NetACT refers to the Network for African Congregational Theology. It consists of a network of theological institutions operating mainly on a post-secondary level in Africa with its historic roots in the Presbyterian and Reformed tradition in Africa.
Congregational theology refers to NetACT’s emphasis on theology as practiced in the Christian Congregation as the Body of Christ; discerning the will of God in the process of interpreting the Scriptures specifically in the contexts of its member institutions; empowering congregations in these contexts to develop their strengths and gifts to theologically address historic, contemporary and future socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental challenges.
NetACT aims to assist member institutions with developing congregational theology, leadership and governance. It seeks to achieve this aim primarily through:
- the promotion of contextually-relevant training of congregational leadership
- upgrading of academic standards and institutional capacity-building
- developing and enhancing research within and among participating institutions
- developing continuous education programmes in and among member institutions
- promoting and facilitating lecturer-exchange between participating institutions
- hosting conferences, workshop, symposia, etc. in the field of theology in Africa and disseminating the results of these by way of publications
- addressing specific concerns in African contexts, especially by providing joint theological, moral and spiritual reflection in addressing these concerns
In achieving its aims and realising its mission, NetACT is guided by the following values that are based on the revelation of the Triune God as contained in both the Old and New Testaments.
1. NetACT believes that Christian congregations are instruments of God’s mission in this world, a royal priesthood, called to be a sign and foretaste of the Kingdom of God by:
- demonstrating our unity and koinonia in Christ
- declaring the praises of Him who called us out of the darkness into His wonderful light and proclaiming this good news to all
- practising and promoting love and forgiveness, justice and peace
- serving the needs of the world by reaching out to all who suffer in any wayupholding the sanctity of all human life and respecting to the integrity of creation
- urging those in authority to use the power given to them to the honour and glory of God and to the benefit of those entrusted to their care
- interceding for all of humankind and the whole of creation
2. While acknowledging that our cultural and ethnic differences have resulted in division and suffering, NetACT believes that we are united in Christ (the head of the church) as his Body. NetACT believes that Christ has transformed our diversity from being a cause for division and suffering to a source of creativity and one of our richest resources for achieving NetACT’s aims.
3. NetACT respects the theological autonomy of individual members, it acknowledges the contributions of each and cherishes collegiality, mutual respect, understanding, assistance, humility and openness in the interaction between member institutions.
4. In recognition of the wealth of gifts and talents of our people and communities, but mindful of the challenges and suffering that manifest themselves in all dimensions of individual and community-life on our continent, NetACT commits itself to prioritize the identification, development and execution of activities as described within its mission (Article 2) in order to enhance and develop our continent’s strengths while addressing its challenges.
5. NetACT seeks and promotes co-operation with other organisations, agencies and institutions that share its vision for Africa and that are active in fields related to its own.
6. NetACT is committed to utilising all resources entrusted to it in a transparent and accountable way in accordance to its aims and mission.