Podcast: The shaping of South African youth ministry research

14 April 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 globalised context and in academic research?

A variety of youth ministry contexts and approaches

In this episode a conversation with Professor Shantelle Weber from the University of Stellenbosch and Professor Garth Aziz of the University of South Africa. 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 deliver 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?

Beyond contextualisation

Youth ministry and youth ministry research in South Africa face many struggles and challenges. One of the fascinating processes is the step beyond contextualisation. No longer is it enough to apply and contextualise 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 contextualisation 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.

Mentioned literature

- Aziz, Garth (2020), Age does not determine influence: A consideration for children in ministerial service, HTS Teologiese Studies/ Theological Studies 76(2), a5848. 
- Aziz, Garth (2019), Toward a contemporary understanding of youth ministry as a descriptive agency, In die Skriflig 53(1), a2403. 
- Aziz, Garth (2017), Youth ministry as an agency of youth development for the vulnerable youth of the Cape Flats, Verbum et Ecclesia 38(1), a1745. 
- Weber, Shantelle (2020), The necessity of intergenerational dialogue on social justice within the South African church, in J.J. Knoetze & V. Kozhuharov (eds.), Powers, inequalities and vulnerabilities: Impact of globalisation on children, youth and families and on the mission of the church (Reformed Theology in Africa Series Volume 4), pp. 267–292, AOSIS, Cape Town. 
- Weber, Shantelle (2017), Decolonising youth ministry models? Challenges and opportunities in Africa, HTS Teologiese Studies/ Theological Studies 73(4), a4796. 
- Weber, Shantelle (2015), A (South) African voice on youth ministry research: Powerful or powerless?, HTS Teologiese Studies/ Theological Studies 71(2), Art. #2973, 6 pages. 


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