Post Graduate program for migrant pastors and church leaders

Center for Theology of Migration (CThM) will start in September 2018 with the training of Christian migrant pastors and church leaders. This one-year postgraduate program (60 EC) is especially commissioned by SKIN (Samen Kerk in Nederland: Together Church in the Netherlands).

CThM focuses on the practical and scientific discipline of the study of migrant churches. It is a center of expertise, education and academic research in the field of migrant churches/ministries: their theology, hermeneutics, religious transmission, ethics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, traditions and context. In addition, at the CThM there is a special attention for the role and function of migrant churches in the Netherlands and in Europe. Given the importance of the theological, social and psychological aspects of migrant churches, there are three central themes: 1) the rootedness (radix) the identity of the migrant churches, 2) the reflection of the migrant churches in relation to postmodern society, and 3) the daily context in which migrant Christians live in the Netherlands. Not only migrant pastors and leaders may study at CThM, but also non-immigrant native Christian students from other disciplines within and outside the department are welcome. Also, students from other universities can study at CThM.

The role of migrant pastors and church leaders are very diverse. In addition to prayer and worship, taking care of sermons on Sundays and special services such as birth, marriage or funeral, the pastors are also involved in other activities such as religious education. Further, the migrant pastors and church leaders are active in several (care) settings, such as the hospital, the army, the prison, the university or company. The migrant pastors also lead mission and evangelism activities. The migrant pastors and church leaders are the point of contact of the Christian immigrant community. Thus, the participants in the postgraduate program for migrant pastors and church leaders will further develop their abilities to cope with the diversity of Christian traditions in The Netherlands. They will be trained to think and act beyond their own traditions. Finally, the participants are expected to adequately represent their own communities in the wide spectrum of the Dutch society. In short, the participants are academically and professionally trained in the fields of general theology, theology of migration, pastoral ministry and mission in the context of society & culture. 

Those who are already pastoring in the migrant communities or those who desire to become a migrant pastor/minister or a church leader, or those who aim to work in a religious/ Christian care sector, can attend this postgraduate program. The lecturers and professors at this program are not only scholars but also have great experiences in the fields of pastoral or missional ministries. This program has been established in cooperation with Samen Kerk in Nederland (SKIN).

For 2018, there are two introduction days planned on March 17 and June 9. Those who are interested in participating in one of these open days can contact Dr. Samuel Lee (s.lee@vu.nl

Admission requirements
In order to be admitted for this postgraduate program for migrant pastors and church leaders, the applicant must have a university / college education. There are various possibilities for admission or pre-training programs; for more information please contact one of our coordinators.

Admission
You will only be admitted to the program after an interview with the Admissions Committee.
For an appointment on the admission you can sign up at dr. Simon Ririhena, s.ririhena@vu.nl and Samuel Lee, s.lee@vu.nl , coordinators of the program. Plan your interview well in advance!

It is possible that you need to supplement your knowledge to an academic level. This may include additional requirements. This you get to hear after talking to the admissions board.

Registration
After a fiat of the admissions you can finally register. For that you will receive from the Secretariat a registration form. This form and the annexes must be in possession of the Secretariat before 01 July 2018.

Final registration
Your registration is only final when you have transferred the registration fee. For the postgraduate program, you will have to pay an initial fee of €2,060 to the Faculty of Theology. On the basis of your application you will receive an invoice so that you can pay the registration fee. The amount must be transferred in one go.

Content of the training
The post-graduate training consists of four domains:

(1) Theology of migration
In the domain Theology and Migration, the concepts of 'double-sided transformation' and 'double contextuality' will be dealt with. The process of double or two-sided transformation is about the influence of Christianity on culture and vice versa. With the concept of 'double contextuality' is meant that the immigrant churches should give new meaning to their own ethnic identity in the new country and at the same time, should do the same for their Christian identity.

(2) Mission and Society
It is important that the student understands Society. Not only the Dutch society but also of the countries of origin and in particular the effects that may occur of interaction.

(3) Pastoral Care in Context
It is important that the student understands how people perceive, think, feel and act. The student must be gifted in connecting with what's going on in him- or her self and others in the everyday environment. Migration is one of the most stressful events a person can experience. The student must therefore possess the ability in dealing with the complicating factors that can be involved in the inter-personal and inter-social and cultural contact.

(4) Internship and reflection on practice
Knowledge of the practice is relevant not only with an eye on the practical application of the theories of the Office (such as sermon) but also in view of the importance of learning academic self-reflection about their own function in the Office. After an orientation on the internship the student will go through the professional fields that is divided in different period of the year in a church or (make) body with which the student is trained in giving sermons, counseling, and leading small discipleship groups. The internship is concluded with a paper. In preparation the student follows some practical-theological subjects. The internship can also be followed abroad.

In each box the four domains are integrated. The language of instruction in the training is English and Dutch. Education goes through lectures on Fridays and through online learning.

Final assignment
The students get a final assignment in which they have to organize an activity as total group that looks at three objectives:

  • Knowledge: the student demonstrates knowledge about the various theories of the
    theology of migration
  • Skill: the student has the ability to translate that knowledge into practice.
  • Behavior: the student reflects in his behavior the Christian principle of service.

Table 1 Overview program for migrant pastors and church leaders

 Period 1 Sept/OctPeriod 2 Nov/DecPeriod 3 JanPeriod 4 Febr/Mrch  Period 5 Apr/MayPeriod 6 June
Module1.a Church History (theological developments and the Spirit) and missionary church foundation for migrant pastors (6)   1.b Migrant Theology (6)    2.a The Holy Spirit and Ministry (3)   2.b Intercultural Communication: Leadership and Conflict Management in immigrant Churches (3)

2.c Evangelism and Mission in a postmodern Society (3)     2.d Internship (3)
3.a The figures of Christ in different Contexts (3)   3.b Intern-ship (3)4.a Marriage and Family in the Dutch context
from a Multicultural perspective. Intercultural aspects in people-to-people relations (6)   4.b Internship(3)  
5.a Practical Theology with Focus on Pastoral Care (3)   5.b Multicultural pastoral Care (6) 5.c Internship (3)6.a Global Christianity(6)   6.b Final assignment (3)

 

Internship
The student is responsible for finding an internship where the postgraduate internship goals can be achieved:

The Coordinator of the program sets a contract that is signed by representatives of the training and internship and by the student. In the contract is mentioned and described the postgraduate internship goals and individual internship goals.

Contact

For an appointment you can sign up at dr. Simon Ririhena, s.ririhena@vu.nl and Samuel Lee, s.lee@vu.nl, the coordinators of the postgraduate program.

For general information please contact the Secretariat: paa.the@vu.nl or by phone: 020-5985846.