About the Author(s)

Andries G. van Aarde Email symbol
HTS Theological Studies, AOSIS, Cape Town, South Africa

Yolanda Dreyer symbol
HTS Theological Studies, AOSIS, Cape Town, South Africa


Van Aarde, A.G. & Dreyer, Y., 2019, ‘Editorial – HTS Theological Studies’ 75th anniversary volume: Maake Masango dedication’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 75(4), a5891. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i4.5891


Editorial – HTS Theological Studies’ 75th anniversary volume: Maake Masango dedication

Andries G. van Aarde, Yolanda Dreyer

Copyright: © 2019. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

HTS Theological Studies celebrating 75 years of scholarly publication in South Africa

HTS Theological Studies is a mega-journal accredited by Scopus of Elsevier, the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science Index (ISI), Norwegian Scientific Register level one and Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) SA of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Based on this international accreditation, HTS is automatically an approved journal of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). In 2017, HTS has added to its supplements series a new HTS Religion and Society Series to benefit the best of what the new DHET policy offers regarding subsidy incentives paid to the University of Pretoria. In 2017, five books were published, of which one was HTS Supplementum 12. The other three books are part of the HTS Religion and Society Series. In 2018, the following four books were launched as an initiative of the HTS Religion & Society Series:

Considering research articles, in 2018, HTS received 350 submissions, of which 202 were approved and published (one as an editorial and the other as a review article). The published articles, aside the approved independent original research articles, consist of a number of special collections. Those were as follows:

  • Ignatius (Natie) van Wyk Dedication.
  • SPIRASA Spirituality, sub-edited by P.G.R. De Villiers (University of the Free State).
  • Septuagint SA, sub-edited by Johann Cook (Stellenbosch University).
  • Change agency in a 21st-century South Africa, sub-edited by Erna Oliver (University of South Africa).
  • Youth marginalisation as a faith-based concern, sub-edited by Ignatius Swart (University of the Western Cape).
  • Religion in dialogue, sub-edited by Maniraj Sukdaven (University of Pretoria).
  • Faith-based action and urban regeneration, sub-edited by Stephan de Beer (Univesity of Pretoria).
  • Biblical spirituality, sub-edited by Christo Lombaard (University of South Africa) and Dirk van der Merwe (North-West University).

The spreading of author affiliations were as follows: 55 (University of Pretoria), 42 (University of South Africa), 35 (North-West University), 21 (University of the Free State), 33 (International) and 16 from diverse other South African universities.

Geographical spreading of online users was as follows: 77 407 (United States of America), 30 077 (Europe), 8046 (Oceania), 22 965 (Asia) and 81 326 (Africa).

The impact factor of HTS has increased over the years because of its growing influence in scholarly publishing. Elsevier Scopus h-index was 12 (top in Africa; 13% globally of all theological and religious journals). ASSAf SciELO h-index was 14 (top in South Africa amongst theological and religious journals). HTS’ Google Scholar h-index was 18.

The present editorial board comprises 52 members. It was constituted by 32 scholars from international institutions and 13 from South African universities beyond the executive of the editorial board, representing the Reformed Theological College and other scholars attached to the University of Pretoria. A new term of newly assigned editorial board membership is commencing in 2020. This new assignment happens together with the transference of title ownership – a development that takes HTS on a new journey of scholarly publishing.

Transference of title ownership

The year 2019 witnessed the publication of the 75th volume of the HTS Theological Studies. The first volume was published in November 1943 ‘under the editorship of the Theological Professors of the Netherdutch Reformed Church at the University of Pretoria’. The first publisher was the firm ‘J.H. de Buissy [in Pretoria] and H.A.U.M. [in Cape Town]’. On the title page of the first volume, the ‘Secretariat of the Editorial Board’ is given as ‘164 Lisdogan Ave, Brynterion, Pretoria’. That was the home of Prof. S.P. Engelbrecht, the first Church History professor at the Universiteit van Pretoria. Senator T.F.J. Dreyer, who was a minister of the Church and the general secretary of the Executive of the Synod, wrote the ‘words of welcome’. Ds. T.F.J. Dreyer was the grandfather of the current associate editor, Prof. Yolanda Dreyer. He concluded his ‘word of welcome’ with the following: ‘[o]ur heartiest congratulations to the Editorial team and we pray that their work will be blessed: Vivat, crescat, floreat’.

