Original Research - Special Collection: Change agency in a 21st-century South Africa

Change agency and higher education in South Africa

Erna Oliver
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 3 | a5133 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i3.5133 | © 2018 Erna Oliver | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 June 2018 | Published: 11 October 2018

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This article applies change agency to the institutions of higher education in South Africa – referring here to all the post-school institutions and educators in general and more specifically focused on the unique opportunities and responsibilities towards change agency in theological training. The focus is on the characteristics of a change agent, which could be an individual or a group. Seemingly, change is not going to be initiated in a ‘top-down’ approach; therefore, this article suggests a ‘bottom-up’ approach, starting with a change agent (an individual or a group) to become enthusiastic and active to bring about change. The method of constructivism is used, complemented by a general literature review of the past 70 years, filled with definitions of change agents and change agency. After the discussion of a few models, the researcher ventures to propose a way in which change agency can find a foothold among theological educators in higher education institutions in South Africa.


Change agency; Theological education; Higher Education; South Africa; caracteristics of change agents


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