Original Research - Special Collection: Christina Landman Festschrift

Organisational leadership, women and development in the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe: A practical theology perspective

Joachim Kwaramba, Yolanda Dreyer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 1 | a5436 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i1.5436 | © 2019 Joachim Kwaramba, Yolanda Dreyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 February 2019 | Published: 29 November 2019

About the author(s)

Joachim Kwaramba, Religious Studies Classics and Philosophy, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
Yolanda Dreyer, Department Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


This article focusses on women and the organisational leadership structures of the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) in Zimbabwe. The aim is to identify the roles, practices and contributions of women to the developmental agenda in the church. The AFM in Zimbabwe identifies leadership positions in their various assemblies as pastor (mufundisi), elder (muvhangeri), deacon (muparidzi) and lay worker (mubati). From these ranks, the provincial and national leadership is chosen. The access to and participation of women in these offices and leadership positions will be investigated to ascertain their input to the development of the church and perception of women in the society. The article discusses the mechanisms for the election of leadership in the AFM in Zimbabwe. It analyses leadership succession and leadership roles within the AFM in Zimbabwe from the perspective of gender equity and the involvement (or lack thereof) of women in policy-making, decision-making and the management of the church. Four aspects of the Exploratory Descriptive Normative Action research (EDNA) model were utilised from a practical theology perspective. The article shows that women do not have access to top leadership positions in the AFM in Zimbabwe even though there are no explicit policies that regulate their exclusion. It highlights their contribution to the development of the church despite this exclusion and engages critically with the unspoken assumption that women are not fit to take up the presidium offices and develop the AFM. The article finds that unquestioned patriarchal discourse contributes to women’s invisibility, which results in their not being taken into consideration when choices are made to elect people for higher leadership positions in the church.


Women; Gender; Church leadership; Practical theology; Pentecostal


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Crossref Citations

1. The challenges of being a female pastor: A case of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe
Terence Mupangwa, Sophia Chirongoma
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 76  issue: 2  year: 2020  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v76i2.5838