Original Research

Pastoral care to migrants as care at the ‘in-between’ and ‘liminal’ home away from home: Towards public pastoral care to migrants

Vhumani Magezi
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 40, No 1 | a1990 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v40i1.1990 | © 2019 Vhumani Magezi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 March 2019 | Published: 10 October 2019

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Vhumani Magezi, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society (URT), Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

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Migration is one of the greatest challenges in recent times. Churches, like other sectors of society, are expected to contribute. Pastoral care as a frontline ministry that forms a link with society is expected to develop strategies for effective pastoral caregiving. Understanding the challenges of migrants to appropriately intervene requires a relevant diagnostic and assessment framework. This article proposes the notion of ‘life in-between’ as an assessment and guiding pastoral care intervention framework. The article argues that pastoral care to migrants should assume a public pastoral care approach to address their holistic needs and address the public dimension of care. Within this context, life at the ‘in-between’ is conceived physically, metaphorically, spiritually, emotionally and theoretically. The pastoral care provided to migrants as people at the ‘in-between’ is enriched by the notion of the human web as opposed to only focusing on the human document within the complexities of migrant care.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The study focuses on practical theology, but with a specific focus on the sub-discipline of pastoral care. It examines the phenomenon of migration and how it can be responded to. It focuses on designing a model for assessment and intervention in migrant care.


public pastoral care; pastoral care; migrants care; life in-between; human web; migrants ministry; migrants pastoral care


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