Practical Theology

Practical Theology

Department chair: Prof. Dr. Jack Barentsen

Studies in Practical Theology

The influence of Christianity on the norms and values of western societies has decreased significantly. As a consequence the societal role of the Church is no longer broadly accepted. Whereas in the past the Church provided social cohesion, people now find their way in a multitude of networks and subcultures. This postmodern and pluralist context challenges Christian communities of faith to maintain their own vitality, even as they adapt and innovate.

The department of Practical Theology approaches Christian praxis in various ways in order to understand this context and its challenge, as well as to indicate new directions forward. A careful balance is maintained between respect for Christian tradition and the need for renewal.

Research in the department of practical theology follows three thematic lines:

  • The first line, with a focus on Church Development and Leadership, centers on changes in the organizational culture of faith communities as well as on the associated challenges for Church leaders.
  • The second line of research Ritual Formation through Preaching, Liturgy and Art, researches the self-understanding of believers by means of rituals in the broadest sense of the word.
  • The third line of research New Ways in Christian Education: the Role of Spirituality, focuses on the role of Christian identity formation in the context of Christian higher education.

Independent Academic Personnel

Prof. Dr. Jack Barentsen Church Office & Leadership, Practical Ecclesiology, Church Pedagogy & Christian Education
Prof. Dr. Jos de Kock  Children & Youth – Religious Education – Education & Catechetics – Research Methodology

Special Academic Personnel

Dr. Jos Douma Spirituality, Homiletics
Dr. René Erwich Spiritual Leadership, Homiletics, Church Development, Pastoral Ministry

External Instructors

Drs. Oeds Blok
Dr. Jocelyn Bryan
Dr. Reijer de Vries
Prof. Dr. Mark Lamport
Dr. Kees van Ekris
Dr. Léon van Ommen
Dr. Marco Wittenberg

 Doctoral Students (with or without AAP/SAP-status)

Judith Hildebrandt
Benjamin Spring Paul Ramsey’s Covenantal Ethics in Leadership: Power, Social Identity, and the Bond between Leaders and Followers

Research Institutes and Groups

Institute of Leadership and Social Ethics (ILSE)

Initiative for the Study of Religious Education and Youth Ministry (ISREYM)

New research institute ISREYM launched

New research institute ISREYM launched

Today, professionals from churches, education and youth work come together on the study day a study day on faith education at ETF Leuven. Several speakers...

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Steven van den Heuvel New Director of ILSE

Steven van den Heuvel New Director...

At the Institute of Leadership and Social Ethics (ILSE), a research institute of Evangelische Theologische Faculteit (ETF), Leuven, a change of watch takes...

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