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Office of the Dean: Theology Home

A warm word of welcome to the Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State!

To be part of a Faculty of Theology in the heart of South Africa is indeed a privilege. The faculty currently finds itself in a very exciting phase of its existence. Building upon past achievements, we are determined to even further develop our service to the university, the church, and the community. The vision we have for the future is guided by several cherished strategic values:

• a classical theological orientation,
• racial, gender, and cultural inclusivity,
• academic and intellectual excellence and innovation,
• spiritual and ethical integrity,
• communality and
• hospitality.

These values underpin everything that we do in the faculty: teaching, research, and community service.

On teaching level, we offer a wide variety of options. At undergraduate level we offer a Certificate in Theology, an Advanced Diploma in Theology, and a BDiv degree. With our teaching in these courses, we aim to combine high academic standards, good teaching methods, and practical relevance for the ministry. We avoid excessively large groups in our classes – promoting a learning environment conducive to effective teaching.

On postgraduate level we offer an MDiv and an MA/MTh, followed by a PhD/DTh. The MDiv is aimed at students who wish to enter the ministry, and therefore includes a large practical component presented in collaboration with churches. Students thus receive a solid grounding in both theory and practice. The MA/MTh is not specifically aimed at the ministry, but could focus on a theme that is relevant to the ministry. These degrees are largely research-orientated and students enrol for a research project, producing a thesis in any of the following disciplines: Old Testament, New Testament, Systematic Theology and Ethics, Practical Theology, Church History and Polity, Missiology, Religion Studies, Jonathan Edwards Studies, Biblical Spirituality, Spirituality, and Bible Translation. Some of our success stories in this regard are master’s degrees in Pastoral Therapy and Biblical Spirituality, offering students the unique opportunity of specialising in fields which are often neglected by other academic institutions. Students holding a master’s degree in Theology may continue with a PhD or a DTh in any of the disciplines mentioned above. In all of these disciplines we have full-time scholars who have already made solid academic contributions to particular areas of research in their fields. Most of our MA, MTh, and all of our PhD/DTh degrees can be done on a part-time basis.

Research is regarded very highly in the faculty. A wide range of research interests are pursued by faculty members, which allows for postgraduate guidance on a large variety of themes. Several of the faculty members have also published or contributed to books published internationally.

In terms of community service, the faculty aims to combine scholarship with community service in the true sense of the word. For example, the faculty partners with a privatised maximum security prison in the Free State where offenders and victims of crime receive attention from a religious perspective. In addition, members of the faculty regularly preach in local communities, making valuable contributions to church life and the writing of well received books and articles.

Please feel free to contact us or become involved in our activities in any way you wish.

Prof Fanie (SD) Snyman
Dean: Faculty of Theology

 

 

 

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