Theology in South Africa

The Perkins Global Theological Education Program 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. In South Africa, participants are gaining insights into Christian hope in the region by exploring the political, economic, sexual, racial, and gender-complex experiences of the people of South Africa, and by participating in varieties of church and community-based ministries in Cape Town and Durban. This course is led by Dr. Evelyn L. Parker, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Practical Theology.

Perkins students also are blogging this summer from France at blog.smu.edu/studentadventures/category/theology-in-france/

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Arrival in Johannesburg

JessicaAn update from Jessica, a Perkins School of Theology student and assistant to Dr. Evelyn Parker, studying in South Africa:

Our group at Johannesburg airport

Our group at Johannesburg airport

We made it alive to Johannesburg after a long flight and then took a plane to Durban with a total travel time of 28 hours! As we left the airport it was as picturesque as I had always imagined Africa would be, with birds of paradise welcoming us into the country. Our homestead at Tre Fontane is clean and safe but has all of the African charm I had hoped it would. We have even fed monkeys from our windows and often see them in packs!

The first day we were in Durban, we visited a botanical garden, saw the stadium that hosted the 2010 World Cup (Moses Mabhita Soccer stadium), and went to the Indian Ocean! There was nothing like putting our feet in an ocean we never dreamed we would feel!

At the Indian Ocean

At the Indian Ocean

On our first Sunday at Pinetown Methodist Church, the people at Pinetown welcomed us joyfully into their church home and soon made us feel right at home as well. They do not shake hands. They hug. They had us introduce ourselves to the whole church, and after church spoke to us during “tea time”. The South Africans drink a lot of tea! They have a special herbal tea, called Rooibos, which is delicious.

Everyone was so kind and generous and expressive.

Pinetown Methodist Church

Pinetown Methodist Church

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