Research

The Pentecostal movement is the fastest growing Christian movement in the world. As a pastor or leader of a Pentecostal church you have the opportunity, through your academic studies, to contribute to the database of knowledge that solely aspires to proliferate the Kingdom of God.

Never before in the history of the Church has the Spirit-filled Pentecostal pastor had such a fruitful opportunity to help shape the future of global Christianity.

Below is a list of papers, Masters and Doctoral studies completed at ATS. The published dissertations and theses are available in the ATS library.


2017

Mutemwa D, MA Theology

Cum Laude

The effectiveness of Sesheke Church's transformational task: a practical theological perspective.

This research examines the effectiveness of the Sesheke Church's transformational task from the inception of the task in 2007. Throughout the study the researcher seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. what has been the church's current practice, aimed at transforming the community?
  2. what can be learned form other research findings about the transformational task of the church?
  3. what principles from Scripture can guide the church's transformational practice?, and
  4. Combining the findings of the first three questions in guidelines to help the church to be effective in transforming their community?

David's research was in the specific setting of his home town of Sesheke in Zambia, but his findings and guidelines will also help other churches that want to become more effective in transforming their community.

2016

Pelser AS, MA Theology

Die impak van die korporatiewe erediens liturgie op die liturgie van die individuele geloofslewe.
(The impact of the corporate worship liturgy on the liturgy of the individual's spiritual life)

Liturgy should consciously have in mind the transformation of the world, as we know it.

Sweet (1999:58) remarks: "If there is darkness, the blame should be attached where it belongs; not to the world that is dark, but to the church that is failing to provide the light".

This research proposes that it is in particular the calling of the individual believer to work towards the transformation of society, however, the latter is not practiced effectively in the world, the reason mainly being that corporate liturgy does not prepare and equip believers for the liturgy of daily living.

This study seeks to answer one important question: Which practice-theoretical markers can be discerned, in order to:

  • effectively equip individual believers, and
  • erect signs of God's coming Kingdom daily as the liturgy of life.

2015

Oldewage HE, DLitt et Phil

Fostering koinonia: A critical evaluation of the value of digital social networks in urban congregations.

The opening decade of the 21st century has seen a marked expansion in the influence of digital technology on virtually all fields of human endeavour. While fostering koinonia is a primary goal of social media use in congregational settings, it is still unclear whether the theoretical expectations we have of this brand new communicational tool will be met in practise over the long term. This leaves a central question: Can the use of digital social media networks in the church context help foster true koinonia - especially in urban congregations, where the impact of lifestyle pressures on relationships is often more pronounced?

2014

Mongwe JM, DLitt et Phil

Exploring barriers to effective youth curriculum implementation in the Trans-Orange Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

The study developed a new model of youth praxis, intended to increase trained and qualified youth ministry personnel, progressive classes and the level of resource accessibility to congregational youth ministry curriculum providers as well as the youth in general.

Evans EM, DLitt et Phil

A theological perspective on the holistic needs of emeritus pastors of the Apostolic Faith Mission of SA.

How can the AFM, from a pastoral perspective, understand the situation of, prepare and assist its emeritus in coping effectively with retirement - in the process addressing their holistic needs - maintaining a meaningful life in the service of God as integral members of his community? A model that explains the strategy for planning and preparing for retirement has been compiled in this study to address the fears and problems of emeritus.

2013

Van Niekerk HKK, MA Theology

Ondersteuning aan gedeshonoreerde pastore binnen die AGS-kerk.
(Support of dishonoured pastors of the AFM-church)

The motivation for this study is to determine to what extent dishonoured AFM pastors of South Africa are supported by formal church structures. The purpose of this research is to establish practical guidelines for the AFM of South Africa to provide meaningful support to dishonoured pastors in a crisis in order for them to recover fully.

Prof de Smidt K

The Holy Spirit empowers God's community to be people of God's new world - a New Testament study.