HTS has indeed ‘lived’, ‘grown’ and ‘flourished’ for 75 years. It is the oldest and the largest theological journal in South Africa. It is also the largest academic journal in South Africa and the most cited journal in Africa.

On 26 September 2019, the 72nd Synod of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NHKA) a resolution to transfer the title ownership of HTS to the Cape Town-based open access academic publisher, African Online Scientific Information Systems (AOSIS). The General Secretary of the NHKA, Dr Frikkie Labuschagne, and Dr Pierre de Villiers, Managing Director of AOSIS, signed the backdated 01 September 2019 contract. The partnership with AOSIS had begun in 2009 when HTS became the first online open access theological journal in Africa. The first volume comprised four research articles. The 75th volume comprised 266 research articles.

The first editorial board consisted of Prof. J. de Zwaan (Leiden), Prof. H.W. Obbink (Utrecht), Prof. B. Gemser (Groningen), Prof. A. Van Selms (UP), Prof. J.H.J.A. Greyvenstein (UP), Prof. S.P. Engelbrecht (UP) and Prof. A.S. Geyser (UP). The first three professors, who were from different Dutch universities, influenced the ethos of local theologians with their ‘ethical-dialectical theology’. This meant a commitment to both ‘ecclesial confessional convictions and critical biblical scholarship’. The latter four professors were members of the Lecturers’ Meeting of the Church at the University of Pretoria. Prof. Greyvenstein, the first theology professor at the University of Pretoria, was appointed in 1917. Till the publication of the 75th volume in 2019, the executive of the editorial board consisted of the lecturers of the Church.

In 1985, Prof. Andries van Aarde was contracted by the Church to become the editor-in-chief of the journal.

In 2019, he was assisted by Prof. Yolanda Dreyer, associate editor, Dr Tanya van Wyk, assistant editor, Prof. Jaco Beyers, assistant editor and Prof. Ernest van Eck, chairperson of the executive of the editorial board.

The Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa attained title ownership when the Church bought the H.A.U.M publishing company. In those days the administration of HTS was located at the Office of the General Secretary of the Church. In 2000, the Synod shifted HTS to newly established Reformed Theological College at the University of Pretoria. In 2019, the report on HTS was presented at the 72nd Synod of the Church by the College.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the accreditation of academic journals in South Africa was managed by the National Bureau for Publications with the mandate of the Minister of Higher Education. Prof. P.S. Dreyer, professor of philosophy at the University of Pretoria, was the representative of HTS at the bureau. The national fiscus created a subsidy system for South African universities according to which accredited research publications by academics would earn subsidy for the South African universities with which they were affiliated. In order to be accredited by the DHET, editorial boards of journals have to be independent of universities. This requirement made the transfer of title ownership of HTS in 2019 necessary. The contract, however, makes provision for theologians affiliated with the University of Pretoria to still publish in HTS. The number of their publications is not exceeded 25% and the usual stringent external independent peer evaluation is applied. In this way the ethos of theology of the Church continues and the words in the first volume of 1943 remain the prayer for the future: Vivat, crescat, floreat.

The 75th anniversary volume dedicated to Maake Masango

The 75th volume, No. 4, of HTS is dedicated to Prof. Maake Masango, the first black academic to be appointed as professor in the Faculty of Theology. Professor Masango is a member of the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa. With his appointment the faculty had come to full circle: in 1917 the Presbyterian Church and the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa became the first church partners of the Faculty of Theology. With this volume the HTS not only honours Prof. Maake Masango, the gifted, charismatic and pioneer theologian, but also confirms the 75-year-old editorial policy of the journal to foster an inclusive theology while, at the same time, honouring the heritage of Reformed theology of the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (NHKA) which has left its footprint not only in South Africa but also in Africa and the world.

