Doctoral Degrees (Practical Theology and Missiology)


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 155
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    Transforming mutuality in a theology of mission : a missiological evaluation of a Colombian congregation case study
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12-15) Rheinbolt-Uribe, Renee; Simon, David Xolile; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Practical Theology and Missiology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this missiological, creative, and contextual case study, the use of the slogan or watchword, ‘the evangelization of the world in this generation’ is problematic and a new slogan is sought. The main concern is the God-image developed upon a vanquishing Christ ‘bent on conquest’. The slogan propelled a rapid growing denomination (1979–2003); the International Church of Christ (ICOC) is depicted in the study as an expanding global train, followed by a trainwreck. The inner workings and consequent collapse of a USA-born and funded Christian denomination, termed a religious branded organisation (RBO), and the effects on a satellite congregation, ICI Colombia, are explored. The primary focus is the subsequent regrouping of the congregation as a gathered community (2004–2021). The concern around the concept of this slogan has been addressed within missiology from different denominational perspectives for over a century, such potential ethical considerations considering the need for self-imposed limitations when furthering the message of Christ from Global North to Global South. The study views these from a triad thrust of expansion: main message or interpretation of biblical text; decision making over funds/resources; and use of structure—including legal and media (propaganda). The study is grounded in a triad of conversation partners (David Bosch, Ivan Illich, and Roland Allen) for a view from the inside, by an insider/outsider creative researcher. The researcher sought a radical shift in her positionality within the congregation due to the lessons of the collapse. Creativity is applied in various manners such as the development of data visualisation through constant images (i.e., train, trainwreck) and four vignettes. A maternal-thinking perspective, based on personal life experience and a Colombian matricentric society, is used throughout. This thinking-with-the-womb allows for a view of reality with an understanding of an interconnectedness of the universe. The findings of the study, which focused primarily on grassroots participants using semi-structured, in-depth interviews, reveal the shifts of self-understandings and practices of mutuality that have shaped the mission and ministry of the congregation since the forementioned trainwreck. After collecting the empirical and interpretive data, these results are conspicuously observed: Resilient spirituality and togetherness or conviviality. A new slogan is developed, an expressive poem inspired by the compiled data. It is an alternative application of a God-image inspired by Illich’s account of the boundary-crossing Samaritan parable, and Bosch, Illich, and Allen’s view of Luke´s mission theology of table-fellowship. The findings primarily fit into theology of mission, a sub-discipline of missiology, as aqueous challenges to mission effort we contend will offer test grounds for developing a contextualised transforming mutuality as a theology of mission. The applicability could be broader: spirituality, managerial missiology, World Christianity, and Mother Studies.
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    An evaluation of the impact of disciple-making on work ethic of Ghanaian Christians : a case study of the Church of Pentecost Ghana
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12-15) Gakpetor, Sam; Nell, Ian; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Practical Theology and Missiology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study aimed to evaluate the extent disciplemaking processes of Ghanaian churches have led to the transformation of the lives of their church members, reflecting on their positive work ethic in their workplaces, with specific reference to The Church of Pentecost (CoP), Ghana. Guided by the research question, To what extent has the CoP-Ghana’s disciplemaking ministry transformed the work ethic of her members in the marketplace?, the research sought to understand the paradox between the large number of Christians in Ghana and the perceived negative work ethic of the average Ghanaian worker. The study provided a biblical and contemporary understanding of disciplemaking, what it entails and how it takes place in the local church. The study deployed qualitative methods in the form of interviews and focus group discussions to ascertain the impact of disciplemaking in the churches on the work ethic of The Church of Pentecost members in Ghana. In this study, an understanding of the theology of work, work ethic and its dimensions, as well as the importance of work ethic construct for Africa, the challenges it portends and the factors that contribute to the challenges are analysed. The evaluation of data via the lens of available literature revealed the dichotomous perception that many Christians have an attitude to things considered sacred and those considered secular which is a cause of concern, and that there is a lack of intentionality of discipleship in the churches. It was further observed that some aspects of Ghanaian culture have adverse impact on Ghanaians’ attitude to work. The research prescribes that an antidote to this precarious situation is a wholesale sustained effective discipleship that the Church must embark upon, especially as currently being attempted by The Church of Pentecost. The researcher opines that to this end, the Workers Guilds in The Church of Pentecost provide avenue for intentional disciplemaking to make members of the church more relevant in the marketplace as they exhibit a positive work ethic.
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    Christian faith in the encounter with orim (ancestor veneration) among the tarok people of North Central Nigeria
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12-15) Dombong, John Nancwat; Mbaya, Henry; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study examines the encounter between Christian faith (COCIN) and Orim (Ancestor veneration) among the Tarok people of North Central Nigeria. This study which is, the product of library research and fieldwork, seeks to answer the following questions: Why do some Christians participate in Orim and others do not? What is the significance of the encounter between Christian faith and Orim? How does belief in ancestral spirits which is part of the Tarok worldview influence Tarok Christians. Does the encounter between Christian faith and Orim present an opportunity or a challenge to Christianity? What are the convergence and divergence points between Christian faith and Orim (ancestor) veneration among the Tarok? The research findings outline the differences and similarities between the Christian faith and the Orim (ancestor) veneration among the Tarok. Primary data collection in the field and extensive interviews were done. The study established that there was peaceful co-existence between Christian faith and the Tarok religion of Orim and that their collective influence was praise-worthy in terms of the promotion of social cohesiveness and the provision of certain social amenities. It examines the advent of Christianity among the Tarok people and the pattern of evangelism with special reference to the method used in the proclamation of the Gospel. The study shows that the impact of Christian faith has been so great that it has captured the theological norms of Tarok society. The study also established that even after many years of Christian mission in Tarok-land, the Orim cult (ancestors) remains a reality. A good number of Tarok Christians continue to pledge allegiance to both Orim (ancestors) and Christ. Although, the Tarok have welcomed the Gospel message presented to them by the Christian missionaries, some Tarok Christians have not abandoned their beliefs and practices of Orim (ancestor veneration). The findings of the study confirm that there are some Tarok Christians participate in Orim (ancestor) veneration alongside Christianity. The points of convergence between the Christian faith and the Tarok culture have been particularly noted as a model for dialogue between the faiths. The research concludes that sound exegesis does not allow accommodate Orim (ancestor) veneration in the Christian church, but that respect for ancestors should be embraced. Recommendations were given to enhance the harmonious relationship between the Christian faith and the Orim cult. The study relies mainly on interviews. In each one of the four selected COCIN Churches, one pastor was interviewed.
