Original Research

The Grounded Theory methodology to conduct content analysis of sermons and interviews: Critique and response

Hendrik J.C. Pieterse
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 1 | a5851 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i1.5851 | © 2020 Hendrik J.C. Pieterse | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 October 2019 | Published: 05 March 2020

About the author(s)

Hendrik J.C. Pieterse, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


The search for a good method to analyse sermon content (and the content of interview documents) has been prevailing since the past decades to evaluate current practice so as to construct better theories for practice. I think that we have found it in the methodology of inductive, qualitative research of the Grounded Theory methodology. In this article, I am going to use the Grounded Theory approach to describe the phases of qualitative empirical research, namely, literature study, sampling, open coding of the data, selective coding of additional new data and theoretical coding to be able to construct an emerging theory of praxis using the concepts developed for this specific action in our discipline. There are critical comments for this methodology. I will try to address these critical views and argue that the Grounded Theory is in line with the science of research.


Grounded Theory analysis; content analysis; sermons and interview documents; critique on method; response to critique


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