Verbum et Ecclesia was founded in 1980 and at the time was called Skrif en Kerk. The journal is owned, since 2000, by ‘the structures of ministerial education and development’ of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) and is situated in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria (UP). During the early period of the journal’s existence, Prof. Dr W.S. (Riempies) Prinsloo was its first Editor (1980–1995) and played a major role in building the journal’s national and international academic stature; his successor was Prof. Dr Cas J.A. Vos (1998–2001). In 2002, Prof. Dr Dirk J. Human took over as the Editor-in-Chief of Verbum et Ecclesia. The journal has operated under the auspices of two centres at the faculty, namely the Centre for Theology and Community (CTC) and the Institute for Ecumenical Research (IMER) from 2000–2007. Since 2008 the journal functioned under the newly founded Centre for Ministerial Development (CMD) at UP. The Lecturers’ Council at UP consists of professors linked to the Dutch Reformed Church who represent the Centre for Ministerial Development in cooperation with an international Advisory Editorial Board as managing body of the journal.
The University of Pretoria hosts a multi-church faculty with the following partners: the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NHKA) and the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa (UPCSA). Students with several other ecclesiastical affiliations receive theological training at this faculty.
In view of the University of Pretoria’s policy of internationalisation and due to broader accessibility of the journal, its name was changed in 2001 from Skrif en Kerk to Verbum et Ecclesia. As a result, the journal grew in international stature and publishes one (and sometimes two) print editions annually, but individual articles are published on the website as soon as they are available.
In June 2009 a new phase in Verbum et Ecclesia’s operational history started when AOSIS OpenJournals, a proud division of AOSIS (African Online Scientific Information Systems), started publishing Verbum et Ecclesia on a rolling publication basis on the Internet. The journal has since grown from strength to strength considering its wide focus, credibility, accreditation and Open Access format.
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