Religious Marketing and Church-Related Universities in the Public Media in Zambia

  • Nelly Mwale
  • Melvin Simuchimba
  • Austin Mumba Cheyeka Department of Religious Studies, The University of Zambia
Keywords: Church-related University, Media, Religious Marketing, Advertisement and Faith Branding


This article explores how and why church-related universities use the public media in Zambia. Grounded in interpretivism and informed by interpretive phenomenology, the adverts of two mainline churches and their universities in the media were analysed through an adaptive theoretical lens. The data was reductively explicated. The article reveals that different church-related universities were using public television for different reasons and argues that contrary to the widely held view in religion and media that mainline churches had not embraced media technologies in their mission, and that Pentecostals were highly associated with the media for evangelisation purposes, church- related universities reflected a trend towards the use of the media in order to sell their educational activities. In this regard, the universities were using the media to advertise their programmes and institutions. The article, therefore, contributes a religion and media perspective to the emerging religion and higher education scholarship in Zambia by demonstrating that church-related universities have embraced religious marketing in their mission of providing education.