MIRT – Master of Intercultural Reformed Theology

“For me, TU Kampen is one of the very few theological schools that still hold firmly the Scriptures as God’s Word, while striving to answer today’s challenges both in the academy and on a church practice level.”

Dr. Surya Harefa, Japan, MIRT graduate, completed his PhD at TU Kampen

 

Reformed Theology for a Global World

 

The Theological University of Kampen boasts a long-standing tradition of education in Reformed Theology in The Netherlands. In a globalizing world we want to stimulate and challenge international and Dutch students to reflect on the relevance and actuality of Reformed theology and world-view for today, while studying the heritage of famous theologians such as John Calvin, Herman Bavinck and Abraham Kuyper. By doing intercultural Reformed theology ‘together with all the saints’ (Eph 3:18) we strive for academic excellence for future teachers and church leaders in the Kingdom of God around the world.

To achieve these goals, the Theological University Kampen offers a one-year English-taught intensive Master’s programme: the Master of Intercultural Reformed Theology (MIRT). This programme targets particularly students who:

  • are in a teaching ministry or are preparing for this;
  • want to deepen their knowledge of Reformed theology and tradition;
  • wish to enhance their academic and intercultural skills for doing theology in the context of World Christianity.

The MIRT-programme consists of one year of full-time residential studies in Kampen. After successful completion of the programme, students receive a fully accredited Master of Arts degree in Theology. Excellent students can follow up with PhD-studies.

During the last five years, around forty students successfully finished the programme and many of them are now involved in theological education and/or continuing with PhD studies.

 

What Is Unique About the MIRT Programme?

 

The MIRT offers international and Dutch students a unique opportunity to:

  • Become part of an ambitious academic learning community of students from around the world;
  • Enjoy cutting edge lectures and academic interaction with Dutch and international professors;
  • Get more deeply acquainted with European and Dutch Reformed and Neo-Calvinist theology and tradition in a global context;
  • Reflect together on the missional relevance of Reformed Theology and tradition in a global world;
  • Develop academic skills for doing Intercultural Theology in our multicultural and multireligious world;
  • Study in The Netherlands, a European country with a long-standing tradition of Reformed Theology;
  • Enjoy academic and intercultural exchange and Christian fellowship with Dutch and international students.

By studying in the MIRT programme, students also join a worldwide network of theological institutions and professors, for we strive to promote future international theological cooperation for the glory of God and mutual enrichment.

 

What Are the Distinguishing Features of the MIRT Programme?

 

The two main distinguishing features of the programme are its Reformed identity and its academic excellence:

I. Reformed Identity

We conform to the following basic markers of Reformed identity:

    1. Studying the Scriptures as the revealed Word of God in a redemptive-historical perspective and with a Christ-centred focus.
    2. Working within the theological framework of the Christian and Reformed confessions.
    3. Drawing on historic Reformed theology of John Calvin and others and the work of neo-Calvinist theologians such as Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck and Klaas Schilder.
    4. Serving the world-wide body of Christ and the community of the saints with Reformed Theology.
    5. Preparing Christian teachers and leaders for service in God’s Kingdom, in ways relevant for their society and culture.

 

II. Academic Excellence

The MIRT programme aims for academic excellence and offers a fully accredited MA degree (60 ECTS credits) at a high academic level. The programme is designed for current and future teachers from theological and other academic institutions. Lecturers are experts from the Theological University of Kampen and other recognized theological institutions from around the world.

The MIRT Programme (MA) offers advanced courses and supervised studies in the field of Reformed Theology. Excellent students will be supported and stimulated to start PhD-studies.

 

What Does the Programme Look Like?

 

PHASE 1: GENERAL – 12.5 ECTS CREDITS

The following modules will be offered in the context of the programme:

    • Common Course – ‘Doing theology in a contextual manner. Hermeneutics for the Reformed Tradition’ – 5 ECTS credits
    • Doing Intercultural Reformed theology – The Art of Appropriation – 6 ECTS credits
    • Research Methodology – 1 ECTS credit
    • Studium Generale activities – 0,5 ECTS credit

 

PHASE 2: SPECIALIZATION – 30 ECTS CREDITS

    • Reading the Scriptures Interculturally – a Reformed approach – 6 ECTS credits
    • Core and Fabric of Reformed Theology – Structure of Reformed Theology – 6 ECTS credits
    • What’s at stake? Themes and discussions in the field of Reformed theology – 6 ECTS credits
    • Reformed worldview – a broad perspective for Christians, the Church and the World – 6 ECTS credits
    • Free Minor / Elective subject (guided literature study in area of specialization) – 6 ECTS credits

 

PHASE 3: MASTER’S THESIS – 17.5 ECTS CREDITS

This stage should be used for research and writing of your Master’s thesis – 15.5 ECTS credits.

Apart from that:

    • 1 ECTS credit is reserved for (preparation of) the oral presentation of your research;
    • 1 ECTS credit is reserved for Personal Profession Reflection and active participation in the study (b)log.

 

Who Can Apply for the MIRT Programme?

