NLA University College and Stellenbosch University receives grant of 3 million NOK

Joint project on new ways of teaching and learning theology in crisis.

The Norwegian government has awarded a total of 104 million NOK to 35 projects through the DIKU-UTFORSK programme with the overall aim to strengthen higher education for a sustainable future. NLA University College and the Theological Faculty at Stellenbosch University has received a total grant of 2.964.991 NOK to the project TLC – Teaching and Learning Theology in Crisis. The project period runs from August 2021 to July 2025.

The corona pandemic has forced universities and colleges around the world to rethink the impact and meaning of education, beyond developing mere technical solutions to online teaching. With this project NLA University College and Stellenbosch University want to explore what it means to teach and learn together in a globalized, yet local world. The focus is on glocal learning, which means developing shared, global learning within the framework of local learning communities in Norway and South Africa – and beyond.

The aim of the TLC-project is to develop new ways of teaching and learning theology in crisis, by addressing the climate crisis, the challenge of youth citizenship and the church`s changed status in society. The key activities of the project will be:

  • co-teaching online and learning in local contexts,
  • developing new modes of teaching and a joint, new course,
  • best-practice research on the development of joint, educational activities
  • and student and teacher mobility

Lecturer in practical theology and youth work, Shantelle Weber, will be the project coordinator at Stellenbosch University. Professor of theology, Bård Norheim, is the project coordinator at NLA University College.

— This is very exciting, says project coordinator at NLA University College, professor of theology, Bård Norheim.

— It will be particularly interesting to explore how we can develop theology as glocal learning together, as something we learn both globally and locally, even in the midst of crisis, says Norheim.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES: Professor Bård Eirik Hallesby Norheim.

At NLA University College two research groups will be involved, Research in Theology and Ministry (RITHM, leader B.Norheim) and Vocational Education Research (VER, leader L.Jermstad). NLA University College and Stellenbosch University (Faculty of Theology) has a Memorandum of Agreement, focusing on joint teaching and staff mobility, joint research projects and student mobility. The project strengthens this partnership.