About HTS

About HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies

This page includes information on the focus and scope of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies as well as the policies and publication procedures. For details on how to prepare and submit a manuscript via the online manuscript submission system, please see the instructions for authors.

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Focus and scope 

HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies is an acclaimed Open Access journal with broad coverage that promotes multidisciplinary, religious, and biblical aspects of studies in the international theological arena. The journal’s publication criteria are based on high ethical standards and the rigor of the methodology and conclusions reported.

Historic overview of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 

HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies was founded in 1943 as a result of an international endeavour involving Dutch and South African scholars. It is the oldest theological journal in South Africa. Its historical roots date back to 1942 when the Cape Town based international Dutch company HAUM/Du Buissy Publishing House became the first sponsor of the initiative taken by theologians of the University of Pretoria in co-operation with scholars in the Netherlands. At the time, the theologians were responsible for theological quality management, whilst HAUM/du Buissy Publishing House provided the administrative infrastructure. HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies’ rights were later sold to the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (Hervormde Kerk). The then N.H.W. Press (owned by the Netherdutch Reformed Church) printed HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies (also known as Hervormde Teologiese Studies) and the administration of the journal was handled by staff attached to the Church Synod office in Pretoria. Up until Volume 64 in 2008, four issues were published annually. Professor Doktor J. de Zwaan (Leiden), Professor Doktor H.W. Obbink (Utrecht) and Professor Doktor B. Gemser (Groningen) from the Netherlands played an influential role in the first Editorial Board together with the Dutch-born internationally recognised Old Testament scholar Professor Doktor A. van Selms. During the first four years of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies’ existence (1943−1947/1948), academics from the University of Pretoria who served on the Editorial Board, together with Professor Van Selms and the above-mentioned Dutch scholars, were Professors J.H.J.A. Greyvenstein (New Testament Studies and Practical Theology), S.P. Engelbrecht (Church History) and A.S. Geyser (New Testament Studies). Over the years a close collaboration as far as the infrastructure and scholarly quality of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies were concerned developed between the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa and the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria, founded in 1917. The Dutch Reformed Church (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk) joined in 1937 and became Section B of the Faculty of Theology. In 2000, the two sections, the Dutch Reformed Church (the then Section B) and the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (Section A) amalgamated and formed the multi-church oriented Faculty of Theology in collaboration with the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa. In view of the amalgamation the General Synod of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa decided that the newly established Reformed Theological College should be responsible for the infrastructure of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies.

The present day

htsThe Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa is the title owner of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies; a contractual agreement was reached between the University of Pretoria and the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa in 2000, in terms of which the Reformed Theological College was affiliated to the Faculty of Theology. According to Clause 7.2 of this agreement, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studiesadministration is managed by the Faculty of Theology’s Reformed Theological College (HTK). The Reformed Theological College is responsible through the Editorial Board of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies to ensure that the criteria for accreditation of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies by the Department of Education of the South African national government are met and upheld. Accreditation is a condition for tertiary institutions in South Africa to receive a financial subsidy from the Department of Education for published research outputs of South African academics and their registered research associates. As a co-partner in the multi-church theological faculty at the University of Pretoria, the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa through its support of the Reformed Theological College in the Faculty of Theology and the Nederduitsch Hervormde Lecturers’ Council of the Faculty of Theology, supports academic publishing in the field of theology, more specifically through HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies as a scholarly journal. At the beginning of 2009, commencing with Volume 65 of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies, the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa entered into a publishing agreement with African Online Scientific Information Systems (Pty) Ltd (AOSIS). This company provides various services, including but not limited to the provision of scholarly publication services.

ptsaIn 2007, consultation between the editors of the journals Practical Theology in South Africa and HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studiesbegan with the possibility of uniting in their endeavours to be one theological research portal. In 2009 these discussions ended in a formal agreement between the Society for Practical Theology in South Africa and the Editorial Board of HTS Teologiese/Theological Studies to jointly promote and ensure the sustainable publication of scholarly articles in theology. In the permanent section Practical Theology the tradition of publishing original, scholarly and peer reviewed research within Practical Theology as a theological discipline will be honoured and continued. We want to link up with the international growing consensus on what this discipline wants to contribute to theology as such and as part of the proud tradition of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies.

Open Access 

This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access. Learn more about the journal copyright, licensing and publishing rights.

Peer review policy 

HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies has a double-blinded peer review process. Manuscripts are initially examined by editorial staff and are sent by the Editor-in-Chief to two expert independent reviewers, either directly or by a Section Editor. The editors do not inform the reviewers of the identity of the author(s). The reviewers’ identities are not disclosed to the authors either. The reviewers’ comments as well as recommendations regarding an article’s form may be passed on to the corresponding author and may also include suggested revisions. Manuscripts that are not approved for publication will not be returned to the submitting author in any format. Please note that AOSIS do not retain copies of rejected articles.

The peer review process aims to ensure that all published articles:

  • present the results of primary scientific research
  • report results that have not been published elsewhere
  • are scientifically sound
  • provide new scientific knowledge where experiments, statistics and other analyses are performed to a high technical standard and are described in sufficient detail so that another researcher will be able to reproduce the experiments described
  • provide conclusions that are presented in an appropriate manner and are supported by the data
  • are presented in an intelligible and logic manner and are written in clear and unambiguous English, Afrikaans and Dutch.
  • meet all applicable research standards with regard to the ethics of experimentation and research integrity
  • adhere to appropriate reporting guidelines and community standards for data availability.

The journal publisher, AOSIS, is a member of the CrossCheck plagiarism detection initiative. All works are submitted to CrossCheck and is available to the editors of the journal to detect instances of overlapping and similar text. In the event of high percentage overlap, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines will apply (learn more).

Publication frequency 

The journal publishes at least one issue each year. Articles are published online when ready for publication and then printed in an end-of-year compilation. Additional issues may be published for special events (e.g. conferences) and when special themes are addressed. 

Indexing &Archiving

Indexing Services

All articles published in the journal are included in:

  • DHET SA List
  • SciELO SA
  • Web of Science Core Collection, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, AHCI (previously known as ISI)
  • African Journals Online (AJOL)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • EBSCO Host
  • GALE, CENGAGE Learning
  • Google Scholar
  • ProQuest

We are working closely with relevant indexing services to ensure that articles published in the journal will be available in their databases when appropriate.


The full text of the journal articles is deposited in the following archives to guarantee long-term preservation:

  • Portico
  • AOSIS Library
  • SA ePublications, Sabinet
  • South African Government Libraries

AOSIS is also a participant in the LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) initiative. LOCKSS will enable any library to maintain their own archive of content from AOSIS and other publishers, with minimal technical effort and using cheaply available hardware.

The URL to the LOCKSS Publisher Manifest for the journal is: http://www.hts.org.za/index.php/hts/gateway/lockss

Please inform us if you are using our manifest as we would like to add your name to the list above.

DHET accreditation

The journal is DHET accredited because it is listed on the following approved indexing services:

  • DHET SA List
  • SciELO SA
  • Thomson Reuters Web of Science Core Collection, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, AHCI (previously known as ISI)


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