Original Research

Why is pastoral care crucial to Africa? Towards an African pastoral care perspective

Patrick Nanthambwe
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 48, No 1 | a228 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v48i1.228 | © 2024 Patrick Nanthambwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 November 2023 | Published: 27 February 2024

About the author(s)

Patrick Nanthambwe, Unit for Reformed Theology and Development in South Africa, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Without a doubt, pastoral care as the frontline ministry of the church has been crucial in Africa. Numerous obstacles confronting the African continent as a whole make pastoral care indispensable. Despite the fact that many scholars have acknowledged this, the distinctiveness of pastoral care in Africa has not been extensively investigated. What is it about pastoral care that makes it such an essential ministry in Africa? Other questions that must be addressed to clarify the primary question include: If pastoral care is essential, what is the church doing to expand pastoral care in Africa? What contributions are pastoral care theologians making to the academic impact of pastoral care discourse? This article examines why pastoral care is essential and how the church and pastoral care theologians can increase its impact in Africa. The article’s thesis is supported by extant research within the field of pastoral care.

Contribution: The article presents a discussion on the importance of pastoral care in Africa. The article helps elaborate on the need to have pastoral care in Africa that will effectively serve its people. Churches and pastoral care scholars in Africa will benefit from the discussion of this article as it helps in mapping the direction of pastoral care in Africa.


pastoral care; Africa; pastoral care theologians; importance of pastoral care; African pastoral care perspective

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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