Original Research - Special Collection: UP Faculty of Theology Centenary Volume One

Diversity in the ministry of chaplaincy in the South African Department of Correctional Services

Maake J. Masango, Maxwell Mkhathini
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 4 | a3748 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i4.3748 | © 2016 Maake J. Masango, Maxwell Mkhathini | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 July 2016 | Published: 02 December 2016

About the author(s)

Maake J. Masango, Practical Theology Department, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Maxwell Mkhathini, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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This article gives an overview of diversity in the South African Department of Correctional Services and how it challenges the ministry of chaplains. The diversity is manifest in the religious affiliations of inmates, crime categories, various categories of offenders, and programmes and services as unpacked in this article. This article precisely aims to shed light on how the chaplaincy functions within the framework of corrections in South Africa and how the diversity of the inmates’ population impacts on its theory and praxis. The Authors delineate the role that chaplains have to play to remain relevant to the correctional environment and accentuate the required empathic and non-judgmental stance by spiritual care personnel. Religious flexibility and adaptability is essential, as chaplains are managers of all religious activities. The article provides solid insights into what being a correctional chaplain in South Africa entails.


Chaplaincy; Inmate; Offender; Rehabilitation; Correctional Centre; Diversity; Ministry; Spiritual Worker


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