History of SANSSA

In the early days Sunday Schools in South Africa generally met for an hour on a Sunday afternoon though it later became more popular to start meeting in the morning. South Africa was considered outside the major ocean routes and therefore visits from Sunday school leaders of other countries rarely took place. Initially the responsibility of Sunday Schools fell under the auspices of specific denominations but due to large geographical regions in South Africa and the large number of different denominations all using different programmes, the solution lay in interdenominational co-operation.

This was provided largely by SANSSA, a South African unit of the World Sunday School Association, which was started in 1915 and had its headquarters in Port Elizabeth. Membership was open to all denominations and Unions were established in twelve large towns, with volunteer officials except for a part time secretary in Johannesburg. The Influence of SANSSA’s work soon extended beyond the Union of South Africa’s border, which led to a merger with regions further north.

SANSSA was also formed to initiate and present a nationally endorsed invitation for the World Sunday School Convention to take place in South Africa. This proposal was accepted at the 1936 Convention held in Oslo, Norway. South Africa was to host the 1940 Convention in Durban but due to the sudden start of War World Two, this was postponed indefinitely.


  • Improvement of existing schools in harmony with their denominational policy
  • Supply of informational literature, conventions & correspondence courses
  • Services to bring every child irrespective of race, language or colour to a Sunday School experience

What we Believe

  • The Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible authoritative Word of God.
  • That there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • In the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  • That for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
  • In the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  • In the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved into the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  • In the spiritual unity of believers in Christ.



To promote Christian education in the Church in Southern Africa


  • Facilitating Christian education by way of courses, meetings, seminars and Scripture Knowledge Examinations [SKE]
  • Arranging conferences, camps and meetings for inspiration and instruction.
  • Networking with denominations, organizations and individuals engaged in similar work.
  • Distributing Christian education resource materials.
  • Promoting children's education through the annual observance of Children's Ministry Day.
  • Disseminating Christian education and Christian education information through appropriate media.
  • Continuous research on Christian education.
  • Promoting contests to encourage improved Christian education effectiveness.
  • Establishing, maintaining and financing national and local organizations for the purposes of carrying out the above functions

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