SU and Presbyterian Church sign agreement

“This is a very exciting day for us because it is a manifestation of a decade-old partnership.”

This was how Prof Nico Koopman, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University (SU), described the signing of an agreement between the University and the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa (UPCSA) on Tuesday (18 September).

The agreement was signed by Dr Eddie Germiquet, Ministry Secretary of the UPCSA, and Prof Koopman at Weidenhof House in Stellenbosch. The newly renovated Weidenhof House, which accommodates theology students from across Africa, was inaugurated recently.

Rev Dave Hunter of the Presbyterian Church, Ms Liena Hoffman, Manager of the Faculty of Theology, Dr Eddie Germiquet (back), Prof Nico Koopman and Rev Mukondi Ramulondi (front) at the signing of the agreement. (Photo: Justin Alberts)

In terms of the agreement, the UPCSA’s Sedibeng Trust made a donation to help cover the costs of the recent upgrading of Weidenhof House. In return, SU undertook to reserve a number of beds for UPCSA students.  Reverend Mukondi Ramulondi, Chairperson of the Sedibeng Trust, handed over a cheque of R200 000 to Prof Koopman.

“This is the best arrangement and a win-win situation for both the UPCSA and the University,” said Dr Germiquet. He mentioned how SU always opens its doors to members of the Presbyterian Church and makes them feel welcome.  Reverend Ramulondi said the donation shows that SU and the UPCSA dream together as far as collaboration between the two organisations is concerned.

According to Prof Koopman, other denominations in South Africa, such as the Anglican Church, also expressed the need to have some of their students stay at Weidenhof House.

The University’s Faculty of Theology and the UPCSA already have another agreement in place whereby students from this church receive training in church ministry at the Faculty.