Maake Masango

Personal information

Maake Jonathan Masango, born 27 October 1947, is an emeritus professor of Practical Theology at the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, South Africa. He enrolled for theological study in 1972 and has served as a senior minister in the Presbyterian Church of South Africa since 1977. In 1998, he was appointed as associate professor at the Faculty of Theology and Religion (UP) and became the first black lecturer of the faculty. He is married to Pauline Velaphi Masango, and they have a daughter, Dr Tshepo M. Chery, a son, Dr Lisly Chery, and three grandchildren: Nandipa (God given one), Ndileka (the dignified one) and Naledi (the star).

Formal education
  • Diploma in Theology from Federal Theological Seminary, Alice, Fort Hare (1972–1974).
  • Master of Arts in Theology from Columbia Theological Seminary (Decatur, Georgia), USA (1981–1982).
  • Master of Arts in Christian Education from Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA, USA (1982–1983).
  • ThD in Pastoral Counseling from Columbia Theological Seminary, USA (1987–1992).
  • Certification in Psychotherapy from American Association of Pastoral Counsellors, USA.
  • 1998–1999: Associate Professor in Practical Theology, University of Pretoria.
  • 2000–2012: Professor of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria.
Minister of religion
  • Minister of the Presbyterian Church of South Africa.
  • Senior minister at St. Paul PCSA Church Sharpeville, 1976–1979.
  • Senior minister at Schoemansville Presbyterian Church, 1975–1976.
  • Director of Christian Education at the Central Office of the Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, 1984–1986.
  • Associate minister at Woodville Presbyterian Church, Richmond, VA, USA, 1982–1983.
  • Field director for Johannesburg Presbytery, 1993–1996.
  • Senior minister at the St Giles Presbyterian Church in South Africa, from 1996–1999.
  • Member, Georgia Association of Pastoral Counselors, 1989 to date.
  • Vice president, South African Council of Churches, 1997–1999.
  • Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, 1976–1977.
  • Member, World Alliance of Reform Churches, 1997–2000.
  • Executive member, All Africa Conference of Churches, 1998–2008.
  • Executive and central committee member, World Council of Churches, 1999–2006.
  • President of Africa Urban Rural Missions, 2001–2009.
  • Vice president, the Society for Practical Theology, 2004–2006.
  • Member, International Societas Homiletica, 2004 to date.
  • Member, International Association of Pastoral Care, 1992–present.
  • Member, Southern African Association for Pastoral Work, 2000–present.
  • Convener of Ministerial, Marriage and Divorce Committee (UPCSA), 1999–present.
  • Members of Peace Negotiations with South and North Korea, 2000–2011 through Asia Council of Churches.
  • Board of directors, Mendolo Ecumenical Foundation, 2012–2017.
  • Board of directors, King Fisher Mobilizing Centre, 2006–2018.
  • President of Theological Institution, All Africa Council of Churches, 2010–present.
  • Convener, Church Offices, Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, 2010–2017.
  • Member, Ecumenical Advisory Board of the Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, 2006–2016.
  • President, Theological Institutions of Southern and Central Africa (ATISCA).
Main speaker and visiting scholar, and also dealing with reconciliation
  • Africa South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Congo, Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Brazzaville, Seychelles, Uganda, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Palestine, Mozambique, Jordan, Syria, Swaziland and Malawi.
  • European countries Austria, London, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Albania, Cyprus, Ireland, Finland, The Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Norway, Denmark and Belgium.
  • Australia.
  • New Zealand.
  • Asia Bangkok, South Korea, North Korea, Thailand, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, The Philippines, China, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka and Japan.
  • West Indies Jamaica, Cayman Islands, St Thomas, St Croix, St Martens’, Cuba, Bermuda, Barbados and Haiti.
  • North America.
  • USA (spoken in 32 states) and Canada.
  • South America Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Guatemala.
  • Pacific.
Published work
Journal articles
  • 2019, ‘Trauma due to terminal illness’, International Journal of Emotional Psychology and Sport Ethics (IJEPSE).
  • 2018, ‘Religion, violence and abuse’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i3.5144
