Perkins School of Theology in South Africa 2015

Eleven students from SMU’s Perkins School of Theology with faculty leader Dr. Evelyn L. Parker, associate dean for Academic Affairs and professor of Practical Theology, are participating in a May 17-31 South Africa immersion course through the Perkins Global Theological Education Program (GTE). During their time in South Africa, they will explore ministries of Christian hope “in practice” via engagement with the people of South Africa in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town.

Members of the group will share their experiences, including reflections and photographs, here on the SMU Adventure blog during the trip.

The Perkins Global Theological Education Program (GTE) prepares Christian leaders for complex cultural experiences through seminars and significant immersion experiences in other cultures. Students learn to build intercultural relationships, resolve cultural conflicts and guide intercultural ventures.

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Robben Island

Today’s reflection is from Perkins student Kantrice Robinson, a Master of Divinity degree candidate (2016, Pastoral Care and Women’s Studies Certificate Programs):

We entered Monday, May 25, in the afterglow of the worship experience and visit to the Table Mountain. We awoke early to make the ferry to visit Robben Island, the place where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of his 27-year sentence.

We were given a tour by former prisoner, Mr. Sparks, who spent seven years of a 15-year sentence at Robben Island as a political prisoner and for committing sabotage. His ability to move with fluidity and calm was surprising to many of us. He feels liberated by the ability to share about his imprisonment experiences, and lives on Robben Island making a living by giving tours.

Mr. Sparks, our tour guide on Robben Island.

Mr. Sparks, our tour guide on Robben Island.

After Robben Island we toured the South African Parliament buildings, learned about parliamentary procedures, and were grateful to see the transition of the government from apartheid to a parliamentary democracy.

Although we were not aware of it before, on Sunday God prepared us for the arduous task of journeying through the pains encountered by citizens due to political institutions. We were blessed to have had our souls nurtured on Sunday so that we could see the hope of Christ on Monday.

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