oa Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary - The EDNA model for doing research in practical theology : a biblical approach

Volume 17, Issue 03
  • ISSN : 1996-8167



This article is a proposal of the EDNA model for doing practical theology using a Biblical approach. The proposed model covers four areas of research in practical theology. When placed together, these areas of research form an acronym that spells out the name EDNA: (1) Exploratory research asks: 'What has led to the present situation?' (2) Descriptive research asks: 'What is happening now?' (3) Normative research asks, 'What should be happening?' and (4) Action research asks, 'How should we respond?'

The article is organised around these four areas of research. After grounding the EDNA model theologically and philosophically, an attempt is made to ground and describe the function of each of the EDNA model's four areas of research in practical theology. This is done, firstly, by defining each of the four areas of research, as presented in the social sciences; secondly, by conducting a phenomenological analysis of recurring themes in a selection of recognised theological research models by prominent practical theologians to provide a grounding for each of the four areas of research; and, thirdly, by analysing the function of each area of research in the selected models. Finally, the EDNA model is illustrated using two examples from the New Testament and also applied to the local church.

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