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.
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.
Available 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.
Read more about the Faculty of Theology and Religion’s postgraduate programmes.
Research Areas and Supervisors
UP’s new Future Africa campus will be the place where Africa’s leading scientists and scholars from across the world, and from a broad range of disciplines, will come together to leverage the benefits of trans-disciplinary research to address the grand challenges that face Africa and the world.
The Future Africa campus will provide a dynamic living, learning and research environment where a community of scholars and other societal role players will engage to advance excellence in scholarship, dialogue and impact.
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
Research That Matters
CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH, RELEVANT TEACHING AND LEARNING
The Faculty of Theology and Religion is one of the leading theological institutions in South Africa and in Africa at large. It is known for its quality research, relevant teaching and learning programmes, and community engagement, especially through its centres.
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.
A SPACE FOR SPIRITUAL AND INTELLECTUAL GROWTH
The Faculty of Theology and Religion at UP is nationally and internationally acknowledged for its high academic standards and scholarly integrity.
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
In line with its mission of pursuing recognition and excellence in its core functions of research, teaching and learning, as well as integrating engagement with society and communities, UP consolidates many of its research, teaching and engagement activities in 100 institutes, centres and units in the faculties.
A significant number of South African Research Chairs (funded by the South African Research Chairs Initiative), as well as research chairs funded by industry, are housed in these institutes, centres and units. Research themes spanning expertise across departments or faculties are often also based in these institutes, centres and units.
Read more about UP’s 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
Your Postgraduate Journey
The University of Pretoria welcomes you to its comprehensive and exciting postgraduate degree programmes. Your postgraduate journey starts from the point of registration to graduation, with guidance from an academic supervisor allocated to you. As soon as a supervisor has been appointed to oversee your research project, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which stipulates responsibilities of the student and those of the supervisor, must be signed.
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.
Explore Our Campus
The University of Pretoria's (UP) Hatfield Campus is situated in Lynnwood Road, Hillcrest, in the eastern suburbs of Pretoria. The campus is one of the most picturesque in the country. It is spread over 24 hectares and also houses most of the University's residences. The lively Hatfield cosmopolitan shopping area is within walking distance of UP's residences.