Journal Information



  • ISSN
  • Focus and scope
  • Publication frequency
  • Types of articles published
  • Open access
  • Review process
  • Marketing
  • Membership



0259-9422 (PRINT)
2072-8050 (ONLINE)



Focus and scope

HTS Theological Studies is an acclaimed Open Access journal, which publishes articles from a critical theological perspective on Christian praxis to address local, contextual and international challenges.


The notion ‘critical’ refers to in-depth scholarly investigations that generate significant and innovative insights. The term ‘Christian praxis’ is understood in an inclusive ecumenical sense as the concrete activities of Christian churches, organisations and movements in history. The meaning of ‘theological’ can be explained by using the acronym HTS. It refers to Christian studies that encompass Historical Thought and Sources.


The Historical dimension of Christian praxis includes studies in the nature and development of significant movements, institutions, conflicts, myths, legends, narratives and philosophies that have impacted Christian history. Contributions are welcome that examine the history of the Christian religion in its encounter with various cultures, religions and ideologies, by studying it from perspectives such as phenomenology, psychology, philosophy and sociology.


The Thought dimension of Christian praxis refers to the concept fides quaerens intellectum (‘faith seeking understanding’). HTS welcomes contributions that critique and develop the scholarly disciplines in Christian theology that are devoted to exegetical, hermeneutical, systematic, ethical, historical, ministerial and missiological endeavours. Theological contributions on interfaith encounters and on issues of gender, culture, race, class are encouraged.


The Sources dimension of Christian praxis refers to studies on the interpretation of the written and oral sources that have shaped (and continue to shape) the Christian movement. These sources include the Hebrew Scriptures, the Septuagint, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Intertestamental literature, the New Testament and early Christian literature, Rabbinic literature, Patristics, the confessional documents of Christian denominations, and the publications of ecumenical bodies.


Contributions are welcome from every continent and theological persuasion. HTS provides a platform for research collaboration between theologians and scholars from various fields outlined above and encourages multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary studies in the international theological arena. 



Historic data

HTS 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 Hollandsch-Afrikaansche Uitgevers-Maatschappij (H.A.U.M.)/Du Bussy Publishing House (formerly Jacques Dusseau & Co., based in Amsterdam) 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 H.A.U.M./du Bussy Publishing House provided the administrative infrastructure. HTS Theological Studies’ rights were later sold to the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (Hervormde Kerk) in 1957. The then-N.H.W. Press (owned by the Netherdutch Reformed Church) printed HTS 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 Doctor J. de Zwaan (Leiden), Professor Doctor H.W. Obbink (Utrecht) and Professor Doctor 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 Doctor A. van Selms. During the first four years of HTS 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 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 (Nederduitse 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 Theological Studies.


The Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa was the title owner of HTS Theological Studies since 1957. 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 that agreement, HTS Theological Studies administration was managed by the Faculty of Theology’s Reformed Theological College (HTK). The Reformed Theological College was responsible through the Editorial Board of HTS Theological Studies, to ensure that the criteria for accreditation of HTS Theological Studies by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) of the South African national government were met and upheld. Accreditation is a condition for tertiary institutions in South Africa to receive a financial subsidy from the DHET 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 Theological Studies as a scholarly journal. At the beginning of 2009, commencing with Volume 65 of HTS Theological Studies, the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa entered into a publishing agreement with African Online Scientific Information Systems (Pty) Ltd (AOSIS). In 2007, consultation between the editors of the journals Practical Theology in South Africa and HTS Theological Studies began 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 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 Theological Studies.


The present day

The title ownership of HTS Theological Studies has been transferred to AOSIS, with effect from 01 September 2019. The purpose of the transfer was to strengthen HTS Theological Studies as a fully independent, multi-disciplinary and denomination-neutral international journal in religious studies. From 01 January 2020, AOSIS directly took over the operational costs and responsibilities of HTS Theological Studies, and the current operational functions (and office) of HTS Theological Studies based at UP moved to the AOSIS offices in Durbanville, Cape Town. All the editorial policies of HTS Theological Studies remains in place. 


HTS Theological Studies has built up an impressive record. As South Africa’s oldest theological journal, HTS Theological Studies celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2019. It is now the largest (in terms of number of articles published per year) theological journal indexed in Scopus and is ranked in the top 25% of journals, in terms of impact. In 2018, it achieved the 7th highest number of citations. Since 2010, more than one million unique readers visited the HTS Theological Studies website, with the largest country of usage being the United States of America, followed by South Africa. HTS Theological Studies is accredited by Clarivate Analytics (Web of Science / ISI), Elsevier Scopus, Norwegian Scientific Register and SciELO SA. In 2019, HTS Theological Studies’ Scopus h-index was 12 (top in Africa) with its SciELO SA H5-index 14 and M5 index at 18.


A new international editorial board and editor's team are selected and appointed in 2020. HTS Theological Studies continues to publish in a golden route open access model and applies rigorous peer review to ensure the highest possible scholarly standards. Modern and technology-driven publishing practices are used to ensure that HTS Theological Studies and its book series, HTS Religion & Society, are published to the highest international standards and are listed in leading indexing services.



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.



Types of articles published

Read full details on the submissions guidelines page.



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 Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) definition of open access. Learn more about the journal copyright, licensing and publishing rights.



Review process

The journal 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. Read our full peer review process.




AOSIS has a number of ways in which we promote publications. Learn more here.




AOSIS is a member and/or subscribes to the standards and code of practices of several leading industry organisations. This includes the Directory of Open Access Journals, Ithenticate, Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, CrossRef, Portico and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Learn more here.



DHET Accreditation

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

  • Clarivate Analytics Web of Science Core Collection, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, AHCI (previously known as ISI)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) - DHET Approved Index from 2021
  • SciELO SA

Indexing Services

All articles published in the journal are included in:

  • African Journals Online
  • ATLA Religion Database
  • Bibliographical Information Bank in Patristics
  • Clarivate Analytics Web of Science Core Collection, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, AHCI (previously known as ISI)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • EBSCO Host
  • GALE, CENGAGE Learning
  • Google Scholar
  • New Testament Abstracts, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
  • Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers, Level 1
  • Old Testament Abstracts, Catholic University of America
  • ProQuest
  • Religious and Theological Abstracts
  • SciELO SA

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:

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

Journal Impact

A journal's Impact Factor was originally designed in 1963 as a tool for libraries to compare journals, and identify the most popular ones to subscribe to. It was never intended to measure the quality of journals, and definitely not the quality of individual articles.

The Impact Factor is a journal-level measurement reflecting the yearly average number of citations of recent articles published in that journal. It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field; journals with higher Impact Factors are often deemed to be more important than those with lower ones. Therefore, the more often articles in the journal are cited, the higher its Impact Factor.

The Impact Factor is highly discipline-dependent due to the speed with which articles get cited in each field and the related citation practices. The percentage of total citations occurring in the first two years after publication varies highly amongst disciplines. Accordingly, one cannot compare journals across disciplines based on their relative Impact Factors.

We provide several citation-based measurements for each of our journals, if available. We caution our authors, readers and researchers that they should assess the quality of the content of individual articles, and not judge the quality of articles by the reputation of the journal in which they are published.


Citation-based measurement  


Journal Impact Factor, based on Web of Science (formerly ISI)


CiteScore, based on SCOPUS, Elsevier


Source-Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP), based on SCOPUS, Elsevier


Scimago Journal Rank (SJR), based on SCOPUS, Elsevier


H5-index, based on Google Scholar