Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology

Spiritual wisdom is the most ancient and yet most contemporary way of making sense of our lives – it predates written records and, at the same time, speaks to the hearts of those living in the third millennium. That is why interest in the academic study of spirituality has been increasing strongly over the last few decades. People from all walks of life are interested in the phenomenon of spirituality and in making sense of the "Big Questions" of life.

Christian Spirituality unit

Spiritual wisdom is the most ancient and yet most contemporary way of making sense of our lives – it predates written records and, at the same time, speaks to the hearts of those living in the third millennium. That is why interest in the academic study of spirituality has increased strongly over the last few decades. People from all walks of life are interested in the phenomenon of spirituality and in making sense of the "Big Questions" of life.

In addition to people involved with religious institutions, students with backgrounds in education, natural sciences, business, the arts and humanities, corporate bodies, government agencies, health care organisations and more now research Spirituality. The quest for in-depth understanding of the rich traditions of religious experience is one of the pressing needs in the world today, so that the contours of Christian spirituality may be more clearly sensed within the ambience of academic theology and religion.

The postgraduate programmes (BA Hons, MTh and PhD) we offer help effect a greater recognition of the role of spirituality in the deepening and renewal of people's lives and of society. 

Church History

  • Ever wonder how the church got to where it is today? 
  • Ever think about why it is that Christians think and worship and act in particular kinds of ways? 
  • Ever wonder how it is that the past influences the present?

If you have asked yourself any of these questions, then you ought to consider doing studies in Church History! Church History is foundational for all academic theology, because it is an exploration about the origin of the Christian community and how it has developed over time.  Worship, spirituality, faith and culture, doctrine, ways of understanding the Bible, Church-State relations -- all of these aspects of Church life (and many more!) have a past; they have grown and developed over the centuries. These are the kinds of things that you can study in Church History. 

Missiology

We understand mission as the "cutting edge" of a Christian community, that is, its attempts to change the world through projects of evangelism, healing, teaching, development or liberation. We understand missiology as the systematic and critical study of the missionary (world-changing) activities of Christian churches and organisations. 

Our department is well-known throughout Southern Africa and many parts of the world, due to the following facts:

  •  we have students in various other African countries as well as in Russia, Germany, North and South America
  • The founder and first head of our department, the late Professor David Bosch, was known worldwide for his missiological publications and for his role in ecumenical organisations
  • Our staff members have followed in his footsteps through publications and through playing leading roles in the Southern African Missiological Society, the International Association for Mission Studies and in the production of the international academic journal, Missionalia 

Contact us

Secretary Missiology
Ms MM Mahloko
Tel.: +27 (0) 12 429 4477
Fax: +27 (0) 12 429 4619
E-mail: Mahlomm1@unisa.ac.za

Secretary Church History and Christian Spirituality
Ms L Holmes
Tel.:  +27 (0) 12 429 4040
Fax: +27 (0) 12 429 4699
E-mail: Holmel@unisa.ac.za

Administrative Assistant Missiology
Ms TB Baloyi
Tel.:  +27 (0) 12 429 4967
Fax: +27 (0) 12 429 4619
E-mail: Baloytb@unisa.ac.za