Academic EFC Conference: Brokenness, Sin and Grace in Human Formation

Education, Formation and the Church II 

For more information and application, visit

We kindly invite you to the biannual academic conference, organised by the Theological University Apeldoorn and the Theological University Kampen.

This conference was meant to be held in the summer of 2020, but was postponed because of the pandemic. The conference will be held online and is entitled ‘Brokenness, sin and grace in human formation’. The conference is scheduled for the 25th , 26th and 27th of August 2021.

Within Christian education we are used to expressions such as ‘growth’, ‘talents’ and ‘human flourishing’. Observing current pedagogical and psychological approaches it may seem that human perfection is the norm. The emphasis on the positive side of faith in human formation can entail the risk of the reality of sin and brokenness being dismissed from the educational vocabulary. At the same time, there is an intrinsic pedagogical motive for adopting stimulating perspectives. The question can, therefore, be raised whether Christian education has become infected by a narrow and reductionist conversation about human flourishing, understood in the meaning of growth, perfection and success.

The upcoming EFC conference will explore questions related to the place of brokenness and grace in the pedagogical theory and practice:

  • How are we to understand good and evil in human nature?
  • How do good and sin manifest themselves in education and formation?
  • Do positive and negative views on pupils, teachers and pedagogy contribute to human formation or to human frustration?
  • How are we to evaluate the current instrumental strive for perfection?
  • How do we cope with the effects of sin and brokenness; the effects of evil in classrooms, learning processes and human formation?

This is an opportunity for pedagogues and theologians to inform and inspire one another by understanding and rethinking brokenness and grace in the process of human formation.

The Formation Conference wishes to continue the conversations initiated at the successful conference in 2018. Invited key note speakers are Jan Habl (CZ), Petruschka Schaafsma and Wolter Huttinga (both NL). We are happy to announce that Ros Stuart-Buttle (UK), David Smith (US) and Ronelle Sonnenberg (NL) will be part of the panel in the last part of the conference.

Call for papers

Researchers, professionals and scholars in theology, education and related disciplines are invited to submit paper proposals for the paper sessions. Both practical/professional and scholarly  contributions are welcome. The text of the proposal should not exceed a maximum of 500 words, apart from the title of the paper, the author’s name, affiliations and the paper’s four key words.

Please submit your proposal not later than the 21st of April 2021 to Annemarie Kuijvenhoven, member of the preparation committee (

If more information is needed, feel free to connect with one of the members of the committee. The conference will be held in English. We will consider publishing the lectures and a selection of short papers in a volume with the proceedings of the conference.

Cooperation in partnership

The initiative is taken by the cooperating professors Bram de Muynck (Theological University of Apeldoorn) and Roel Kuiper (Theological University of Kampen). The conference will be organized with the support of NICER Christ Church university Canterbury and Centre for Christian Education at Liverpool Hope University. The conference will also be supported by CHE (university of applied science Ede), Driestar Christian University Gouda and VIAA hogeschool (university of applied sciences Zwolle).

Kind regards,

Prof. Bram de Muynck

Prof. Roel Kuiper

Tirza van Laar-Jochemsen MSc, MPhil

Willemieke Reijnoudt-Klein MA

Annemarie Kuijvenhoven MA

Geranne Tamminga MA


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