The Institute for Urban Ministry (IUM) emerged within a relationship network of colleagues and friends committed to Christ, the city, and theological formation. Embracing a contextual approach of doing theology, IUM became a strategic response in 1994 to the rising challenges and promising opportunities of urban communities in South Africa.

IUM cultivates a learning community of hope for those called to the city. We grow together through inspiration, theological reflection, and concrete actions, resisting the fear-laden stories in society about poverty and vulnerable people. Uncovering local wisdom guides us to ask deeper questions about urban systems, issues of justice, ethics, and reconciliation, and leads us to act together for the full potential of the city.

IUM has students and friends from cities across Southern Africa, such as Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Tshwane/Pretoria, Maputo and other smaller centres. We also have valuable collaborative conversations with ministries in cities like Nairobi, Cairo and Abuja in Africa, Guatemala City and Santo Domingo in Latin America, and Minneapolis, Tacoma and Philadelphia in the USA.


In the next few years, IUM intends to deepen our networks by:

  • Expanding the Urban Studio (in partnership with the Centre for Contextual Ministry at the University of Pretoria¬†as a connection point for our networks
  • Reviving the Society for Urban Theology
  • Providing new onramps for networking opportunities and and partnerships, including focused cross-pollination
  • Developing new relationships and increased presence in townships and urban centres throughout South Africa and the continent of Africa
  • Refining our role as connector and convenor through the Biennial Consultation

For more information on networks, please contact our Partnerships Coordinator, Jude Nnorom: jude [at]

For more information on the Consultation, please contact our Operations Manager, Jennifer Lee: jennifer [at]