Discipline of Theological Ethics

Prof Louise Kretzschmar

College of Human Sciences
School of Humanities
Department: Philosophy, Practical and Systematic The
Tel: +27 12 429 4522
E-mail: kretzl@unisa.ac.za


  • Ph.D. (Religious Studies in Christian Studies) (University of Cape Town)
  • M.Phil. (Theology) (University of Cambridge);
  • H.D.E. (P.G.) (University of the Witwatersrand);
  • B.A. (Hons.) (History and Philosophy of Religion) (University of the Witwatersrand);
  • B.A. (Biblical Studies and History) (University of the Witwatersrand)

NRF Rating


Currently teaching

  • CGM2601 (Ethics and Spirituality);
  • CLC4802 (Facilitating Christian Discipleship and Leadership Development);
  • THE4803 (Ethics and Spirituality);
  • HRCLC85 (Christian Leadership Research Report);
  • HRTHE85 (Theological Ethics Research Report)

Fields of academic interests

  • The interface between Christian Ethics and the fields of Spirituality and Leadership and the interrelationship between moral and spiritual formation;
  • Christian ethics, Christian spirituality and Christian leadership;
  • Social ethics;
  • Women, society and Church;
  • Trans-disciplinary research in Applied Ethics that combines Philosophical, Theological and Human Science approaches, especially with reference to (South) African socio-political and ecclesiastical contexts.

Field of Specialisation

  • Christian/Theological Ethics
  • Spirituality
  • Leadership


  • Kretzschmar, L. 1986. The Voice of Black Theology in South Africa (Johannesburg: Ravan Press).
  • Hulley, L; Kretzschmar L; and Pato L L (eds). 1996. Archbishop Tutu: Prophetic Witness in South Africa (Festschrift) (Cape Town: Human & Rousseau).
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1998. Privatization of the Christian Faith: Mission, Social Ethics and the South African Baptists (Accra, Ghana: Legon Press & Asempa Publishers).
  • Kretzschmar, L. & Hulley, L. (eds). 1998.  Questions about life and morality: Christian ethics in South Africa today (Pretoria: Van Schaik).
  • Kretzschmar, L & Ntlha, Moss. (Eds). 2005. Looking back, moving forward: Reflections by South African Evangelicals. Johannesburg: The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa.
  • Kretzschmar, L; Bentley, W; and van Niekerk, A (eds). 2009. What is a good life? An introduction to Christian Ethics in 21st century Africa. Kempton Park: AcadSA.
  • Kretzschmar, L; Prinsloo, F; Prozesky, M; Rossouw, D; Sander, K; Siebrits, J; & Woerman, M. (eds.).  2012. Ethics for Accountants and Auditors. Third edition. Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa.

Journal articles

Book chapters:

