About Shepherd Centre

Shepherd Centre was founded in 2006 by Dr Gerhard Botha. Shepherd is responsible for support by the Faculty of Theology and Religion to Christian churches and religious leaders of all communities.

What are we?

Shepherd is a unit in the Faculty of Theology  and Religion at the University of the Free State that assists spiritual leaders. Shepherd’s responsibility is to reach out to the community, especially the religious community.

The centre specialises in the following:

  • Establishing a one-stop service of training.
  • Management and leadership development for spiritual leaders.
  • Equipping spiritual leaders to proactively manage change.
  • Researching trends that may have an influence on spiritual leaders and communities.

Our mission?

  • To present short courses and workshops of a high standard and relevance. It ensures that the skills and competencies of spiritual leaders are sharpened continuously. It is also a requirement in respect of ministry skills.
  • To provide reactive assistance to spiritual leaders finding themselves at a crossroads in relation to their personal life and community.

Shepherd assists congregations and ministers to:  'know, be, do, and serve'

Knowing: All the knowledge which communities and/or ministers have or still need, is included in this category. Courses and support in this category cover aspects such as theology, knowledge of the contexts, and the text. The what of the ministry.

Being: In this instance, the common denominator is spirituality. Calling, faith formation, and the journey with God’s Word and Spirit. The being of the ministry.

Doing: This simply means skills. The ministry demands a variety of skills and these skills can generally be learnt and refined. The how of ministry.

Serving: When people are part of a congregation or ministers of the Word, they become servants. Aspects such as spirituality, calling, knowledge, and skill enable them to serve spiritually. Here, the spiritual leader becomes the representative of Christ, the bearer of the rules of the Kingdom of the heavens. Here, aspects such as leadership, vision, and surrendering to the ministry of reconciliation take shape.


Academic Adviser
T: +27 51 401 2786
E: theology@ufs.ac.za

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