Faculty of Theology and Religion
Research Excellence at University of Pretoria

Research at the University of Pretoria (UP) is at the apex of the University’s long-term strategic plan, UP 2025, which is to be a leading research-intensive university in Africa. Equally important is the University’s international visibility and the impact of its research and innovation on socio-economic development in South Africa and in the region. UP therefore deliberately balances its focus on research and innovation and the partnerships fostered by creating an environment that is conducive to scholarly pursuits. A wide range of research and professional areas underscores the strength of UP in research and postgraduate education, and also the areas in which UP is positioned as a research leader in Africa and internationally.

UP has been home to some of Africa’s most significant leaders in research. Each year the increasing number of National Research Foundation-rated researchers is evidence of the University’s commitment to attracting and retaining researchers of the highest distinction, as well as young researchers with the potential for research excellence. It is through the sustained individual and collective actions of our researchers that UP continues to strengthen its identity as a leading research-intensive university in Africa.

Read More

Welcome to the Faculty of Theology and Religion

The Faculty of Theology and Religion offers postgraduate research opportunities across a wide spectrum of internationally recognised programmes in strategic academic and societal interests, ranging from social cohesion to social ethics that are rooted within various faith traditions. Much of the research focuses on the problem of poverty, the challenges of reconciliation and the need for restorative justice, involving key role players in various sectors of society, industry and academia.
Message from the Dean
Welcome to the University of Pretoria, and thanks for choosing UP! The Faculty of Theology and Religion is one of the most highly respected and rated faculties of its kind in the world. It’s also one of the oldest and most well-established in South Africa.

Although we are essentially a Faculty focusing on Christian theology, we present a context, understanding and appreciation for many different faith traditions. By learning about cultural and religious diversity, and how to be of service to humanity through the universal values of peace, love, tolerance, charity, social care and welfare in society, we seek to make a difference in the world.  This is how we live THE UP WAY.

THE UP WAY is our way of providing our students with a high quality of teaching and learning support systems, which help you to graduate on time as a creative and critical thinker who’s ready for the world beyond university with the skills and knowledge needed to land your first job or start your career in a related field. THE UP WAY is how we have a positive impact on the world, by transforming lives and uplifting society.

Our faculty is your home if you want to understand how different religious ideas came about, and how different faiths can change the world to make it a better place for all. We ask exciting questions, unravel new ones through research, and debate the merits of many ideas in an engaging and welcoming space.

By studying at UP’s Faculty of Theology and Religion you will be able to leave your mark in the world, because you will be a graduate who embodies respect, tolerance and care for everyone you encounter.

So, Choose UP, and we hope to see you next year!

Academic Programmes

Postgraduate programmes

The mission of the Faculty of Theology and Religion is to serve the church, community and science, with an emphasis on our devotion to the African context and sensitivity to the concerns of different Christian traditions of faith.

Research Areas

The Faculty of Theology and Religion has endorsed a Faculty Research Theme (FRT) that will provide an umbrella under which important aspects of the Faculty’s research are clustered. It is entitled Oikodome – Life in its fullness. Oikodome means household, and the theme will focus on the likes of the well-being of the household, economy, ecology, theology, religion, life-giving and impoverishment.

This FRT is aligned with the national and 2025 UP strategies and policies. The theme intends to address issues of ethical thinking and ethical decision-making on various societal issues and spheres of life, while taking religious world views, values and norms into consideration. The FRT is indispensable for the building of leadership (human capital) and the processes of ethical thinking and ethical decision-making in both the tertiary environment and the society at large. Important foci include aspects of social justice, human dignity, reconciliation, moral formation and responsible citizenship.

We aim to create an enabling environment in which our postgraduate students and their supervisors can function optimally. Our supervisors provide academic guidance and mentorship to students and are key role players in the administrative efficiency of postgraduate study.

Read more about the Faculty of Theology and Religion’s research areas.


After selecting your postgraduate programme, you will need to identify a supervisor to give you  academic support and help you achieve a high standard of research outputs during your postgraduate journey. At UP we place strong emphasis on academic excellence and innovation and strive to provide a supportive environment for all our postgraduate students to thrive.

Choosing a supervisor plays a crucial role in empowering students to become independent thinkers, skilled researchers and influential contributors in their chosen fields. Supervisors also play a pivotal role in helping students shape their research topics, refine methodologies and navigate the complex landscape of academia.

During your postgraduate studies, you have the chance to work closely with your supervisors, receiving personalised attention and guidance. This close relationship allows for constructive feedback, brainstorming sessions and the development of critical thinking skills.

If you are considering postgraduate studies at UP, rest assured that you will be embarking on an exciting journey of intellectual exploration, personal growth and professional development. By choosing UP you will have the opportunity to work alongside exceptional supervisors, collaborate with exceptional peers and make a lasting impact in your chosen discipline.

Find a suitable supervisor for your chosen area of research here

Research That Matters


The Faculty has the largest number of National Research Foundation (NRF) rated scholars and produces hundreds of peer-reviewed articles every year in highly accredited journals, both nationally and internationally. It offers cutting-edge research on relevant, contextual, interdisciplinary, and trans-disciplinary levels. It acknowledges that such work cannot be done in ivory towers and therefore aims to engage research that is life-changing and transforming; making a difference in communities and society at large.

In a world of great complexities, injustices, differentiations and global struggles, we need to consistently grapple with our understanding of God, life and reality. The Faculty of Theology and Religion thus offers relevant, critical and contextual teaching, quality research and community engagement, preparing students to respond to the challenges of life, making a difference in society, providing the tools and skills to apply knowledge to given contextual experiences and creating an environment for new ideas and thoughts to emerge.


Apart from its rich and ambiguous history, this Faculty provides a space for spiritual and intellectual growth. No serious student of Theology leaves this Faculty intellectually untouched. With an ethos of intellectual excellence, students and researchers are equipped to build communities, change paradigms, and influence traditional opinions.

As a national asset, this Faculty is characterised by a cohort of specialist lecturers and enthusiastic students; a strong research tradition; a focus on original biblical languages; an academic affection for diversity and inclusivity; and an approach to integrate Theology into church and society.

Institutes, Centres and Units

Read more about the Faculty of Theology and Religion’s Research Centres, including the Centre for Contextual Ministry, the Centre for Public Theology and the Centre for Sustainable Communities

Postgraduate Studies at the University of Pretoria

Download Brochure

Funding Opportunities

As a postgraduate student or prospective student at UP, there are a number of research resources available to you to identify suitable research funding opportunities. Apart from the University, many companies and institutions offer scholarships and bursaries for postgraduate studies. The University manages a number of financial funds on behalf of institutions who provide such funding. Applications for financial assistance, bursaries or funding must be submitted concurrently while you apply for admittance to your postgraduate programme. Funding is subject to approval and availability.

Read more about funding opportunities.


Student Voices

Kamagano Sethono

Postgraduate Accommodation

If you are looking for that special place you can call your home away from home, then a residence at the University of Pretoria (UP) is just the place for you. With us, you will find an environment that is conducive to working and studying hard.

Click here to learn more about our accommodation application process.

Jakaranda Residence

Protea Mbalenhle Residence


Xayata Residence

Skip to content