SU theologian elected as first female moderator of Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa

Dr Mary-Ann Plaatjies van Huffel

Dr Mary-Ann Plaatjies van Huffel of the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University (SU) made history on Monday (1 October) when she was elected as moderator of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA). She is the first woman to hold such a position in one of the large Southern African churches.

Prof Nico Koopman, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at SU, is excited about Dr Plaatjies van Huffel’s election and said it is a great privilege for the Faculty that one of its lecturers will be playing a leading role at this level in one of the large churches in South Africa.

“Dr Mary-Ann Plaatjies van Huffel possesses amazing abilities – a profound theological knowledge, years of involvement in church leadership and practical experience as a minister – which will stand her in good stead in this position. And as the first woman in such a position in South Africa, her election is a significant moment in our quest to promote gender justice.”

Plaatjies van Huffel currently teaches Church History and Church Law at the Faculty, and is also a co-minister at the URC church in Scottsdene, Kraaifontein. In November 1992, she was the first woman to be ordained as a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church family. Prior to her election as moderator, Plaatjies van Huffel acted as actuarius (church law expert) of the Cape Regional Synod and as vice-moderator of the General Synod of the URCSA.