Christian Education: Retrospects and Prospects

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 August 2023) | Viewed by 7395

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 3201, South Africa
Interests: religion and governance; social history of the church; Christian education; church and the environment; pastoral leadership

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 3201, South Africa
Interests: education for social transformation; religion and social transformation; political economy of ancient Israel; prophetic literature

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The religious landscape has seen considerable changes and shifts in the past couple of decades. Africa and the rest of the developing world have been freed from the yoke of formal colonialism. Christian education which used to be in the hands of Western missionaries is now firmly in the hands of indigenous clergy and lay people. The Western world is growing increasingly secular. The center of gravity in Christianity has moved from the West to Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The Pentecostal-Charismatic forms of Christianity have dislodged mainstream Christianity as the dominant brand of the Christian religion. This Special Issue explores Christian education from the past, through the present and its prospects for the future, against the background of these seismic shifts in the Christian world. We welcome papers that look at the goal, models, content, and practice of Christian education from the past into the future, as well as the response of Christian education to the changes that are happening in both the secular and Christian worlds.

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400–600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the guest editors at taruonah@ukzn.ac.za or to the Religions editorial office at religions@mdpi.com. Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors for the purposes of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

Prof. Dr. Simangaliso R. Kumalo
Dr. Honoured Taruona
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Christian education
  • education for transformation
  • Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity
  • mainline Christianity
  • decolonizing Christian education