  • Kretzschmar, L. 1984. "War, Peace and Revolution in Liberation Theology" in (eds) E K Mosothoane, L L Pato and L Kretzschmar, Religion, War and Peace, Papers read at a Religious Studies Conference at UNITRA  (Umtata: University of Transkei) pp 90-112.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1988. "An Introduction to African Christian Theology" in (ed) L Kretzschmar, Christian Faith and African Culture, Papers read at the Religious Studies Forum 1988. (Umtata: University of Transkei) pp 7-18.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1989. "To what extent must African Theology be a Theology of Liberation?" in (ed) L Pato Towards an Authentic African Theology, Papers read at the Religious Studies Forum 1988. (Umtata: University of Transkei) pp 63-76.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1990. "A Theology of Dominance: an Alternative History of the South African Baptist Union" in (eds) D Hoffmeister and B Gurney, Barkly West National Awareness Workshop (Johannesburg: The Baptist Convention of Southern Africa, pp 24-32.
  • (Together with M Pigott, N Thelan and J Isaac). 1991.  "Women's Theology in Umtata: A Case Study" in (eds) D Ackermann, et al, Women Hold up Half the Sky (Pietermaritzburg: Cluster) pp 64-75.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1991. "The Relevance of Feminist Theology within the Southern African context" in (eds) D Ackermann, et al, Women Hold up Half the Sky (Pietermaritzburg: Cluster) pp 106-121.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1994. "Ethics in a Theological Context" in (ed) C Villa-Vicencio Doing Ethics in Context: South African Perspectives (Cape Town: David Philip) pp 2-23.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1995. "Women and Culture: Ecclesial and Cultural Transformation" in (eds) C Villa-Vicencio & Carl Niehaus, Many Cultures, One Nation: Festschrift for Beyers Naudé (Cape Town: Human & Rousseau) pp 90-104.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1995. "The Bible and Power: An ethical perspective on the abuse of Power" in (eds) W H Brackney & L A Cupit, Baptist Faith and Witness (McLean, Virginia: Baptist World Alliance) pp 197-203.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1995. "What is Holistic Spirituality and why is it important for the Church today?" and "The Three Journeys: a Functional model of Holistic Spirituality" in (eds) Kretzschmar, Louise & Hoffmeister, Desmond, Towards a Holistic, Afrocentric and participatory understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Johannesburg: Baptist Convention of South Africa) pp 31-44 and 45-54.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1996. "Olive Carey Doke: A Neglected Baptist Pioneer" in (ed) C Landman Digging up foremothers: Stories of women in Africa (Pretoria: UNISA Press) pp 141-166.
  • Hulley, L & Kretzschmar, L. 1996. "Not without Honour: Reflections of the Life and Witness of Desmond Mpilo Tutu" in (eds) L Hulley, L Kretzschmar & L Pato, Archbishop Tutu: Prophetic Witness in South Africa (Cape Town: Human and Rousseau) pp 11-21.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1996. "Reconstructing the lives of persons and communities" in L Kretzschmar & R Richards (eds). Reading the Bible in Context: Reconstructing South Africa (Johannesburg: Baptist Convention of South Africa) pp 47-67.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1997. "An Overview of Baptist Principles in Historical Context" in (eds) L Kretzschmar; P Msiza; and J Nthane, Being a Baptist in South Africa Today (Johannesburg: Baptist Convention of South Africa, 1997) pp 16-57.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1998. "The ethos and history of the Baptist Convention of South Africa's Winter Schools of Theology" in (eds) L Kretzschmar; P Msiza; and J Nthane, Awakening the Sleeping Lion: the Role of Baptists in Contemporary Africa pp 2-16.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1999 "The Relationship between Human Empowerment and Human Rights: A South African Perspective" in (ed) L A Cupit Baptist Faith and Witness, Book 2 (McLean, Virginia: Baptist World Alliance) pp 215-224.