The Protestant Theological University will move to the University of Groningen and the VU University Amsterdam. The current three locations in Utrecht, Kampen and Leiden will be closed down. The board of the Protestant Theological University announced this decision today (Thursday 1 April).
The Protestant Theological University is responsible for the training of vicars and spiritual carers for the Dutch Protestant Church. Since its foundation in 1614 until 1999, the training programme was part of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Groningen.
The Groningen Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has reacted with delight to the decision by the Protestant Theological University to return to the University of Groningen. ‘Groningen and the VU University Amsterdam are a very good choice’, according to the Dean, Prof. G.H. van Kooten. ‘Both faculties are independent and have completely individual profiles with respect to each other. The VU is strongly Protestant and interreligious, whereas Groningen has an outstanding academic reputation, in both research and teaching, and our Religion & Culture specialization concentrates strongly on the study of the cultural embedding of religion, both in the past and the present, both theologically and in a religious studies sense.’
Both profiles, that of the University of Groningen and of the VU, offer a wide choice to students of the Protestant Theological University. Van Kooten sees exciting possibilities for embedding and cooperation. ‘The institutions can strengthen each other’s positions as a result.’
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