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Identity and Function

  • The Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University is an ecumenical faculty. It provides facilities for the hosting and cultivating of Christian theology according to different confessional convictions and church traditions.
  • In order to maintain its ecumenical character, the faculty provides the capacity for the establishment of different Houses of Study.
  • Within the Faculty different Houses of Study have the responsibility to provide training and theological education according to their own confessional and denominational needs.
  • It is the responsibility of the faculty to synchronize the different Houses of Study in order to establish cooperation and unity, as well as the provision of personnel, programmes, student organizations, structures for training and the enhancement of a Christian spirituality.
  • Within the faculty [US] the Kweekskool of the Dutch Reformed Church and the Theological School of the Uniting Reformed Church provides training and theological education in Christian Reformed Theology.

Interpretation

  1. The Faculty is the structure and unit for theological education of Stellenbosch University. The faculty is ecumenical and provide theological training in Christian theology. It is an open faculty and characterized by its Christian identity.
  2. The ecumenical character of the faculty is reflected structurally in different Houses of Study. One House of Study for Reformed Theology has been established.
  3. Houses of Study refer to a specific confessional based theology; schools refer to denominations/churches and specific ministerial needs.
  4. Currently there are two role players [entities] in the House for reformed theology: the Kweekskool of the Dutch Reformed Church and the Theological School of the Uniting Reformed Church.
  5. In order to enhance cooperation and efficient liaison, church representatives on the Board for Lecturers as well as a Church Liaison Body serve as links between the academic structure and the interests of the churches.

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Other goals of the Faculty:

    To promote academic excellence

    • Emphasis is placed on the practice of Christian Theology in a systematized, critically responsible and scientific way.
    • The exegesis and interpretation of the Bible for today.
    • The training and education of Christian leaders, ministers, pastoral caregivers, lay workers and researchers.
    • To make a contribution to theological research within a national and international context.
    • To make a constructive contribution to interdisciplinary academic work.

    To interpret the identity and faith tradition of the church in various contexts. This involves:

    • The role and calling of the church in society and the contribution to the international debate on vital questions.
    • The churches' involvement with the ecumene by means of confessional commitment and ecumenical liaison.
    • The contribution by the church to the inter-religious debate by means of a critical-constructive dialogue.
    • The promotion of the quality of congregational ministry with the view to effective communication of the Gospel (testimony) and active outreach (service).

    To promote an ethos that correlates with the nature of Christian spirituality . This involves:

    • Responsible scientific practice.
    • An integrated lifestyle.
    • The development of mature faith and internalized values and norms.

To become involved with social and ethical questions

    • To address ethical questions concerning persons within social contexts and ethical structures.
    • To address the relationship between theology and human/ecological needs.
    • The promotion of justice, reconciliation and fellowship (koinonia and ubunthu).

Values in respect of behaviour and function

  • Scientific character
    To understand, interpret and explain Scripture in a systematized, critical-reflective way so that valid knowledge could be linked meaningfully with contextual and vital questions in interaction and dialogue with other appropriate disciplines, also with a view to meaningful integration of theory and practice.
  • Ecumenicity
    By virtue of our being in Africa, to be involved with Africa in the ecumenical movement, inter-church liaison and international debate on vital questions within the dynamics of both uniqueness (confessional/identity) and communality (ecumene/unity) for the promotion of human dignity, peaceful coexistence and the conservation of Creation.
  • Integrity
    To allow the content of our faith to correlate with our behaviour in such a way that the Christian ethos becomes visible in our striving to reflect identified values as credibly as possible in our structures, attitudes and mutual behaviour, inter alia by means of dealing with potential causes of conflict/tension by means of adaptability, flexibility, sensitivity, fairness and equality of rights.
  • Creativity
    To develop students' abilities in order to encourage them to think inventively and creatively, and to serve and build the interests of the Faculty on the basis of enthusiastic and imaginative action/performance. Furthermore, as lecturers, to be open to transformation.
  • Hospitality
    To create an atmosphere of loving openness, respect and friendly well-being among staff and students so as to reflect the uniqueness of other people. Also to accommodate and deal with different people in such a way that they would feel welcome and secure.
  • Justice
    In an Africa context, to actively promote human dignity and a worthy existence against the background of basic human rights, so that people may experience fairness and equality and thus be helped to react responsibly to life's exigencies without a sense of discrimination against them.
  • Transparency
    To serve the truth by means of an open debate about contentious issues, so that nobody may feel deceived, wronged or cheated because of incorrect or one-sided information (or by withholding any relevant information).

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