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2000. "Being and doing: Towards an integrated spirituality", in Kretzschmar, L & Kourie, CET (eds) Christian Spirituality in South Africa (Pietermaritzburg: Cluster) pp 37-54.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2001. "Authentic Baptist leadership in Africa" in African Baptist Theology and Identity. Proceedings of the All Africa Baptist Theological Educators' Conference, held in Ibadan, Nigeria 8-10 November 2000. Published by the All Africa Baptist Fellowship, pp 33-49.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2001. "The Resurgence of Christian Ethics and Spirituality" in Speckman, McGlory T. and Kaufmann, Larry T. (eds) Towards an Agenda for Contextual Theology: Essays in Honour of Albert Nolan. Pietermaritzburg: Cluster. pp 279-305.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2003. The implications of new developments in Christian ethics and spirituality for curricula and staff development at Baptist Colleges in Southern Africa, in (ed) L. Kretzschmar, Southern African Baptist Eductors’ conference, 2003. Johannesburg: Baptist Convention College: 80-105.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2004. “The importance of moral and spiritual formation in 21st century Africa”  in (ed) E. Conradie, African Christian Theologies in transformation. Stellenbosch: EFSA (Ecumenical Foundation of South Africa), pp 86-110.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2005.  Spirituality, discipleship and leadership: evangelical challenges, in  Looking back, moving forward: Reflections by South African Evangelicals, edited by L. Kretzschmar and Moss Ntlha. Johannesburg: The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa, 101-117.
  • Kretzschmar, L. & Ramasamy, J. 2005.  The African Renaissance: Responses from Evangelicals in South Africa, in Looking back, moving forward: Reflections by South African Evangelicals, edited by L. Kretzschmar and Moss Ntlha. Johannesburg: The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa, 163-177.
  • Karecki, M.M; Kourie, C.E.T.; and Kretzschmar, L. 2005. “African spirituality”, in The New SCM Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, edited by Philip Sheldrake. London: SCM Press, pp 92-94.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2008. Entries for Aborsie, Egbreuk (Owerspel), Etiek (Seksuele), Feministiese en Vroueteologie, Morele Vorming, Saamwoon, Voorhuwelikse Geslagsgemeenskap en Verkragting in (ed) F Gaum, Christelike Kern-Ensiklopedie. Wellington: Lux Verbi: 1, 281, 319-320, 341, 758-759, 948, 1170-1171, 1150-1151.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2012.  The Christian Formation of South African believers for engagement with State and Society, in (eds) Wessel Bentley & Dion A. Forster, Between capital and Cathedral: Essays on Church-State relationships. Pretoria: Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, 137-171.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2012. Religious and secular moral value systems for professionals in South Africa. in Kretzschmar, L; Prinsloo, F; Prozesky, M; Rossouw, D; Sander, K; Siebrits, J; & Woerman, M. 2012. Ethics for Accountants and Auditors. Third edition. Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa, 27-70.
  • Kretzschmar, Louise, 2016. ‘Beyond milk: The moral failure and ongoing formation of lay Christian leaders in the Church and society’ in Henry, Enron (ed). Baptist Faith and Witness, Book 5: Papers of the Commission on Mission, Evangelist and Theological Reflection of the Baptist World Alliance 2010-2015, Falls Church, Virginia: Baptist World Alliance, 127-143.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2016. ‘The role of Christian leaders in secular universities, especially in Africa’, in Barentsen, Jack; Kessler,Volker;  & Meier, Elke (eds) in Christian Leadership in a Changing World: Perspectives from Africa and Europe. CPSLE vol 3, Leuven: Peeters Publ., 185-200.