 

You can apply for the MIRT if:

  • You have completed a formal theological education (at a Bachelor’s level at the least);
  • You have a good command of the English language;
  • You are seriously interested in Reformed theology and worldview and ready to reflect on its actuality and relevance for your own context and culture;
  • You are academically prepared to take courses in theology at a Master’s level (a written thesis in theology, which demonstrates your academic level, is required for application);
  • You are dedicated to intensive studies for a one-year period in The Netherlands;
  • Students from EU-countries (or neighbouring countries) can also use the possibilities of Erasmus+.

erasmus+ programme

 

What Competences Will Students Acquire Through the MIRT Programme?

 

Personal Competences

Students will develop sensitivity for the intercultural reading and understanding of the Scriptures in their own culture and context. Students will learn to understand the fabric of Reformed theology as an important historical and contemporary hermeneutical tradition. Students will be challenged to reflect on theory and praxis of contextualization and appropriation of Reformed theology interculturally.

 

Academic Competences

Research methodology, doing intercultural theology and developing and applying academic skills are an integrated part of the programme. Excellent students (final grade 80% or higher) can apply for PhD studies at the Theological University Kampen.

 

Professional Competences

Students will be equipped to work in the broad context of Reformed theology and tradition in a way that is relevant to their own religious and cultural context. As (future) teachers at theological, educational and other academic institutions, or as church leaders they can help and train others to do Reformed theology in a way that is contextually and interculturally relevant.

 

Experiences

 

The MIRT programme attracts international students from all continents as well as Dutch students. They study and learn together under the guidance of international professors. Please read some student opinions about the programme:


“I highly recommend The Master of Intercultural Reformed Theology offered at Kampen University. This program inspires the international students to have a deeper understanding of Reformed Theology from a contextual and intercultural perspective.”

— Dr. Samuel Lee, President of the Foundation Academy of Amsterdam

Profile picture Samuel Lee


“In mijn werk voel en proef ik dagelijks dat ik deel ben van de kerk van alle plaatsen. Die wereldwijde verbondenheid komt samen op de één-jarig Masterprogramma Intercultural Reformed Theology (MIRT). Ik sprak een afgestudeerde. Zijn ogen begonnen te twinkelen toen hij vertelde over de MIRT. De inhoudelijke kwaliteit, de Gereformeerde identiteit en de verbondenheid met studenten uit alle werelddelen. Deze kerkleider stond in de startblokken om nu  zijn eigen kerk te dienen, als hoofd van een Bijbelschool. Prachtig toch!”

— Klaas Harink, Director of missions organisation Verre Naasten


“The MIRT program has helped me to appreciate my own culture and it has also encouraged me to do more research about it. I was surprised by how much interference God has with our own culture in Suriname.

It was an eye-opener that everyone may and can serve God in his own culture or tradition. I also apply the acquired knowledge in my own cultural context by teaching our locals to appreciate culture and tradition more and by asking the right questions.

I have learned that not everything that seems idolatrous in a culture or tradition is by definition idolatrous at its core. Indeed, there is much to be confronted in every culture, however, it is important to point out that the world has received culture so that God would be honored through culture.

It was a privilege for me to do this study. I fell in love with the Reformed tradition and my favorite quote comes from Abraham Kuyper: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence about which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” Amen!!”

Jor-El Saeroon, Suriname, MIRT-graduate, currently PhD-student at TU Kampen

Profile Jor-El Saeroon


“Through the MIRT programme, my reformed theological horizon was widened. Relating the truth of the gospel to my context became more intense, leading to a better appreciation of my culture. The academic environment at TUK is learner-friendly. The MIRT class demography is intercultural. The professors are versatile, highly exposed and very courteous. I am now digging deeper at the PhD level trying to evaluate the missiological implications of secularisation for the Yorubas.

If your goal is to communicate reformed theological truths in a language relevant to your context, MIRT is a course for you. Just like me, you can be sure of pursuing it to the highest level at TUK.”

Oluwabukunmi Popoola, Nigeria, MIRT Graduate, currently PhD-student at TU Kampen


“I have visited various universities around the world and carefully looked at the curricula of many schools of intercultural studies. The Master of Intercultural Reformed Theology (MIRT) program at Kampen Theological University is one of the best in that field. It combines a strong academic standard with deep holistic worldview. The diversity of its student body and the expertise and experience of the faculty members provide an environment that is conducive for a well-rounded approach to scholarship informed by a wealth of balanced perspectives, and solid experience. Therefore, I recommend the MIRT programme at Kampen Theological University with enthusiasm!”

Prof. Moussa Bongoyok, Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies at Biola University and Guest Lecturer in the MIRT programme

Moussa Bongoyok


“Mijn jaar in de MIRT was een prachtig jaar. Ik heb tijdens de MIRT veel geleerd van het contact met mijn internationale medestudenten wat betreft communicatie met christenen en mensen uit andere culturen. Het heeft me voorbereid voor het werk dat ik ga doen als studentenwerker voor internationale studenten.”
— Klaas Vroom, alumnus MIRT
Profile picture Klaas Vroom

Application

 

Are you interested in the MIRT? Please feel free to ask our International office for the detailed application requirements: international@tukampen.nl.

The MIRT programme starts each year on 1 September and you can apply until 1 May.

 

More Information and Contact

 

For further information, please contact drs. Jos Colijn, coordinator of the Master of Intercultural Reformed Theology programme: jjacolijn@tukampen.nl .