Original Research - Special Collection: OEH: The Online Educated Human

The nature and application of formational learning in the distance medium

Marilyn Naidoo
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 1 | a5228 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i1.5228 | © 2019 Marilyn Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 September 2018 | Published: 28 February 2019

About the author(s)

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


As theological education increasingly uses more flexible approaches to teaching and the number of distance education students increases, more attention needs to be placed on how formational education takes places in this environment. It is assumed that we cannot successfully address student formation in online learning contexts. However, with the advances in technology, the debate has moved on to exploring how theological education might adapt to new teaching and learning environments and use new pedagogies and technologies to prepare students for ministry. This article poses the question of how formational education is possible in the distance environment, considering the nature of formational education. In attempting an answer, the foundational dynamics of formation are unpacked using an analysis of the current literature together with highlighting the essential pedagogical factors of community, student support and faculty that are central to student formation. This article is of value as it highlights how formational education can be locally adapted within the distance mode.


Formational education; theological education; distance education; South Africa


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Crossref Citations

1. Re-engaging Spiritual Formation in Online Theological Education
Cornelis van der Knijff
Transformation: An International Journal of Holistic Mission Studies  vol: 38  issue: 4  first page: 316  year: 2021  
doi: 10.1177/02653788211038843