Original Research

Christian ministry and theological education as instruments for economic survival in Africa

Vhumani Magezi, Collium Banda
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4545 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4545 | © 2017 Vhumani Magezi, Collium Banda | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 March 2017 | Published: 21 June 2017

About the author(s)

Vhumani Magezi, Faculty of Humanities, School of Basic Sciences, North-West University, South Africa
Collium Banda, Faculty of Humanities, School of Basic Sciences, North-West University, South Africa


There is a conflict over whether Christian ministry and theological education should be pursued with an expectation for economic survival. The rise of Christian ministry practice emphasising wealth and prosperity has heightened commodification of the Christian ministry. Church ministry and theological education are being used as instruments for economic profit. The link between theological education and Christian ministry, among other things, is that church practices and ministry expressions reflect the underlying theology. In such a situation, this article reflects on the following questions: How are Christian ministry and its undergirding theology being utilised as instruments of economic prosperity in Africa? What is the theological education approach that is employed to support this ministry approach? The article attempts to establish an understanding of ministerial practise that has biblically and theologically informed views of material wealth. It begins by examining the traditional missionary model of ministry as a sacrificial act and responses by African clergy. This is followed by examination of the development of the view of ministry as a means of economic survival and commodification of ministry and theological education in Africa. It concludes by providing an evaluation and proposing a way forward.


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