View the paper & download its audio recording

Prof Hattingh WJ

Ministry of the Holy Spirit: God's truth exceedingly great and exceedingly close.

View the paper & download its audio recording

Dr Khathide A

The Holy Spirit versus the spirits in Africa.

View the paper & download its audio recording

Prof Möller FP

The manifestation and operation of God's Spirit in regeneration and baptism in the Holy Spirit.

View the paper & download its audio recording

2010

Malan C, MA Theology

The church and vulnerable children in South Africa: a study of community development and the role of the church, with the aim to evaluate the SEED Strategy of Turn the tide 4 children

It is important that a sustainable, long-term solution is found in the light of an anticipated crisis by 2014 with regard to orphans and vulnerable children in SA. The practical implication and implementation of the promoted approach of community development and the inclusion of the recommended strategies for orphans and vulnerable children are crucial in the praxis of the church.

2009

Blom L, DLitt et Phil

A critical evaluation of evangelism as understood and practised by some Black African Christian leaders of the Pentecostal/ Charismatic Churches in South Africa.

The aim of this study is to conduct a critical evaluation of evangelism, as understood and practiced by SA Christian leaders of the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches.

Mzondi AMM, DLitt et Phil

"Two souls" leadership: Dynamic interplay of Ubuntu, Western and New Testament leadership values.

The post-1994 South African society has become humanistic, pluralistic and tolerant. The era is characterised by a call and commitment to build a non-racial, non-sexist, and non-discriminatory society enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of South Africa. These conditions challenge African evangelical leaders to minister the gospel without losing their faith and cultural identity.

Strauss WP, MA Theology

The ethos of personal financial management of church members: a case study of the AFM Taberna Dei assembly.

Money plays an important role in the everyday lives of church members. How church members view and engage with money has various implications. This practical theological study concerns the ethos of church members with regard to their personal financial management.

Weideman HJ, DLitt et Phil

Strategies to support Church leaders to address the demands of the current era in South Africa in their ministries: A phenomenological investigation

The whole world, including Africa and South Africa, is moving in transitional phases between pre-modern, modern and post-modernistic tendencies. In Southern-Africa we see the co-existence of at least these three worldviews. The point of departure in this study is that in order to develop a better notion of the demands that the current time frame places upon congregational leaders and to support them as leaders, it would be valuable to listen in an explorative way to their practical experiences.

2008

Gloy SJP, MA Theology

The problems faced by the AFM Pastor in the rural area.

This study was motivated by the problems encountered by pastors within the context of the AFM of SA in a small rural congregation and what their specific needs were. The purpose of the research is to supply workable guidelines to help pastors to improve their situation in the rural area.

Jacobs AC, DLitt et Phil

The pastor's experience of the challenge in a multicultural Pentecostal-Charismatic congregation of South Africa.

South Africa is a culturally diverse country, which is becoming increasingly complex due to secular influences such as globalisation and the influx of African migrants. As different ethnic groups are integrated in South African communities, pastors are faced with new challenges to develop multicultural congregations, that reflect the demography of the community.

Joubert JJ, DLitt et Phil

A Pentecostal theological reflection on the emerging church movement .

Rethinking and reforming of the church in contemporary twenty-first century culture, inter alia, the post-modern condition is currently a popular topic of profound ecclesiological interest and generates much church talk. The prominence of the 21st century emerging church's growing influence, and potential to influence the exiting or traditional church with conventional or orthodox practices, cannot be ignored.

2006

Basson EF, DLitt et Phil

The AFM congregation as a Missional faith community.

This study has a dual contribution in that it presents a systematic practical theological study of the essence of church, and allows for the development of a contextual model. This model was developed and tested through a process of participative action research in the context of two AFM congregations.

Botha FPJ, DLitt et Phil

An evaluation of the strategy of the Doxa Deo group within the AFM of SA to transform city communities.

