Masters or PhD in Practical Theology – focus on Organisational Studies / Praxis

This page is currently undergoing revision, but let me leave you with a few remarks for the time being.

At present there are a community of postgraduate students involved in the programme across different universities. We meet four times per year and there is a strong online component to what we do for communicating in the group, exchanging academic articles and more. Distance learning is possible although you will have to consult with me in this regard.

As degrees focusing on research there are no formal examinations to be written. You will become an expert in your chosen field of inquiry by way of research. Usually there are bursaries available in the form of postgraduate bursaries although most universities want students to have enrolled first before applying for a bursary (local PhD level bursaries are first in line).

Generally, at minimum, only honours degrees will be acknowledged (leading into a masters only after which PhD level studies become possible). You will have to contact me if you do not come from a theological background in which case the degrees are not offered from theology but instead broadly, management leadership. There is also however a possibility to enter the theological domain through programmes such as an MPhil degree. Already coming from a theological background? Then at present only North West University is open for application and intake and only for a limited number of successful applicants. See the NWU institutional resource page to the right. Note that the most up to date information can be located on the NWU website.

The degrees has four weight points (focus points), or three if not situated in theology. Students do not have to subscribe to all four.

1) A focus on Practical theology; 2) focus on interaction modalities such as professional facilitation, coaching, and executive counseling; 3) organisational studies; 4) and emphasis on epistemology (roughly translated to ‘how we learn about or know things’). Naturally the programme is interested in the overlap between some of the above mentioned (such as spirituality in the workplace, values in organisations, narrative/stories in coaching and so on.

Dr. Elmo Pienaar

1 Comment
  1. I’m a ordained minister of the Methodist Church of SA, having served full-time since 1988. One of my concerns was the manner in which the church relates to and is relevant in society, and in particular to secular organisations and corporations. I have registered for the degree in Organisational Praxis with the hope that this study will allow to bridge the gap between church and society, spirituality and organisation. The format of the course within the setting of a “study group” is much appreciated as the interaction with fellow students and supervisors is invaluable. These study groups are true contact groups in which friendships are being forged between learners who have the same concerns and passions. I am convinced that some of these contacts will reach beyond the boundaries of an academic degree. Being a registered student of UP has also offered access to the wider (world-wide) academic world through literature via the library and electronic media. I have found a new energy and purpose since registering for this course and would gladly recommend it to any prospective candidate.

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