MASTER OF MISSIONAL CONGREGATION

In the coming decades vital questions will need to be answered with regard to the future of Christianity in Europe, in particular in The Netherlands. There is a great need for missional renewal. With this in mind we kick started the Master program Missional Church (MMC) in 2009.The MMC is one among the nine variants of the one year Master of General Theology program that is being offered at the Theological University in Kampen. It involves a Master's program focusing on missions, taking as its context post-Christian Europe. The program seeks to develop well-formed students who feel called to take leadership in missions and evangelism in Western, secular surroundings. The context of an existing congregation or organization, as well as the founding of new congregations are part of the focus.The MMC cooperates with other theological training institutes in the Dutch language area.

1. Extent and Organization

The MMC counts for 60 European credits, which is the equivalent of 1680 study hours (1 EC = 28 study hours). This is the total amount of study time, including classes.
The study can be done both full time (1 year) and part time (2 years). A part time study will involve 840 hours on a yearly basis.
Tuition will be determined depending on the individual situation of the student. To find out how this works, consult the decision tree on this site.
The program is divided into six modules (more information to follow further on this page).

2. Intake

2.1 General

The Theological University Kampen is a university in the Reformed tradition. Students from various denominational backgrounds study at our university.  The one year Master program is explicitly intended for a broad spectrum of students. Anybody respecting the Reformed principles of the university is welcome, provided one can meet the educational requirements.
When you have a theological BA from a recognized university you may be directly admitted to the MMC program. Students who have a non-academic theological BA follow an additional pre-master program first. It depends on your previous training how long the pre-master will last, but never longer than 60 EC (European credits) = 1 year.
When your situation is different and you would like to know whether, in your case,  there might be exemptions from the pre-master program, please contact the coordinator of the Master program, dr. Stefan Paas (stefanpaas[at]tukampen.nl) , or the education coordinator, Mrs. Elizabeth Blokland (eblokland[at]tukampen.nl)
You will receive an application form on which you can indicate which studies you have finished so far and whether you have any relevant work experience. You will be notified on the basis of your application form. If there is a good possibility for several exemptions, you will be invited to provide more information about yourself.  For this reason you will be requested to compile a personal portfolio. The MMC coordinator dr. Stefan Paas will advise you on this . After an interview on the basis of your portfolio the admissions committee will decide whether you are eligible for exemptions.
The program is taught in Dutch only. If we receive enough applications from non-Dutch speakers, we will also organize classes in English. Classes begin on the 1st of September.  Timely application is required especially when a portfolio is requested.

2.2 Second admissions and cooperation

We have reached agreements with other theological educational institutions regarding second enrollments and the use of credits. This applies to the following institutions in particular:

  • Theological University Apeldoorn
  • Evangelical Theological Institute of Heverlee (Belgium)
  • Center for Evangelical and Reformation Theology at the Free University of Amsterdam
  • Protestant Theological University of Kampen, Utrecht and Leyden

The purpose of this cooperation is to enable students who wish to build up a profile in missional studies at one of these institutes to do this in the most efficient way, choosing from among what is offered at the different institutes.

3. Content

3.1 General

Missiology is the theological discipline that studies the path of Christian faith throughout the world, specifically where boundaries are crossed. Missiology comes into action where Christians and churches leave their "comfort zones" and as a result are confronted with new situations and contexts. The perspective from which missiology works as a theological discipline is one of faith: everything is seen within the context of God's purpose for this world.
Within this context various approaches are possible. There can be a historical approach to missiology (history of missions), or a systematic-theological approach (theology of missions). In the MMC program the approach to missiology is a particularly practical-theological one. In the current practical theology we differentiate four main tasks:

  • an empirical task, aimed at research and collecting data
  • an interpreting task, aimed at analyzing data
  • a normative task, aimed at theologically interpreting of the situation
  • a practical task, aimed at well thought out and effective action

When we apply this to the context in which the MMC program takes place (post-Christian Europe) it means that students in the MMC program will:

  1. collect knowledge about this context;
  2. learn to interpret this knowledge on the basis of well founded theories;
  3. reflect theologically on these facts;
  4. and come with well thought out proposals for Christians and the Church which have missionary significance in a secular surrounding.

Most modules are so designed that these four central themes come back time and again.

3.2 Learning goals based on three dimensions

In the MMC program we focus on the content of three dimensions: theology, personal engagement, and acting within the context of a community. . The learning goals in each dimension of the MMC are as follows:

Theology

  1. You have a sound missiological conceptual framework
  2. You are able to communicate in the language of the surrounding culture
  3. You are able to think creatively right there where culture and Christian thinking meet
  4. You are able to translate the meaning of Christian faith in original ways in a new context

Personal involvement

  1. You can guide others spiritually towards a life of following Christ
  2.  You desire to form a missionary culture in which the Gospel is not only heard but practiced and seen
  3. You can communicate God's grace and truth in a contemporary style in personal conversations, in proclamation and in organizing celebrations that are sensitive to cultural differences
  4. You keep the spiritual sources in your own life open. You live by grace, with an existential understanding of the Gospel
  5. You have developed spiritual disciplines in your life and practice hospitality
  6. The way you deal with those who think differently is authentically christian, loving and bold
  7. The way you deal with those entrusted to your care is transparent, responsible and full of integrity.  At the same time you are willing to give account of your actions to others.