  • 2018, ‘Understanding power struggles in the Pentecostal church government’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i1.4949
  • 2016, ‘Diversity in the ministry of chaplaincy in the South African Department of Correctional Services’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i4.3748
  • 2016, ‘Community transformation through the Pentecostal churches’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3749
  • 2014, ‘An economic system that crushes the poor’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2737
  • 2014, ‘Pastorial care in the context of poverty: A Zambian perspective’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies
  • 2014, ‘The impact of spousal violence on the children: A pastoral care approach’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i2.2044
  • 2013, ‘Caring for the carer in the era of HIV diagnosis’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1163
  • 2013, Message of Prof Maake Masango at the memorial service of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
  • 2012, ‘In support of female leadership in the church: Grappling with the perspective of Setswana men. Shepherding as solution offered’, Verbum et Ecclesia. https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v33i1.433
  • 2012, ‘Generating hope in pastoral care through relationships’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i1.957
  • 2012, ‘Redefining trauma in an African context: A challenge to pastoral care’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i1.955
  • 2012, ‘The plight of absent fathers caused by migrant work: Its traumatic impact on adolescent male children in Zimbabwe’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i1.1004
  • 2011, ‘Mentorship: A process of nurturing others’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.937
  • 2011, ‘The theology and praxis of practical theology in the context of the Faculty of Theology’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i2.956
  • 2010, ‘Is prophetic witness the appropriate mode of public discourse on the global economy?’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v66i1.772
  • 2010, ‘Hope in pastoral care through relationships’, HTS Teologiese Studies/HTS Theological Studies.
  • 2010, ‘The impact and effects of trauma resulting from excommunication’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v66i1.803
  • 2009, ‘Privatisation of water systems: Crime against humanity’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v65i1.325
  • 2008, ‘Reconciliation: A gift from God’, Verbum et Ecclesia. https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v29i3.37
  • 2008, ‘What next in mission? From the end of the earth to Jerusalem’, Verbum et Ecclesia. https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v29i1.9
  • 2008, ‘Liturgy on the edge of community’.
  • 2008, ‘What next in mission? From the end of the earth to Jerusalem’, Verbum et Ecclesia.
  • 2006, ‘Die konsep, rituele en proses van Afrika-huwelike’, Verbum et Ecclesia. https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v27i1.144
  • 2006, ‘African spirituality that shapes the concept of Ubuntu’, Verbum et Ecclesia. https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v27i3.195
  • 2006, ‘Interment of ashes: Cremation service’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v62i3.386
  • 2006, Allen, R.J., 2001, ‘Preaching and practical ministry’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies.
  • 2006, ‘Interment of ashes: Cremation service’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies.
  • 2005, ‘Reconciliation: A way of life for the world’, Verbum et Ecclesia. https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v26i1.216
  • 2005, ‘Cremation a problem to African people’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v61i4.492
  • 2005, ‘The African concept of caring for life’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v61i3.465
  • 2004, ‘Aggression, anger and violence in South Africa’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v60i3.609
  • 2003, ‘Leadership in the African context’, The Ecumenical Review. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1758-6623.2003.tb00466.x
  • 2003, ‘Aristotle’s philosophical influence on Western civilization, history and theology placed women in inferior positions’.
  • 2003, ‘Church and peace in Africa: The role of the churches in the peace process’, Missionalia.
  • 2003, ‘Local church in a global era’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies.
