Higher Education’s Role in the Making of a New State

This unique multidisciplinary case study targets the importance of higher education in facilitating and helping to produce social capital that empowered the people of Namibia to expand the necessary set of civic and political responsibilities to individuals chosen by church leaders to promote a new and transformed society in a once apartheid-like developing country.


“Beyond its contribution to a better understanding of a critical phase in the history of Namibia, this study offers an interdisciplinary analysis of political, religious, cultural, ethnic, and economic factors that helped shape the establishment of the nation of Namibia.”
- Kent Blevins,
Professor, Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy,
Gardner-Webb University, NC

“Not only does it contribute to the scholarly literature on the role of social capital in shaping institutional and political transformation in developing societies, it documents and places in historical context an inherently important program, the HENP. Although small in scale, because such programs operate on an individual and personal level for the participants, they are socially transformative in a way that macro-oriented, top-down aid projects can never hope to achieve… this book should appeal to a variety of audiences; students, teachers and practitioners concerned with the creation and deployment of social capital, those particularly interested in Namibia and its social and political transition, Lutherans and members of other denominations and faiths wanting to learn how such effective programs can actually work.”
-David Thornton,
Associate Professor, Department of History,
Criminal Justice and Political Science,
Campbell University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Kent Blevins
Chapter 1: Introduction: A Time That Needed Something New
Chapter 2: Conceptual Intersections among the Theories of Human Capital, Social Capacity, and Empowerment
Chapter 3: Early Historical Developments in the Lutheran, Political Context

a. Lutheran Missions Development before the Germans
b. Lutheran Mission under German Colonialism
c. Namibian Lutheranism under South Africa and between the Wars
Chapter 4: Pre-HENP: The Intersecting Political and Religious Contexts of National Liberation
a. One Step Forward, One Step back – Contending Namibian and International Actors in the Struggle for Namibia
b. Namibia’s Churches, Developing Voice and Influence
c. Strengthening and Broadening Resistance – the Global and United States based Lutheran Church Network
Chapter 5: The Lutheran Higher Education and Namibia Program (HENP)
a.Why did HENP begin?
b.What did it require to launch HENP?
c.The Identity of the HENP Students
Chapter 6: HENP and its Outcomes
Chapter 7: HENP Conclusions, and then What Happened
People Interviewed