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    Death, conflict and scandal : a practical theological study of the role of rituals in congregations following the loss of the minister
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12-15) Steyn, Marileen; Wepener, Cas ; Thesnaar, C. H.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Practical Theology and Missiology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: When a congregation loses a minister due to death, conflict or scandal, it can potentially lead to congregational trauma and liminality. Since these losses matter to congregants in terms of their own and the congregation’s faith stories, experiences and witness, Practical Theology is invited to let these stories matter to us. This research explores the question of how rituals can possibly assist in guiding congregations through the experience of trauma and liminality following the loss of a minister due to death, conflict, or scandal. While there are several sources reflecting on aspects of this question, none focus on the combination between trauma, liminality and ritual within the context of the loss of a minister specifically – leading to a void in knowledge and praxis-theory in both academia and practice. This includes the void in the training of interim ministers. In order to answer the research question, portraiture is used as methodology to study three congregations who has each experienced the loss of a minister to death, conflict of scandal. As the first South African theologian to use portraiture (to my knowledge), part of the research entails testing the viability of the methodology in Congregational Studies. Portraiture is found to be a challenging, yet rewarding methodology that has much to offer the discerning researcher and congregation. The methodology is applied within the broader framework of Osmer’s four tasks of practical theological interpretation. Within the movement of practice to theory and back to practice, this research considers the theory and practice of three different, yet related concepts, namely trauma, liminality and ritual. By comparing the theory to practice, the theory behind all three concepts is at times confirmed and at other times challenged. The loss of a minister is shown to have the potential of being followed by trauma and liminality. It is not the loss of the minister which causes the trauma, but rather the way in which these losses (and the accompanying liminality) overwhelm the congregation while shattering trust and influencing congregational culture, among others. Addressing trauma and liminality thus asks for more than just replacing the minister. It asks for redressive action through the work of mourning. This research proposes the task of re(-)membering as a potentially helpful task in doing the redressive work of mourning. This involves a concern with the past (remembering) as well as with the future (re-membering). Further, it embraces both the gains of life and the losses symbolised by death. The potential role of rituals in assisting to guide congregations through the experience of trauma and liminality following the loss of a minister, lies in its ability to move between the past and future, life and death to draw congregants and congregations closer to the eschatological equilibrium of the present which holds both loss and gain in a creative tension. The effectiveness of rituals cannot be predicted, but the research seems to indicate that rituals that foster communitas where horizontal relationships were damaged are experienced as more healing. This leads to the identification of ritual-like acts as rituals that should not be overlooked when addressing trauma and liminality through rituals.
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    Missiological responses to the wounded youth : a case study of the campus ministry of Scripture Union in the Kumasi metropolis of Ghana
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12-21) Awuah-Gyawu, Daniel; White, Peter; Cloete, Anita Louisa; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Practical Theology and Missiology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study, Missiological Responses to the Wounded Youth: A Case Study of the Campus Ministry of Scripture Union in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana, is premised on the missiological assumption that mission proceeds from a place of needs and that the youth is expected to receive responses that address their needs. It, therefore, investigates the missional approaches of Scripture Union (SU) Ghana, a parachurch faith community, in response to the youths in the Senior High School (SHS). The study also investigates the corresponding impact of these approaches. The main theory that drives the study is the Anglican Consultative Council’s ‘Five Marks of Mission’, which was summarised by Chris Wright and the Church of England and espoused in Andrew Walls and Cathy Ross’ ‘Five Marks of Global Mission’. The case study approach is used to explore the campus ministry activities of Scripture Union Ghana. To gain a deeper understanding of the impact of SU’s campus ministry, the lived experiences of people exposed to it are explored phenomenologically. Four qualitative data collection methods were used, which comprised documentary analysis, narratives, participant observation, and interviews. Ten participants—five current and two former SU staff members who were purposively sampled and three volunteers who were sampled by snowballing—were interviewed. Using thematic analysis from the transcribed interviews, the data was discussed, considering the research objectives. Scripture Union’s responses include leadership training, school missions, campus crusades, post-mission follow-up, evangelistic rallies, and school group fellowships. Other programmes are the purity campaign and the integrity campaign, which seek to address issues of sexual immorality and cheating, respectively. These evangelism-driven activities embed role modelling, counselling and mentoring. The SU’s SHS campus ministry has filled the youth ministry gap in the SHSs, offering students the opportunity to have salvation experiences, be nurtured, and be equipped with leadership skills that set the foundation for campus and future leadership in society. Through guidance and counselling, SU identifies some of the emotional, material, academic, and social needs of students and addresses them. The study demonstrates that SU is not a nascent organisation. However, it seeks to regularly improve upon its praxis through a feedback system from students. This in-depth study of SU’s campus ministry fills the research gap about the SHS campus ministry in Ghana and concludes that the youth who are exposed to appropriate nurturing experiences are not just recipients of missiological interventions but prospective participants in the missio Dei.