  • 2003, ‘Pastoral counselling in Africa. An integrated model’, Missionalia.
  • 2003, ‘Homosexuality: A challenge to African churches’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v58i3.596
  • 2002, ‘Leadership in the African context’, Verbum et Ecclesia. https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v23i3.1234
  • 2002, ‘The spirit of Bandung and the struggle for freedom in South Africa’, Verbum et Ecclesia. https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v23i2.1209
  • 2002, ‘Breaking the silence of HIV/AIDS’, The Ecumenical Review.
  • 2001, ‘Churches moving beyond denominationalism’, The Ecumenical Review. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1758-6623.2001.tb00121.x
  • 2001, ‘Being the Church in Africa’, Ekklesiastikos Pharos.
  • 1999, ‘Ministerial formation’, World Council of Churches Magazine: Topic: Theological Education by Extension.
  • 1997, ‘Clothed with love – Sermon – Acts 9:1–19’, Perspective.
  • 1997, ‘New leader of the Church’, Challenge Magazine.
  • 2005, ‘To reverse the paradigm’, Communio Viatorum.
  • 1996, ‘Church union issues’, Perspective.
  • 1995, ‘She is silenced again’, Perspective.
  • 1994, ‘Women of noble character’, Perspective.
  • 1992, ‘Pastoral perspectives’, Georgia Association for Pastoral Care Journal.
  • ‘Practical and Pastoral Theology’, Handbook of Theological Education in Africa.
  • ‘Who will take care of the orphan Ministerial formation?’, WCC Magazine Issue.
Book chapters
  • 2015, Politics and economics of liberation [Politik und Okonomie der Befreiung].
  • 2013, ‘Pastoral theology in African context’, in Handbook of theological education.
  • 2013, ‘Theological meaning of God of life’, in God of life.
  • 2012, ‘The Role of religion in fostering global pace and opposing terrorism’, in Terrorism, religion, and global peace: From concepts to praxis.
  • 2010, ‘Analyzing the spiral of violence: The fish bowl method’, in Created in god’s image: From hegemony to partnership: A church manual on men as partners: Promoting positive masculinities.
  • 2006, ‘The African concept of ubuntu in conflictual age’, in Life thoughts and global Sallin (livehood) movement.
  • 2006, ‘World life forum: Geopolitics of the empire’.
  • 2005, ‘Mission in the Church in an age of religious violence’, in The way of experience: Preaching as shaping experience in a world of conflict: Studia Homiletica.
  • 1998, ‘A book of reformed prayers’, in A book of reformed prayers.
Conference papers
  • 2017, ‘African concept of Luther on money’, in Wittenberg conference on Luther: Radicalizing reformation: Provoked by the Bible and today’s crises: Proposal for the second phase of the project.
  • 2016, Papers on human dignity in the city of Kottarakara, Maraman Convention, India, 29 January–10 February.
  • 2016, Public Lecture: Spirituality overcoming trauma – A South African perspective, Universität Bern: Institutfür Praktische Theologie.
  • 2016, ‘Reformation and one world’, in Twin Consultation Reformation, Sao Paolo, 6–11 June.
  • 2016, ‘Sola gratia. Sola fide. Faith, love and men’s works. Ethics’, African Theology Symposium at Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Science in Butare, Rwanda, 18–23 February.
  • 2016, ‘Towards an African theology of life with dignity’, in All Africa Conference of Churches.
  • 2015, Christianity and the future of our societies.
  • 2015, The spirit of Ubuntu in African communities.
  • 2015, ‘Reconciliation in conflict situations’, in National reconciliation and civil society conference, Colombia City, Bogata, 12–18 May.
  • 2015, ‘Reformation and modernity in the light of socio-historic Bible research’, Predigerseminar Nurnberg, 7–13 April.
  • 2015, Reformation, education and transformation, Sao Leopldo, 19–23 November.
  • 2009, ‘Called to be one church: Faith and order at Crete’, report of the 2009 meeting of the Plenary Commission.
  • 1999, Svergises Kristna Rad, Kyrkorna Tillsammans: State of the Nation (South Africa) SACC, Swedish Government.
  • 1997, Reconciliation and your neighbour, John 4: 1–26, South African Council of Churches: Study material.


Competing interests

The authors have declared that no competing interest exist.

Author(s) contributions

Both authors contributed equally to this work.

Funding Information

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Data availability statement

Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no new data were created or analysed in this study.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated agency of the authors.

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