The needs of city communities are so challenging and critical that it has become a matter of urgency for the church to develop community transformation strategies to address these needs. The community transformation strategy of the Tshwane-based Doxa Deo Group offers an approach that can be used as a guideline for other churches and assemblies to develop their own relevant strategies.

Putter APJ, DLitt et Phil

The continuing academic development of the AFM pastor.

At present there are 1850 ordained, non-ordained and affiliated AFM pastors. The various types of training pastors receive for admission to the ministry vary from a one-year certificate to an honours degree in theology. In this study, the theological background history of the pastor was investigated.

Sangweni SM, Mini-Dissertation MA Theology

An investigation into the experience of congregational preaching at the AFM in Soweto, Diepkloof Assembly.

Preaching is one of the main pastoral or congregational activities that takes place in all Christian congregations. The Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM), Diepkloof Assembly in Soweto was selected as a study sample to investigate how church members experience their pastor's preaching at church during worship services.

2005

De Klerk JH, MA Theology

Imago relationship therapy and Christian marriage counselling.

Marriage seems to be a key element in the family system of the western world. This bond usually starts with a romantic love affair between the partners that leads to marriage. In most of the western world the divorce rate averages at fifty percent and Christian couples do not seem to indicate a higher rate. Imago relationship therapy is an approach to relationship counselling that offers some new ideas and methods. This approach indicates a high success rate and seems to seamlessly flow with normal Christian counselling, and produce good results.

Jacobs AC, MA Theology

Cum Laude

The worship service in the AFM church and the needs of the young adults.

This study was motivated out of a concern for the declining church attendance of young adults. The goal of this study is the identification of the needs of young adults in relation to the church service and the measurement of the success of the AFM of SA in meeting these needs. The conclusion of this study indicates that the true character of the church service must be reflected in the planning of the liturgical elements towards the needs of young adults.

Lundie JG, MA Theology

The changing missional task of the AFM of SA in the modern world.

The history of the AFM of SA confirms its own missional character. In the light of the church's rich missional history, an attempt is made to determine to what extent non-Christians are still reached through the gospel by the AFM.

Scanlen AS, MA Theology

A critical evaluation of Avery Dulles' different models of the church applied to a contemporary world.

We are living in post-modern times that was preceded by the pre-modern and modern times. All the negative happenings and unfulfilled promises of the modern period gave rise to the post-modern period. This present post-modern period is characterised by disillusionment with all the harmony, truths and prosperity promised, that didn't materialise during the modern era.

Swift TJ, DLitt et Phil

Effective preaching for the present-day person.

Mankind has been in a state of flux through the ages. It follows that the church, to remain relevant and effective, should also adapt continuously in its approach to the delivery of its message. In this research a literature study was undertaken of contemporary man – attention was paid to distinctive traits, characteristics and the manner in which he argues and thinks about a specific matter.

Van Niekerk E, MA Theology

Cum Laude

A theological perspective on the problems of modern man as the absent father.

Counselling experience shows that a majority of problems that endanger marital and family functioning result from an absent father. The problems of an absent father and his important role in the upbringing of his children have already become well known. The welfare of children has declined dramatically compared to earlier generations. This study addresses the problems of the absent father from a theological perspective.

2004

Weideman HJ, MA Theology

The role of pastors in the development of leaders for ministry in the congregation.

In most congregations "the work" of ministering is primarily performed by salaried pastors and permanent staff. The members of the congregation are mainly spectators, and at best, helpers in the various ministries of the church. This study seeks to show that members of the congregation should be fully incorporated in the ministry teams and leadership structure of local congregations; that they should take part in the vision and mission; and should be empowered and allowed to minister and function as leaders.

