School of Religion, Philosophy & Classics

Simangaliso R. Kumalo

Simangaliso R. Kumalo

Associate Professor

Discipline Theology


Contact Number 033-260-5850

Campus Pietermaritzburg Campus

External Research Profile

Degrees Held

  • PhD University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa in Theology and Development. Thesis: Education for Social Transformation in South Africa: A Methodist Approach. 2005
  • Masters University of South Africa, South Africa. Majored in Urban Mission and Development. The Dissertation was: Mission in Communities of the Poor, the Case of Ivory Park Methodist Church, and Midrand. 2001
  • Bachelor of Theology Honours University of Natal, South Africa. Theology and Development. 1998
  • Bachelor of Theology University of Natal, South Africa. Majored in Practical Theology, Systematic Theology. 1997


  • Won of 2010 University of KwaZulu Natal top 30 researcher
  • Won Mellon Foundation Award for best emerging research
  • Won of 2003 a Scholarship to Duke University
  • Won the E. Flowerdale Memorial Award for probationer who made best progress in his years of probation
  • Listed by the Mail & Guardian 2000 amongst the top 100 people who have made their marks in their fields


Research Initiatives and Reports

  • 2008 -Principal researcher for on Religious Communities and Organization in the UMgungundlovu and EThekwini Municipalities. Sanctioned and sponsored by the Office of the Premier.
  • 2007-Participated as researcher for the project on Pioneers of the African Renaissance. Sanctioned and sponsored by the Office of the Premier
  • 2006-Principal researcher on the life legacy of UNtsikana ka Gaba”. Project was sanctioned and sponsored by the National Departments of Arts and Culture.

Recognition from other Institutions

  • Invited by Drake University, US to give lectures on religion and citizenship in South Africa. November 17-21
  • In 2012, I was part of a team that designed a Masters Programme in Gender, Health and Religion between the
  • University of KwaZulu Natal, Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology and Makumira University in Tanzania
  • In 2011 I was part of a team that designed a Programme for International Graduate Programme on Religion and Culture Exchange that is offered by the University of Stellenbosch and Humboldt University in German.
  • In 2011 I was part of a team that designed a Programme Programme for PhD Seminars between The University of Oslo, Union Theological Seminary and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
  • In 2010 I was part of a team that negotiated and facilitated the partnership between Emory University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
  • In 2009, I was part of a team that designed an Exchange Programme for Masters Students between University of Oslo and University of KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Since 2006 I have been external examiner for the University of Stellenbosch, Zululand and UNISA. In 2004 and 2008 was external examiner for the College of the Transfiguration, Grahamstown.

Community Engagement

  • I have also continued facilitating the JLDube Annual Memorial Lectures which I founded 9 years ago. This lecture has become a very important annual event for the university through which experts on social, political and religious issues are brought to the university to share their insights or research and generate discussion. This lecture has become a university one and the only one which is jointly owned by two schools as it is owned by the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics and the School of Education. It has facilitated collaboration and intellectual discussions between the two schools. Through this project we have been able to market the work of the university to leaders. For instance in 2012 the Lecture was delivered by the Minister of Arts and Culture Mr. Paul Mashatile. (See appendix)
  • I have continued my work as the Director of the Ujamaa Centre for Community Development and Research which is a Centre of the University. The Ujamaa Centre facilitates field-research for theology students especially those focusing on Biblical Studies. My responsibility as the director has been to promote the vision of the Centre, interact with funders and to manage its. Daily operations.
  • January 2010, I founded Brentwood Pre-school in Tumbleweed, Howick for poor and vulnerable most of who are orphaned as a result of HIV&AIDS. Currently the pre-school has a total number of 92 children and are served by a staff of 5 people. The aim is to provide pre-school education in a safe and caring environment. This project has also become a service-learning centre for University students who would like to do field work and action-research work. We make sure that research ethics guidelines are adhered to strictly whilst at the sometime allowing the students to benefit by implementing their theory in a real practical situation.
  • In 2010 I was appointed chairperson of the Maurice Webb Trust which supports projects that do research and development work on issues on race relations in South Africa. Through my involvement in this Trust we have been able to fund research projects in the School of Social Sciences, the Maurice Webb Unit, and the Centre for Critical Justice and the Ujamaa Centre. All these are centres of the university and they have benefitted through my leadership at Maurice Webb Trust. So I have indirectly contributed to the bringing of third-stream funds to the university through my involvement in community organizations.
  • February 14, 2010- was invited as a speaker at various governmental and NGO events organized to celebrate freedom, democracy and Human Rights. Made presentations at the Office of the Premier, Pietermaritzburg, UMgungundlovu District Municipality, and Interdenominational Ministers Association of South Africa (IDAMASA).
  • January14, 2010-eas invited to conduct training sessions on Theological Education, Church and Politics and Ministerial
  • Formation for the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s interns.
  • December 10, 2009-was invited as guest speaker by the Swaziland Council of Churches at the International Human Rights celebrations in Manzini Swaziland
  • July 26, 2009-was invited to be the guest speaker at the National Conference of the Black Methodist Consultation. “Religious Leaders in the shaping of Public Policy.”
  • 26-29 May 2009- was invited as guest speaker at the Grahamstown Synod of the Methodist Church and was asked to speak on the Prophetic Ministry of the Church in post-apartheid South Africa.
  • May 13-15, 2009 was invited as guest- speaker at Natal West District Synod of the Methodist Church. Delivered a presentation called: “The Interface between Faith and Democracy.
  • March 13, 2009- was panellist at UKHOZI FM on the topic Clergy and Party Politics in South Africa.
  • 22 April 2007 was panellist on the news radio-station, SAFM on the topic of The Journal of Theology for Southern Africa.
  • 2003- To date have continued with my work in the Religion and Governance, organized and facilitated 4, one-week seminars per year, on Theology and Democracy. Over 1250 students, community and religious leaders including women and youth from the province of KZN, South Africa and SADCC region have been trained through seminars over the years.
  • 2004- To date have organized and facilitated 9 John Dube Annual Memorial Lectures in the past 10 years as part of the Religion and Governance Programme. The following dignitaries have been our guest speakers, Musa Zondi MP, Rd. Wesley Mabuza Chairperson of the Commission Multi-cultural and Multi-religion. Inkosi Mpiyezintombi Mzimela President of the House of Traditional Leaders, Bishop Lunga Sibotho Bishop of the Ethiopian Church of Southern Africa, Mrs Zanele Hlatshwayo Mayor of UMgungundlovu District Municipality and Mike Muendane former MP and Independent Consultant on Pan Africanism, Dr Mvume Dandala former MP and President of Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary, Prof Itumeleng Mosala, Prof Cherif Keita (Carlton College US) and Mr. Paul Mashatile, Minister of Arts and Culture. The lecture is located at the School of Religion and Theology at the Pietermaritzburg Campus.
  • 2005- To date I have been a regular guest on UKHOZIFM, (SABC Radio Zulu), radio metro, TV1KZN, SAfm etc. as a scholar in the field of politics and human rights, ranging in topics from the, children’s bill, politics and religion, culture and religion.