Journal articles:

  • Kretzschmar, L. 1989. "Pietism, Politics and Mission: an analysis of the views and activities of the South African Baptists", Missionalia 17:2, pp 103-114.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1990. "Hermeneutics, Culture and the Apostle Paul's view of women" Women's Studies 2:1, pp 37-51
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1990. "The neglected heritage: an examination of the Anabaptist roots of the South African Baptist churches" Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 16:2, pp 135-159
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1994. "The Umtata Women's Theology Group: A `Herstory'" International Review of Mission 83:328 pp 101-103.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1995. "Gender and Oppression: A South African Feminist Underview" Missionalia 23:2, pp 147-161.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1995. "History, authority and ministry: An analysis for the implications of lives of 17th century English Baptist women for contemporary women in South Africa" Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 93, pp 17-31.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1996. "A Holistic Spirituality: A Prerequisite for the Reconstruction of South Africa" Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 95, pp 63-75.
  • Kretzschmar, L & Cuthbertson, G C. 1996. "Gender and Mission Christianity: Recent trends in South Africa historiography and theology" Missionalia 24:3 pp 277-301.
  • Kretzschmar, L, 1997. "The gap between belief and action: Why is it that Christians do not practise what they preach?"  Scriptura 62, pp 311-321.
  • Kretzschmar, L & Msiza, P. 1997. "Socio-political Activism: A Baptist Convention Perspective" South African Baptist Journal of Theology 6, pp 132-135.
  • Kretzschmar, L & Cuthbertson, G C. 1998. "'I don't sing for people who do not see me': Women, Gender and the historiography of Christianity in South Africa" Studies in Church History 34, pp 487-507.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1998. "Evangelical Spirituality: A South African Perspective" Religion & Theology 5:2, pp 154-175.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 1999 "The Privatization of the Christian Faith: A South African Perspective" Baptist Quarterly 38:3, pp 128-133.Kretzschmar, L. 2001. "Baptist theological education in Africa, particularly in South Africa" Baptist History and Heritage 36:1&2, pp 190-212.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2002. “Integrity and consensus: A Christian perspective on ethical management and education in South Africa” Koers 67:4, 365-386.
  • Kretzschmar, L. and Tuckey, C. 2002. “Socialisation, sexism, children and the church”.  Missionalia 30:3, 389-409.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2002. "Authentic Christian Leadership and Spiritual Formation in Africa", Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 113, 41-60.
  • Ralphs, Mary Ryan and Kretzschmar, L. 2003. “Experiences of exclusion: A study conducted among Catholic women in the Johannesburg diocese” Religion and Theology 10:2, 166-191.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2005. What can theological educators in Africa learn from the contemporary upsurge of interest in Christian Ethics and Spirituality? Theologia Viatorum 29:1, 31-57.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2006. The indispensability of spiritual formation for Christian leaders. Missionalia 34:2/3, 338-361.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2007. The formation of moral leaders in South Africa: A Christian-ethical analysis of some essential elements, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 128, 18-36.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2008. Christian spirituality in dialogue with secular and African spiritualities with reference to moral formation and agency. Theologia Viatorum 32/1, pp 63-96.
  • Kretzschmar, L. and Snyman, D. 2008. Becoming and Being fully human in an HIV positive world: HIV/AIDS and Feminist Christian Spirituality. Acta Theologica Supplementum 11, 198-220.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2009. "Women and Children in Africa: A Theological-Ethical Analysis of a Path Beyond Exploitation," Perspectives in Religious Studies 36.2 (Summer, 2009): 217-31.
  • Kretzschmar, L and Schubert, R. I. 2009. Towards genuine partnerships: A dialogue between Western and Tanzanian Christian leaders. Scriptura 101, 326-340.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2010. Cultural pathways and pitfalls in South Africa: A reflection on moral agency and leadership from a Christian perspective. Koers75:3, 567-588.
  • Kretzschmar. L. 2011. Can Morality be Taught? A Reflection on Teaching Theological Ethics at a Tertiary Level in the Unisa Open and Distance Learning model. Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 141:61-80.
  • Kretzschmar, L. 2012. Towards a Christian ethic of work in South Africa. Acta Theologia 2012, 32(2): 125-146.
  • Kretzschmar, L. & Bentley, W., 2013, ‘Applied Ethics and tertiary education in South Africa: Teaching Business Ethics at the University of South Africa’, Verbum et Ecclesia 34(1), Art. #804, 9 pages. http://dx.doi. org/10.4102/ve.v34i1.804
  • Kretzschmar, L., 2014, ‘An ethical analysis of the implementation of poverty reduction policies in South Africa and Chile and their implications for the Church’, HTS Teologiese Studies/ Theological Studies 70(1), Art. #2069, 11 pages. http:// dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts. v70i1.2069
  • Kretzschmar, L., 2014, ‘Entering through the narrow gate and walking the hard road: The role of Christian leaders in exposing moral evil in the South African workplace’, Koers Bulletin for Christian Scholarship 79(2), Art. #2120, 9 pages. http:// dx.doi.org/10.4102/koers. v79i2.2120
  • Kretzschmar, L., 2015, ‘The education of prospective ministers as an invitation to life: Moving from moral failure to moral excellence through a process of moral formation’, In die Skriflig 49(1), Art. #1868, 10 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ ids.v49i1.1868
  • Kessler, V. & Kretzschmar, L., 2015, ‘Christian Leadership as a trans-disciplinary field of study’, Verbum et Ecclesia 36(1), Art. #1334, 8 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ ve.v36i1.1334
  • Brügger, T. & Kretzschmar, L., 2015, ‘Integrating Christian living and international management’, KOERS — Bulletin for Christian Scholarship 80(1), Art. #2206, 9 pages.

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

  • Senior Lecturer at the University of Transkei, 1983-1990
  • Employed at Unisa since 1991, currently Professor of Theological Ethics
  • Several Cheshunt Awards from Westminster College, University of Cambridge, U. K.
  • Recipient of numerous research grants from Unisa
  • National Research Foundation (NRF) rated researcher in South Africa since 2003
  • Vice Chairperson of the Commission on Christian Ethics of the Baptist World Alliance.


  • Ongoing research in the above fields of interest
  • Christian leadership in Context: Dialogue between Africa and Europe, with several partners including the AcF (Akademie für Christliche Führungskräfte).