Postgraduate programme Migrant Pastor and Church Leader

The role of migrant pastor and church leader is very diverse. Besides giving sermons and conducting worship and special services, he also takes part in activities such as religious instruction. Furthermore, a migrant pastor or church leader can be involved in several (care)institutions and oversee missions and evangelism activities.

In short, it is expected of a migrant pastor and a church leader that he adequately represents his congregation.

Within the Postgraduate programme Migrant Pastor and Church Leader, you will be trained to become an expert in the fields of theology, pastoral ministry and in social sciences. Through this programme you will develop skills to transcend your own convictions and deal with the diversity of Christian traditions in the Netherlands.

Centre for Theology of Migration

The Centre for Theology of Migration (CThM) has developed an one-year Postgraduate programme Migrant Pastor and Church Leader (60 EC), which was commissioned by SKIN (Samen Kerk in Nederland).

CThM focuses on the practical and scientific discipline of the study of migrant churches. It aims to be a centre 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, it focuses on 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:

  • The rootedness (radix) within the identity of migrant churches.
  • The reflection of migrant churches in relation to postmodern society.
  • The daily context in which migrant Christians live in the Netherlands.

Not only migrant Christians study at CThM, but also non-immigrant native students from several disciplines, from within VU Amsterdam and from other universities are welcome.


In order to be accepted to the Postgraduate programme Migrant Pastor and Church Leader, the applicant must have a university / college education. For more information please contact the coordinator of the programme, Dr. Samuel Lee.

You will be accepted to the programme after an interview with the Admissions Board. For an invitation you can contact Dr. Samuel Lee, the coordinator of the programme. Plan your interview well in advance, preferable between March and May.

It is possible that you need to increase your knowledge to an academic level. This may include additional requirements. In that case, you will be informed by the Admissions Board.

After permission of the Admissions Board, the next step is to register. For that you will receive a registration form. This form and the required annexes must be send to the Secretariat well before July 1st.

Your registration is final after you have transferred the course fees. For this postgraduate programme, you will have to pay €2,083 to the Faculty of Religion and Theology. After your application you will receive an invoice so that you can pay the registration fee. The amount must be transferred all at once.

Study Programme

The postgraduate programme consists of four domains:

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

Mission and Society
It is important that students understand the Dutch society, but also that of their country of origin, and in particular the possible effects of interaction.

Pastoral Care in Context
Students must have insight into how people perceive, think, feel and act, within themselves as in others. Migration is one of the most stressful events a person can experience. Therefore the student must possess the ability in dealing with the complicating factors that can be involved in the interpersonal and intersocial and cultural contact.

Stage en reflectie op de praktijk
Practical knowledge 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, counselling, 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 take place abroad.

These four domains are integrated in all courses. The language of instruction is English and Dutch. Teaching is organized through lectures on Fridays and through e-learning.

One-year Postgraduate programme Migrant Pastor and Church Leader (60 EC):

Period 1Period 2Period 3Period 4Period 5Period 6
1.a Church History (theological developments and the Spirit) and missionary church foundation for migrant pastor (6)2.a The Holy Spirit and Ministry (3)3.a The Figures of Christ in Different Contexts (3)4.a Marriage and Family in the Dutch context from a Multicultural perspective. Intercultural aspects in people-to-people relations (6)5.a Practical Theology with Focus on Pastoral Care (3)6.a Global Christianity (6)
1.b Migrant Theology (6)2.b Intercultural Communication: Leadership and Conflict Management in immigrant Churches (3)3.b Internship (3)4.b Internship (3)5.b Multicultural Pastoral Care (6)6.b Final assignment (3)

2.c Evangelism and Mission in a Postmodern Society (3)

5.c Internship (3)

2.d Internship (3)

Students will receive a final assignment, in which they have to organize as group an activity. This will be assessed on the following three components:

  • Knowledge: the student shows knowledge about various theories on the theology of migration.
  • Skill: the student has the ability to translate that knowledge into practice.
  • Behaviour: the student demonstrates through his behaviour the Christian principle of service.

The student is responsible for finding an internship where the internship goals of the Postgraduate programme Migrant Pastor and Church Leader can be achieved.

The coordinator of the programme will draw up a contract which will be signed by representatives of the programme and internship, and by the student. In this contract, the internship and individual goals are described.

Orientation Days

Every year, there are two Orientation Days, which usually take place in May and June. For further information please contact the coordinator of the programme.


For questions about the programme, please contact:
Dr. Samuel Lee

For general information please contact the Secretariat:
T: +31 20 59 85846