Acting in Community

  1. You not only are able to apply the Gospel to your personal life but you also live as an example to others and you help them to mold their own Christian lives
  2. You are able to function as a theological leader in a (existing or new) Christian congregation
  3. You can take concrete steps to progress from the ideal to the reality

4.Modules

4.1. General

The MMC program is structured in 7 modules, following trajectory ending in graduation, in which the student independently investigates a specific topic and reports about this in a paper. Each separate module counts for 6 EC (=168 study hours)and the full trajectory for graduation consists of 18 EC. The structure is as follows:

  1. Integration module
  2. Missions in post Christian Europe
  3. Missiological Ecclesiology
  4. Missiological Coaching
  5. Missiological Leadership
  6. Missiological Communication
  7. Elective subject (one's own choice)

One of the modules is the so called 'Integration module', meant for all one year Master programs at the TU in Kampen. This module is taught by a variety of teachers. In this module you receive a broad orientation to various aspects of Reformed Theology in our day and age.
In the module 'Missions in post-Christian Europe' we cooperate with the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Heverlee (ETF), in Belgium. 

The other five modules are taught at the TU in Kampen. Fulltime students participate in all modules in one study year. Parttime students may elect certain modules, but the module 'Missions in post-Christian Europe' is always to  be followed in the first year. We recommend you follow a total of four modules in the first year of a part time study, so sufficient time is left for the graduation program in the second year.

4.2 What a module looks like

Apart from slight variations all modules have the same components. The four practical-theological tasks, mentioned in 3.2 are leading here:

  1. Empirical task:
    1. You read literature and/or do research
    2. Group discussion, mostly based on a case brought in by the students 
  2. Interpreting task: theoretical exploration through classes
  3. Normative task: through classes and literature
  4. ractical task: You will be doing further research, you will write an essay containing concrete recommendations, and will apply those in a concrete context

Obviously the emphasis on these four main tasks is not the same in weight in each module but is dependent on the themes and topics being studied.

4.3  An overview of the modules contentwise

What follows is a brief overview of the content of the central modules of the MMC.

Missions in post Christian Europe

This module is an introduction to missiology and the history of missions in Europe, with an emphasis on the 20th century. The massive changes that have taken place in Europe in the 20th century will be part of the introductory  material being studied using recent sociological and cultural philosophical research as well. The focal point of this module is a growing awareness of the questions being posed en an exploration of the possibilities of missions in Europe in the 21st century.

Missional ecclesiology

In this module we focus on the idea of 'belonging'. The question we will ask ourselves is what missional teaching about the church involves and how it can be recognized at the level of the local church, which is the 'work floor' as it were of missions. Different types of missionairy communities will be looked at and we will give attention to post-modern ecclesiologies as well.

Missional Coaching

In this module we talk about the different aspects to the ideas of 'believing', 'behaving' and 'belonging'. This is related to the idea of 'coaching': a process in which seekers and young christians are accompanied on their way towards spiritual growth and discipleship. We will pay attention to traditions that have evolved in this area and to the question of how to give form in practice to this  missional coaching.

Missional Communication

Here we focus on the idea of 'believing'. We will use literature, our own experience and other practical examples to ask ourselves the question how we can articulate the gospel in our contemporary culture. In this module we will also analyze current methods of evangelism.

Missional Leadership

The term leadership is controversial in Europe and yet we all realize leadership is something that is normal in all aspects of life. In this module we will discuss what it means to give leadership in a missionary context (leadership in mission). Besides looking at various important contemporary research we will also thoroughly explore the theological component. We will also give a lot of attention to the personal development of the student, spiritually, personally and professionally. The making and discussion of a competence scan forms part of this module.

Elective (your own choice)

One module of the seven is a free choice one under the following conditions:

  • The module is preferably used in preparation towards graduation by attending classes or courses, reading of literature, an internship with a missional organisation or project or in any other way performing preparatory research in consultation with your study advisor.
  • In case you use the module by attending classes, we advise you to make use of the elective at an other institution of education.

Contact your study advisor for ideas how to make use of the elective at an other institution.
At the start of the study year you will receive a reader with more information.

5.Names and addresses

5.1 Coördinator MMC

Stefan Paas
Rijksstraatweg 22
1396 JM Baambrugge
E-mail: spaas[at]tukampen.nl    

5.2 Coördinator of Education

Elizabeth Blokland
E-mail: eblokland[at]tukampen.nl 

5.3 Secretary of the examcommittee TUK

Ankie Sinnema
E-mail: jmmsinnema[at]tukampen.nl

5.4 International officer

Jos Colijn

E-mail: jjacolijn[at]tukampen.nl