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Religious culture

The role of Christian religion has changed dramatically in secular Dutch society. This raises questions such as what meaning does Christian religion have within the context of modern society with regard to individual questions about life and social issues. And how do ‘new churches’ of Dutch people from a different cultural background as well as the traditional churches continue to develop?

You can contact us for:

  • Post-initial education
  • Contract research
  • Advice
  • Lectures and talks
  • Courses
  • Course material


Post-initial education

We run an Ecclesiastical Preparation programme for foreign clergy in collaboration with the NIM (2019). The course is aimed at familiarising this clergy with Dutch society and churches. Fifteen people from six different countries are currently participating. Today in the Netherlands there are some 600 Roman Catholic priests from overseas, with their number continuing to rise annually. An increasing number of parishes will have a priest from overseas. The programme teaches the foreign priests both about the Netherlands’ religious and the church’s circumstances in the country.

Contract research and consultancy

We offer various forms of research and consultancy, including:

  • Research into the institutional vitality of parishes in terms of participation and fund raising
  • Research into pastoral innovations in parishes and Christian communities

Courses and course material

Christian tradition: We have designed a course for Catholic organisations that work in international development projects. This focuses on relevant Catholic values and Catholic social teachings in particular.

Study week on mysticism: An annually returning event organised by the Titus Brandsma Institute (TBI) is the mysticism study week. Every year, the first week of July is entirely centred on mysticism: on occasion it will alight on a specific mystical text as the focal point for the week, at other times participants will be guided through various texts by a certain mystic. The study weeks are led by one of our highly knowledgeable and inspirational scientific staff or by a recognised external specialist.

> More information on the study week

Lectures and symposiums

Limit and Spirit. Spiritual heritage 2019. Nijmegen, Radboud University


A good example of an internship in this light is Alissa Kivits’ work placement. Alissa is a Religious Studies student at Radboud University. Within the framework of the Honours Programme and supervised by Prof. Heleen Murre-van den Berg, she conducts research into the Eritrean orthodox community in and around Nijmegen. For the ‘scientific journalism’ module, Alissa wrote an article describing her first visit to the Eritrean Orthodox Tawahedo Church. Her experiences offer a fascinating insight into a community most Dutch people have little knowledge of. You can read Alissa’s article here (PDF, 716 kB) (pdf, 716 kB)


Practice based research

Pastoral innovation

Two larger city parishes in the east of the Netherlands appointed us to undertake evaluation research into a number of new ways and means of presenting a church. The project was entitled Stadskerken 2.0 (City Churches 2.0). Tim Schilling of the Centre for Parish Spirituality was a member of the team.

Research into vitality: church participation and fund raising

We are appointed by the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands, to draft reports - annually or biannually – on church participation and fund raising in the parishes.

"If you look at the number of churches closing and the number of worshipers, we think you may reasonably expect that in 2030 only 45 churches will still be open in the archdiocese of Utrecht" - Joris Kregting

Read more at Cruxnow.com about closing churches in the Netherlands and our Kaski research

Research into non-Christian religious communities’ places of worship

The Future of Religious Heritage Programme argues for a research approach that encompasses all places of worship in the Netherlands. We were appointed by RCE, the Dutch organisation for the protection and conservation of national heritage sites, to conduct research into what the future perspective of non-Christian religious communities and their places of worship may hold.

The first step in the research is to create an inventory of all non-Christian religious communities in the Netherlands (mosques, Hindu temples, Buddhist sanghas, synagogues, chapters of the Dutch Humanist Federation and Sikh temples). The next step will be to survey the current and future uses of places of worship or reflection of these non-Christian religious communities.


Please contact Prof. Dr. Frans Wijsen (Theology and Religious Studies) or Dr. Ton Bernts (Kaski).