Welcome to Stellenbosch University


Regulations for Ekklesia


The Bureau for Continuing Theological Education and Research (BUVTON) was established in 1986 as an agency of the Faculty of Theology (FT) in order to offer short refresher courses to ministers who had graduated and to conduct research on congregational ministry. Although BUVTON from the onset served a broad community, the Dutch Reformed Church was the only Church with which the Faculty had a formal agreement for this service at that stage.

Initially courses were BUVTON’s only focus, but over the years, the service grew, and the services that were offered were extended. In the early nineties first a research arm and then an arm for spiritual care were developed. In 2000, a consultation service was initiated and the development of programmes for congregations became a priority. BUVTON was no longer only a service offered to ministers, but grew to be a space where ministers could learn and grow together. When the training for the Uniting Reformed Church (URC) was transferred to Stellenbosch University (SU), the URC became more involved in BUVTON’s activities.

Various factors caused the FT, together with the two Churches that were formally involved in BUVTON, to decide in 2007 to reorganise the bureau. The rationale was to try to involve more Churches formally in the services on offer. It was recommended that the agency be renamed as a token of a new beginning with more partners.

Three main considerations were involved in this decision:
a) SU’s commitment to community interaction (which the FT supports fully);
b) The FT’s conviction that theological reflection and education should ideally take place in close consultation with the Churches; and
c) The FT’s desire to serve the ecumenical Church and the cause of ecumenism. The two Churches that were formally involved with the agency fully supported the FT in its decision.  

With a view to realising this desire, the following regulations have been approved:

1.1    Name
The name of the Centre is Ekklesia – Ecumenical Centre for Leadership Development and Congregational Studies (hereafter referred to as “the Centre” or “Ekklesia”).

1.2    Status
Ekklesia is an ecumenical service centre of the Faculty of Theology (FT) at Stellenbosch University (SU) that strives, in partnership with Churches, to serve Churches, congregations, ministers/pastors and other congregational leaders. Although congregational interaction is its primary objective, the Centre will also take into account SU’s three main objectives, namely research, teaching and community interaction and endeavour to be of service in all three of these areas.
The Centre will function as a networking centre, inviting Churches and other institutions to become part of a “network pool” offering coordinated services to Churches and other role players. We therefore do not visualise a centre where SU is the main provider and Churches and communities are the receivers or learners, but rather the creation of a service space where the FT, Churches and other role players can help one another and serve congregations and communities together.
The Centre is classified as a CBI (type 2) centre in the Faculty of Theology and for practical reasons is attached to the discipline group of Practical Theology and Missiology. The Centre is subject to the policy and procedures of the FT and SU, including processes, structures, programmes, strategic focus and planning and other prescriptions.

1.3    Intention
With this centre, the FT reaffirms its commitment to serving the Church in its congregational form. Ekklesia is an essential component of the FT’s interaction with theology and ministry in congregational form.
With the establishment of Ekklesia the FT has three intentions:
•   Since many of the FT’s alumni and current students are or will become ministers, the Centre is regarded as a way of maintaining contact with congregations and           Church leaders, thus serving the Church and its ministry.
•   According to the FT’s nature and vision the faculty is deeply committed to the ecumenical Church. The hope is that the Centre will be an open, ecumenical space           where different Christian Churches will meet and cooperate with a view to the formation of their ministers and good ministry in their congregations.
•   The FT will not be the sole provider in terms of the Centre, but will learn in a symbiotic relationship with the churches. The FT is aware that the Centre will offer the         faculty a unique opportunity to be close to congregations and ministers in practical ministry and thus learn first-hand about the context in which theology is                    practised.

Ekklesia will serve congregations of different Churches by focusing on three areas, namely:
•    continued theological training, leadership development and the formation of ministers/pastors and congregational leaders
•    congregational and ministry research and support
•    promotion of ecumenical contact and cooperation between different Churches.

3.1     Ekklesia is a centre in which the FT and the participating Churches (or ministry institutions) offer services to congregations and leaders. The service is referred to          as a network because it will not only consist of new joint initiatives, but Churches and the FT will also make its existing services more accessible and invite other            groups to participate.
3.2     Any Church or ministry institution can apply for membership of the Centre. The application must be approved by the FT and supported by two-thirds of existing            members.
3.3.    Membership can take the form of either full membership or observing membership. Churches that are for any reason hesitant about full participation in the            Centre can request to be associated as observers.  
3.4     Churches (or other ministry institutions) will have the option of becoming participating partners of the Centre and all its activities or becoming involved in only             some of its activities (a specific network).
3.5.     All participating Churches will serve on the Advisory Committee of the Centre along with the FT. Churches with observer status will not have the right to vote.

