Luvuyo Gladstone Sifo
PhD student


Current situation

I am an ordained minister of Word and Sacraments in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA). During probation, I served as a minister in Jeffrey’s Bay Methodist Church (2006), Brakpan Methodist Church (2008-2009) and Kempton Park Methodist Church (2010). I was appointed Senior Minister at Kempton Park Methodist Church (2011-2015) and St John’s Methodist Church (2016-2017) respectively.

From January 2018 to December 2022, I served as the Head of Formation and Dean of Chapel at the Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary in Pietermaritzburg. During the same period, I served as a senior lecturer in Practical Theology.

Currently, I am a Superintendent Minister of the MCSA at Mabopane Circuit in the Limpopo District. I have served in many committees of the MCSA at Circuit, District and Connexional levels. Currently, I am the secretary of the Doctrine, Ethics and Worship Committee (DEWCOM).

I am a Religious Specialist and Supervisor in Christian Pastoral Counselling, a marriage officer in the Republic of South Africa and a Commissioner of Oaths.

I am a registered Professional Nurse (General, Accoucheur, Community and Psychiatry). Furthermore, I am qualified and registered in Intensive Care (Critical Care) Nursing.


Research Area

Exploring The Phenomenon Of Ubungoma Among Ministers Of The Methodist Church Of Southern Africa: A Practical Theological Inquiry

My research project explores the phenomenon of ubungoma among clergypersons of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA). The purpose of this research is to examine theological and ecclesiological considerations for the church’s decision concerning the recognition of the phenomenon of ancestral calling to ubungoma among her ministers. The MCSA lacks consistent theological and policy guidelines on how to respond to the phenomenon of ubungoma among her ministers. Should the church recognise ancestral calling to ubungoma among ministers and on what grounds? How does the phenomenon of ubungoma relate to the church’s theology, doctrine and policies? Should the church decide to recognise or not to recognise the calling of ministers to ubungoma, how will she articulate her decision?

This investigation matters because of the lived experiences of Methodist ministers who feel that they are called by their ancestors to become izangoma. At stake is the participation of the affected ministers in a dual space of African Traditional Religion and Christianity (Forster, 2023). At face value, African Traditional Religion and Christianity seem to be in conflict with each other. Thus, holding a dual calling to Christian ministry and ubungoma raises suspicions for many people.  Furthermore, this phenomenon raises a dialogue between African cultural heritage and Christianity. It demands critical reflection on the intersection of Christian religion with various cultures, traditions and spiritual experiences of Africans. Critical reflection on this phenomenon and contextualization of African people’s lived experiences has potential to “deconstruct, de-systematize and re-systematize priorities of African theology” (Masoga, 2017:91). This investigation will determine how Africans link issues of divinity with people’s lived experiences. To this end, this investigation aims at establishing a theological framework through which the MCSA can make decisions regarding the phenomenon.


Academic Publications

Sifo, L.G., (2016). ‘Implications of the ordination of women for the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’. Studiae Historicae Ecclesiasticae, 42(2), pp.156-173. Available at:

Sifo, L.G., & Masango, M.J., (2014). ‘The impact of spousal violence on the children: A pastoral care approach’. HTS Theological Studies, 70 (2), pp.1-7. Available at:

Sifo, L.G., (2010). The effects of marital conflict and abuse on children: A pastoral care approach. MA Thesis. University of Pretoria. Available at:

Sifo, L.G., (2009). ‘Caring for the HIV affected and infected: A challenge to pastoral care’. T.E.E. Journal, Volume 8, pp.103-115.

Sifo, L.G., (2007). ‘An examination of the theological understanding and practical commitment of the John Wesley College seminarians to the values they have set for 2007’. T.E.E. Journal, Volume 7, (pp.7-32).


Supervisory team

Dr Medi Volpe
The Revd Dr Dion Forster