2003

Blom L, MA Theology

A critical evaluation of Ed Silvoso and other Evangelical models from an African perspective

Africa shows the fastest growth of Christianity worldwide, with more than half of its people considering themselves Christians. Still the people in Africa experience poverty, famine and other relating circumstances. The Gospel surely does not only save the soul, but also brings blessings from God. The people of Africa desperately need to experience the full impact of the blessing of the Gospel. The answer and focus herein lies in the holistic approach of evangelism strategy of Siloso.

Buys PJ, MA Theology

Paul's testimony on death compared to Padmasambhivic texts.

The uniqueness of New Testament testimony concerning death as reflected in Pauline Epistles is explored in comparison with a Padmasambhivic text from Tibetan Buddhism called the ‘Great Liberation by hearing the Barbo'/'Tibetan Book of the Dead.'

Ferreira W, MA Theology

An investigation into the evangelical strategy inside the seeker-sensitive church model.

Throughout history there developed a dualism between being the church and the world. This separation brought forth a church that is moving away from an outside focus on the unchurched, to the tending and retaining of members. Therefore it is necessary that the church will realise that it does not exist for itself but is an extension of God in Christ to a world that is lost.

Lovell L, MA Theology

Between power and powerlessness – A study about the tension between God and man in suffering.

In this dissertation a study is conducted about the tension that develops between God and man during suffering, by discussing the following topics: The understanding and topicality of suffering The realisation of the promises of God during suffering Handling and coping with suffering. This study identifies the tension during chronic suffering that leads to a crisis in faith between God, who is powerful, and the sufferer who feels powerless in his/her situation.

Oldewage PJ, DLitt et Phil

The Judea Harvest Project evaluated out of a Biblical-holistic cross-cultural framework for gospel-missions.

Judea Harvest is a modern cross-cultural gospel-mission outreach that started four years ago. During this short span of time it has laid claims to phenomenal success. The view has been expressed that the cross-cultural gospel-mission has a worldwide crisis. This situation was researched by means of literary study and qualitative research, and certain proposals made to Judea Harvest.

Olwagen JM, MA Theology

The paradigm shift that a traditional AFM pastor should undergo to effectively mobilise the congregation.

The purpose of this study is to suggest a paradigm shift that enables the traditional pastor to effectively mobilise his congregation.

Putter APJ, MA Theology

The mobilisation of members in a typical AFM church; Robertsham.

The aim of this study was to research the content of the Robertsham AFM congregation, as well as to identify growth areas in the congregation and to design and implement guidelines for mobilisation.

2001

Joubert JJ, MA Theology

Leadership development within a cell church paradigm.

The focus of this research is on the essential leadership needed, especially within the cell church paradigm. An effort is made to determine what the most important aspects and principles may be that enhance leadership development within the cell church paradigm.

Oldewage PJ, MA Theology

Biblical principles to be taken into account for cross-cultural counselling

This research examines the vital biblical issues to be taken into account for effective cross-cultural counselling.

2000

TJ Swift, MA Theology

Resources at the disposal of the pastor in the process of counselling.

Except that the pastor is well equipped to counsel, he also has the church with all its resources, different actions in the church, and especially people at his disposal to help with the process.

1999

Botha FPJ, MA Theology

Cum Laude

A management model for potential development and equipment of members of the AFM.

The objective with this study is to develop a management model for assemblies in the AFM. This model focuses on the development of positive potential and the equipping of assembly members.

Joubert P, MA Theology

The gifts in the healing ministry of the AFM of SA.

There is still great uncertainty about the role of healing in proclaiming the Gospel and in church building and development. For many Christian denominations this is still a contentious and controversial subject. This study looks at the role and influence that the gifts had in the emergence of the modern Pentecostal movement and the AFM of SA.

1997

Testa RM, MA Theology

Cum Laude

A critical evaluation of the counselling of JE Adams from a Pentecostal perspective

Pentecostal counselling was approached from the perspective of systems-thinking and communicative action theory but was also directed by basic assumptions, among other things, that Jesus Christ is the centre of every counselling session and that the congregation as a whole is the object of counselling.

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Luke 10:2