4.1    Composition
The following constitute the staff of Ekklesia:
•    a director appointed by the Governing Committee in a full-time or part-time capacity to act as head of Ekklesia and report to the Governing Committee,
•    research, programme management, technical, administrative and other staff appointed by the Governing Committee from time to time in a full-time or part-time       capacity, and
•    staff members seconded by the various Churches at their own cost to serve the network
•    The appointment of such staff members must be approved by the Governing Committee, and they are considered fellows of the FT.
All appointments are made according to the procedures and policies of SU.

4.2    The Director
The Director, with the other academic and research staff, will have the following responsibilities:
•    managing and providing leadership of Ekklesia’s activities and services,
•    supervising the Centre’s staff,
•    making recommendations regarding the application of funds,
•    liaising with the FT, SU, the Churches and other institutions regarding matters that concern the Centre,
•    exercising such responsibilities as the Governing Committee delegates to him/her, and
•    Making regular reports to the Governing Committee, the FT and participating Churches on the activities of the Centre.

5.1     Governing Committee
5.1.1     Composition
The Governing Committee consists of the following (with deputies):
•    the Director,
•    the Dean of the Faculty of Theology as Chair,
•    one representative of each of the discipline groups of the Faculty of Theology,
•    four representatives nominated by the Advisory Committee, and
•    no more than four full-time academic and research personnel appointed and/or accredited as Ekklesia staff members by SU.

5.1.2     Term
The members of the Governing Committee will serve for two years. If a vacancy occurs, the replacement will serve for the remainder of the original member’s term.

5.1.3    Functions
The Governing Committee is responsible for the following:
•    the formulation of Ekklesia’s policy,
•    the planning and implementation of Ekklesia’s objectives,
•    decisions about how the funds in Ekklesia’s accounts at SU should be disbursed,
•    the presentation of regular reports on Ekklesia’s activities to the FT and to the participating Churches,
•    recommendations regarding the creation of positions and regarding appointments, salary scales and bonuses of Ekklesia personnel, and
•    any other matters pertaining to Ekklesia.
The Governing Committee may delegate specific powers to the Director and/or the Executive Committee.

5.1.4    Meetings
•    The Governing Committee will meet at least twice annually.
•    Half the members of the Governing Committee constitute a quorum.
•    Decisions are made by a normal majority of votes.
•    In case of an equal number of votes the chair of the meeting has the casting vote.

5.2    Executive Committee
5.2.1    Composition
The Governing Committee appoints an Executive Committee consisting of four members from its own ranks: the chair of the Governing Committee, the Director, and two additional members. The chair of the Governing Committee is also the chair of the Executive Committee.

5.2.2    Responsibilities
The Executive Committee is responsible for the following:
•    the day-to-day management of the Centre,
•    dealing with urgent matters on behalf of the Governing Committee, and
•    any other management issues that the Governing Committee may delegate to the Executive Committee from time to time

5.2.3    Meetings
The Executive Committee meets at the request of the Director when the Regulations of the Centre deem it necessary. Three members constitute a quorum for the meetings of the Executive Committee on condition that a member of the FT is always part of the quorum.

5.3    Advisory Committee
5.3.1    Composition
The Churches and institutions of ministry that fully participate in the Centre may each nominate two representatives onto the Advisory Committee. The Churches with observer status may each nominate one representative onto the Advisory Committee. The Director and the full-time and accredited personnel of Ekklesia, as well as a representative of the FT, all serve on the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee nominates its own chair.
5.3.2    Term
The members of the Advisory Committee are appointed for a term of two years.
5.3.3    Function
The Advisory Committee consults with the Churches regarding their needs pertaining to training and research, compiles a programme for the year, and submits it to the Governing Committee for approval.  
The Advisory Committee also nominates four Church representatives to serve on the Governing Committee.
5.3.4    Meetings
The Advisory Committee meets at least twice a year. The Churches bear their own costs for the attendance of their representatives at the meetings.  

The Centre, in consultation with the author(s) concerned, retains the publication rights for all documents resulting from projects of the Centre. However, the Governing Committee may approve the publication of the documents elsewhere on condition that the Centre is credited at all times and with due consideration to SU’s policy regarding intellectual property.

•    Funds must be obtained from donations, sponsorships, bequests, products, payment for specific projects, course and other fees or payment for any other services      rendered, with due consideration to SU’s prescriptions in this regard.
•    All financial transactions are subject to the financial policy of SU. Furthermore, all normal provisions apply that are applicable to academic departments, including       those of the Centre.
•    The Chief Director: Finances and Services of SU, in consultation with the Director, will handle the administration of the Centre’s funds.
•    The Centre’s financial year will coincide with that of SU.
•    If Churches second people to be of service to Ekklesia, the usual procedure is that the Churches carry the cost themselves.  
•    All finances are managed in accordance with the procedure and policy of SU.

•    SU will act as a legal entity on behalf of the Centre.
•    Liability claims will be dealt with according to the relevant liability policy of SU.
•    Signing powers for the acceptance of commissions will be in accordance with the applicable rules of SU.

3 February 2010