COMENIUS is a partnership of Dutch-speaking Protestant theological faculties and their sister institutions from Eastern and Central Europe (in concrete terms: Austria, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia). On the Dutch side, apart from the PThU, the theological faculties / universities in Amsterdam, Apeldoorn, Groningen, Kampen, Leiden, Utrecht and Leuven (VU, TUA, RUG, ThUK, UL, UU and ETF) participate. The Doopsgezind Seminarium has also recently joined.
The name of the partnership is an acronym: the letters stand for Commissie voor Oost/Midden-Europese en Nederlandse Inter-Universitaire Samenwerking (Commission for Eastern / Central European and Dutch Inter-University Cooperation). At the same time, the name naturally refers to the great Protestant scholar Jan Amos Comenius (1592-1670). Komenský, as his original name goes, was born in Moravia (Czech Republic), studied in Germany, and later lived in various Western and Eastern European countries because he was persecuted for his faith. He taught for some time in Saróspatak (Hungary), discussed in Leiden with Descartes and spent his last phase of life in Amsterdam. Everywhere he was committed to improving education so that people from all walks of life would flourish. Comenius is buried in the Netherlands (Naarden). Our partnership is proud that Comenius was not only a pedagogue but also a theologian, and sees in him an excellent patronage for his ideal: promoting Europe-wide contacts in order to facilitate international cooperation and to develop mutual understanding of the different contexts in which European Protestants theologize .
The main task of COMENIUS is to organize a biennial conference, alternately in the Netherlands / Belgium or one of the participating Central / Eastern European countries. The theme for these conferences is always determined in joint consultation. This is done in a kind of board consisting of representatives of all participating institutions. COMENIUS is facilitated by the PThU, which is represented in the committee through Prof. H. de Roest (chairman; Groningen office) and Joyce Rondaij MA (treasurer; Amsterdam office). Secretary of COMENIUS is Dr Katja Tolstaja (VU Amsterdam). The working languages during the conferences are English and German. The last COMENIUS conference took place between April 18 and April 22, 2018 at the Theological University in Kampen. The conference theme was Theology in a World of Ideologies: Authorization or Critique?