Original Research - Special Collection: Practical Theology

Ministerial formation of theological students through distance education

Marilyn Naidoo
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 68, No 2 | a1225 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i2.1225 | © 2012 Marilyn Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 January 2012 | Published: 12 June 2012

About the author(s)

Marilyn Naidoo, Department of Philosophy, Systematic and Practical Theology, University of South Africa, South Africa


Ministerial formation is a multifaceted activity involving critical thinking, the acquisition of knowledge, skills development, religious identity formation and the development of ministerial and spiritual maturity expected of church ministers. Education is not merely the accumulation of a prescribed set of academic credits but includes the holistic formation of all aspects of the individual. However, theological educators are concerned about the capacity to foster such values and skills in the distance and electronic environment. Some see distance education as ‘distancing’ the students in more significant ways than simply geographic distance. These issues are of fundamental importance for they reflect the deeper convictions of theologians that distance education may not be a suitable medium for ministerial formation. This article creates a conceptual map of the theological and pedagogical challenges for ministerial formation and highlights how the possibility of formation is being carried out in the distance-learning environment.


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