Faith in Youth

06 The Shaping of South African Youth Ministry Research

April 14, 2022

What is the voice and the identity of youth ministry and youth ministry research in South Africa? And what is that South African identity of youth ministry in a globalized context and in academic research? 


In this episode a conversation with Professor Shantelle Weber from the University of Stellenbosch and Professor Garth Aziz of the University of Pretoria. They are two prominent voices of a hub of youth ministry researchers in South Africa. This hub is small, but growing, and consists of a group of inspiring, creative and original youth ministry scholars that bring high-quality research. In the variety of contexts and traditions of South Africa and the heritage of a complex history, they create a South African approach. But how does that look like?


Youth ministry and youth ministry research in South Africa face many struggles and challenges. One of the fascinating processes is the step beyond contextualization. No longer is it enough to apply and contextualize international frameworks to get the voices of South African young people heard. A platform is needed for the voices of young people to be heard from an African and South African perspective in such a way that it speaks to specific contexts of young people, but that also has the recognition of the international community. The need to go beyond the contextualization expresses itself in the creation of indigenous theologies, theologies from the ground birthed out of the South African context. It is a challenge, it is a struggle, but it is also a story of hope.

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