Original Research - Special Collection: Centenary Festschrift

The history of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria: A Dutch Reformed perspective 1938–2008

Johan M. van der Merwe, Cas J.A. Vos
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 30, No 3 | a132 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v30i3.132 | © 2009 Johan M. van der Merwe, Cas J.A. Vos | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 September 2009 | Published: 17 December 2009

About the author(s)

Johan M. van der Merwe,, South Africa
Cas J.A. Vos,, South Africa

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In 1938 the Faculty of Theology Section B was established at the University of Pretoria, which could be likened to a small fountain. As the fountain flowed through the decades of history, it grew and became a river that made a huge impact on the university, the Church and society. The aim of this article, coinciding with the centenary of the University of Pretoria, is to focus on the positive contribution of the Faculty of Theology towards university, church and society. Like any river it went through different stages. There were times of peace and tranquillity, but also times of raging rapids. At certain stages of growth and development both lecturers and students made a huge impact, playing leading roles in Church and society, clearly voicing the call of the Church. The voice of the Faculty was not always welcome and was at times met by strong reaction, which was possibly one of the reasons for the murder of Prof. J.A. Heyns. In 2000 a new era dawned when the stream that became a river was joined by streams of different denominations. This made the river even stronger, with much more impact. This article tells the story of the origin, growth and struggle of the Dutch Reformed Church at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria from 1938 to 2008.


Faculty of Theology; University of Pretoria; Dutch Reformed church; history; centenary


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