is God's gift in Jesus Christ to the world to transform it with the view to confronting and spreading the Messianic values, the following issues, to Prof August, are of cardinal importance for the practise of Theology: poverty and the economy, labour and unemployment, crime and violence, culture and ethnicity, housing and health (Aids), education, community organization and management, policy for land utilization, administration, gender problems, communication and technology, globalization and liberal capitalism, the sovereignty of a democratic state, citizenship and ecological problems. These issues require a multi-disciplinary approach in theological practice.

The aim of Developmental Theology is the formation of inspired and effective leadership for ministry in rural and urban communities. The required pedagogical process is one of learning and doing, of research and reflection in the context of the ministry. The methodology will be dialectic and dialogical, interdependent and interdisciplinary. Developmental Theology emphasizes multicultural diversity and applies the principle of cooperation. In any Christian tradition, the approach to Theology is necessarily that of empowerment and transformation. The outcome aims to equip candidates for providing pastoral care, for facilitating development and for making social analyses while recognizing interdependence.

 

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