On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Herv. teol. stud. vol.64 n.1 Cape Town Mar. 2008
The University of Pretoria's centenary celebration in 2008: A message of congratulation from the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa
The Church Reformation of the sixteenth century provided an im-portant stimulus to the academic training of ministers at universities. The origin of some of Europe's old-est universities is closely associat-ed with faculties of theology. In some instances universities grew from the early beginnings of a theological faculty. The past hun-dred years of history of the University of Pretoria (UP) also re-flects something of this close part-nership between theological train-ing and a university. The Nether-dutch Reformed Church of Africa (NHKA) has been part of UP ever since the establishment of a faculty of theology at this university in 1917.
The NHKA is extremely grate-ful to UP for the opportunities and space it has offered us and which enabled us to train our ministers for the past ninety one years. Theolog-ical training at a university has been and will always be a non negotiable for the NHKA. Apart from the training in the practice of critical theology which an university faculty offers, the exposure to a broader academic milieu is indis-pensable in the formation of minis-ters. It is with pride and gratitude that we can state that all the ministers who are currently serving the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa have undergone their training at UP.
The University of Pretoria has always been and still is renowned for its academic excellence, both locally and internationally. The NHKA is indeed privileged that the theological training of its candidate ministers can take place at this university. For the past hundred years UP, through the expertise of its alumni, has made a tremendous contribution to the development of South Africa. The NHKA too benef-ited from its association with UP. Critical-scientific thinking and re-search form the source for the expertise that is essential in facing the challenges of the future. Simil-arly, the academic practising of theology at a university is a sine qua non as far as the church's future relevance is concerned. The Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa congratulates the University of Pretoria on its proud history and its numerous academic achieve-ments of the highest order over the past hundred years. With this com-memorative edition of HTS Theolo-gical Studies we wish to make a contribution to UP's centenary ce-lebrations. We are thankful that we could be part of the proud tradition of the university for the past ninety one years. It is our hope and our prayer that this association may last for many years.
Prof Dr T F J Dreyer, Moderator of the Commission of the General Synod of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa.