Ecumenical Perspectives

The study of the relationships that if formed in order to heal the lack of unity amongst different Christian traditions, formations, groups and denominations.



Since the twentieth century there has been a new impetus towards healing the divisions within Christianity. While some of these divisions have been caused by differences concerning faith (some more fundamental that others), many differences have been brought about by historical and practical matters. Ecumenical Perspectives therefor sets its focus on the matters that is needed to bridge these gaps and to heal the wounds – seeking the truth in love


The relative distance between Christian traditions, formations, groups and denominations has also brought, amongst others, a lack of knowledge of each other and a lack of an all-inclusive picture of who believes (and practices) what and why. We have therefore undertaken to “map” the relevant issues.


While the word “ecumenical” has sprung from the (Koine) Greek oikumene – which referred to the inhabited world of that era, we are currently setting our focus on primarily Southern-Africa. In this regards we have three projects which studies the Reformed; the Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal traditions as well as African Christianity.


It is important that each prospective student will:

  • Be provisionally accepted according to the requirements of the M&D Office of the NWU. The academic qualifications of each student as well as the student’s language proficiency must be determined and be acceptable.
  • The student should familiarize himself / herself with the current research focus of Ecumenical Perspectives within the Faculty as described above. It will be mutually beneficial if the current research can be strengthened by the student’s proposed study. The study leaders will also be able to guide the students much more effectively in a study that can contribute to the current research being done.
  • The student should provide the Ecumenical Perspective subgroup with a research motivation / proposal that sufficiently outlines a clearly defined problem statement; an explanation of the actuality and / or necessity of this particular study; a hypothesis or presumed outcome envisaged, and the specific goals that the study wishes to achieve.  
  • This research motivation / proposal will be circulated to each member of the subgroup to find a study leader that is willing and able to guide the student in this study.
  • The final acceptance of the research motivation / proposal will only be determined if a suitable and willing study leader is available. 


* Please take note that while there is also a movement to promote interreligious unity, Ecumenical Perspectives sets it focus on relationships within Christianity.


Sub-Programme leader:

Francois Muller


Tel: 018 285 2350