Academic Programme


The Theology and Development Programme offers three postgraduate degrees: BTh (Honours), MTh and PhD.
The outcomes of the academic programme are as follows:

  • A greater awareness of the relationship between spirituality, faith, and social engagement
  • A greater awareness of the necessity and nature of the churches’ involvement in development
  • A greater awareness of the theoretical and theological issues involved in the development debate and the prophetic role of the faith community in social transformation
  • A greater knowledge of certain key issues in development impacting upon the societal realms of politics, economics, civil society and public opinion
  • Growth in personal capacity and ability to lead and facilitate development processes and ends within the church, community, academy, organisations and broader society
  • The development of research and writing skills

BTh (Honours) degree

The Honours degree is open to students who have an accredited three-year undergraduate degree in theology or, with permission from the University, a three-year diploma with evidence of appropriate academic competence and relevant ministerial experience. This degree is designed for pastoral leaders and Christian development workers engaged in issues of social transformation. The programme begins in February each year. Full-time students complete the degree in one-year, whilst part-time students (i.e. those who are studying whilst working) take two years.

The degree involves a core module in Theology and Development, a Research Project, modules in research and theological methodology, and two electives. The core module deals with theological resources for social transformation, the role and place of religion in society, and reflection on key development approaches. The electives include Theologies of Transformation; The Church and HIV/AIDS; Gender and Development; Critical Reflection on Development Praxis; and other theological modules as these are offered from year to year.

MTh degree

The Masters degree is open to students who have an Honours degree in Theology and Development. In some cases, students who have an Honours degree in a related field (such as Christian ethics, practical theology or missiology) will be admitted directly into the Masters programme. Full time students complete in one year, and part-time students take two years. The Programme begins in February each year.

The MTh is designed for people who want to teach or provide theological leadership in the church and society. A scholarly research thesis comprises two-thirds of the degree, and students are expected to read, research and write at an advanced level. The other third of the degree involves the core module and two electives (see the list above). The core module deepens students’ theological ability to engage with key development concerns in Africa today.

PhD degree

UKZN offers a PhD degree in Theology, and this can be undertaken within the Theology and Development Programme. The degree is by thesis alone, but students who have not completed the MTh in the Programme are normally required to participate in the Masters core module (Feb-May).

Undergraduate modules

The School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics offers a 3-year BTh degree. This degree covers Biblical Studies, History of Christianity, Systematic Theology, and Practical Theology. It prepares students for ministry in the church, community and society.

The Theology and Development Programme, with its emphasis on the role of churches in development discourse and practice, contributes two modules to this degree in preparing graduates for engaging in social transformation: Community Development, and Political and Economic Ethics.

Further Information 
For preliminary enquiries regarding the Theology and Development Programme, please contact: the Director – Dr Clint Le Bruyns, Theology & Development Programme, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

For application details and forms, please contact: the Postgraduate Officer – Ms Catherine Murugan, Tel: +27 (0)33 260-5560, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  - or access the information at under ‘Postgraduate Information’.