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 192 KiB  
Article
Lutheran Theological Education to Christian Education in (South) Africa: A Decolonial Conversion in the African Church
by James Kenokeno Mashabela
Religions 2024, 15(4), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040479 - 12 Apr 2024
Viewed by 456
Abstract
It can be debated whether a Lutheran identity is still relevant in the midst of ecumenical development in (South) Africa, with special reference to theological education and Christian education. The Lutheran Church is a unique body within the ecumenical family as it contributes [...] Read more.
It can be debated whether a Lutheran identity is still relevant in the midst of ecumenical development in (South) Africa, with special reference to theological education and Christian education. The Lutheran Church is a unique body within the ecumenical family as it contributes to work on the mission of God. Theological education and Christian education are educational centres which aim to promote social justice towards community development. These two educational centres are branches of the Lutheran Church. Taking into account the fact that theological education and Christian education were introduced by European and American missionaries with various church traditions in (South) Africa as part of community development, the purpose of this article is to discuss the impact of Lutheran theological education and Christian education, to demonstrate their contribution in the church, and call for their decolonisation and contextualisation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christian Education: Retrospects and Prospects)
16 pages, 221 KiB  
Article
Christian Education in Colonial and Post-Independent Zimbabwe: A Paradigm Shift
by Francis Machingura and Cecil Samuel Kalizi
Religions 2024, 15(2), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020213 - 11 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1761
Abstract
Since the arrival of Christianity in Africa during the pre-colonial era, one of the main characteristics of its spread has been Christian Education (CE). The achievements made thus far by missionaries and African Christian communities were based on the Church-based Christian Education programs [...] Read more.
Since the arrival of Christianity in Africa during the pre-colonial era, one of the main characteristics of its spread has been Christian Education (CE). The achievements made thus far by missionaries and African Christian communities were based on the Church-based Christian Education programs that were put into place by churches created by missionaries. Education, let alone Christian Education, has a key role to play in the transformation of every society. The problem is that the type of Christianity and Christian Education introduced sought to uproot Africans from their identity, culture, and language. Christian Education has a crucial role in changing the perspective of citizens to one that is Euro-centric and in promoting effective discipleship and strong doctrinal allegiance among members of mainline churches. Even though Christianity has undergone meaningful change over time, its many manifestations still survive in diverse 21st-century societies. Christianity, just like African Traditional Religion, has permeated every sphere and life of the Zimbabweans. The prospects of Christian Education to foster a positive society’s transformation in Zimbabwe are great and accepted. Two types of Christianity were introduced to Africa: Afro-centric Christianity and Euro-centric Christianity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christian Education: Retrospects and Prospects)
14 pages, 1112 KiB  
Article
Revitalizing the Mission: The Challenge for Christian Education to Discover Contextual Vocation and Ethos
by Bram de Muynck and Bram Kunz
Religions 2023, 14(10), 1330; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14101330 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1195
Abstract
In a rapidly changing world, due to globalization, individualization, economization, and secularization, the need for revitalizing the mission of Christian schools is inevitable. The authors relate the concept of mission to the often-used concept of school identity. The latter concept is distinguished as [...] Read more.
In a rapidly changing world, due to globalization, individualization, economization, and secularization, the need for revitalizing the mission of Christian schools is inevitable. The authors relate the concept of mission to the often-used concept of school identity. The latter concept is distinguished as intended identity, lived identity, and perceived identity. The mission is defined as equal to the intended identity and must be understood as a contextual vocation. Revitalizing the mission means following a process in which stakeholders can once again relate prospect to retrospect. This process includes discerning about a vocation by exploring meanings in the past and the present (sense-giving and sense-making) and focusing on ethos (action formation and institutionalization). The outcome of the revitalization will differ according to the preferences in the context of the school. The authors propose a seven-step model through which the school’s vocation can be determined in any context. Although this roadmap is mainly meant to be used in an already existing school, it can also be applied to a new school to be started. In both cases, staff members need to be involved in the process of revitalization and inception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christian Education: Retrospects and Prospects)
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13 pages, 258 KiB  
Article
Retrospective and Prospective Approaches to Christian Education in Church of Christ Schools in Zimbabwe
by Gift Masengwe and Bekithemba Dube
Religions 2023, 14(9), 1120; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14091120 - 30 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1436
Abstract
This article explores the past, present, and future of Christian education (CE) in the Church of Christ in Zimbabwe (COCZ) schools under the Dadaya, Mashoko, and Chidamoyo clusters. It highlights the retrospective and prospective aspects of CE within the church by emphasizing the [...] Read more.
This article explores the past, present, and future of Christian education (CE) in the Church of Christ in Zimbabwe (COCZ) schools under the Dadaya, Mashoko, and Chidamoyo clusters. It highlights the retrospective and prospective aspects of CE within the church by emphasizing the adaptability, collaboration, and utilization of contemporary tools and resources to effectively carry out the mission of CE in Zimbabwean schools. It acknowledges the strong historical foundation of COCZ schools in providing biblical teachings, moral formation, and faith integration. However, it also highlights the challenges faced by the COCZ in maintaining this foundation posed by church politics and oppressive family ministries. This study assesses the patterns, dynamics, and consequences of intentional CE influenced by the COCZ’s ethical and moral principles, commonly known as the Restoration Movement principles or the Stone–Campbell theories of “restoring the church to its first century forms”. It recognizes the impact of COCZ school education on the development of church leaders as well as civil and secular leaders from COCZ-mission school graduates. However, it acknowledges that the historical foundation has been gradually fading in the post-missionary era. Looking ahead, this article emphasizes the need for a comprehensive and holistic approach to CE that addresses all aspects of individuals’ well-being in that church. This includes adapting to societal changes, developing CE-conscious leaders, engaging in community outreach, embracing digital tools and resources, and fostering collaborative networks with other CE-conscious church schools and institutions. This article suggests that by embracing these prospects, the COCZ can enhance its commitment to CE and positively impact the lives of its members and the wider community at its mission stations. Using WhatsApp interviews for data collection, it discusses these prospects by focusing on transformative leadership, embracing diversity, effective communication, and addressing power dynamics to facilitate the church’s mission and vision in Zimbabwe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christian Education: Retrospects and Prospects)
17 pages, 314 KiB  
Article
Christian Education, Quo Vadis?
by Wilbert Gobbo
Religions 2023, 14(8), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14080977 - 28 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1705
Abstract
Christian education is very important. It can help to bring a holistic liberation and development of people. A good education can be a key to a good life. Our reflection is on Christian education; quo vadis, meaning where are you going? Chapter [...] Read more.
Christian education is very important. It can help to bring a holistic liberation and development of people. A good education can be a key to a good life. Our reflection is on Christian education; quo vadis, meaning where are you going? Chapter one will be a general introduction. Chapter two will focus on a brief historical survey of Christian education. It will reflect, among others, on the way Christian education was brought to Africa from Europe. In some places, it was regarded as a colonial tool. The analysis of the state of Christian education will be in chapter three. It will, among other things, evaluate the merits and demerits of Christian education in Africa in its current form. Chapter four will focus on the future of Christian education in Africa. It will contain our suggestions to improve Christian education in Africa. It will provide some propositions not only on how to bring about the decolonisation of Christian education but also its Africanisation. There should be a deconstruction of colonial Christian education and the reconstruction of an Africanised Christian education. The suggestions will be associated with the contextualization, decontextualization, and recontextualization of Christian education in Africa. Through, inter alia, its proper Christian education, Africa should be able to “think globally but act locally”. The last chapter will be the general conclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christian Education: Retrospects and Prospects)
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