PhD Studies in Kampen and Apeldoorn, the Netherlands

Confessional universities in Kampen and Apeldoorn

The universities of Apeldoorn and Kampen are dedicated to training and research in Reformed Theology in the context of the broader tradition of Protestant theology and theological academic studies. We aim to make a meaningful contribution to Reformed theology in a global perspective.
PhD students are expected to have a strong affinity with the Reformed identity and tradition, and being prepared to critically discuss and further the Reformed tradition through their academic research.

What does it mean to pursue a PhD?

Pursuing a PhD is an exciting process in which the student can develop attitudes such as creativity and originality, self-discipline, self-reflection and personal integrity. You need to be fascinated by your research topic and motivated to do innovatory research. In general, it takes full-time students four years to complete a PhD at our institutions.

New PhD projects should preferably fit into the existing research programmes of our universities. More information about these research programmes can be found under the heading research, above.

What do the universities in Kampen and Apeldoorn offer?

Our universities offer a fully accredited PhD programme, which enables you to work at academic institutions around the world. The theological universities of Kampen and Apeldoorn have integrated their academic research into three research programmes. PhD students are encouraged to participate and to contribute to these programmes by presenting papers or chapters of their dissertation so that they can receive feedback from experienced researchers and fellow PhD students.

In this way we form a unique centre of knowledge and research in the field of Reformed theology in Europe, combining historical theological research with a strong contemporary and international orientation. In addition, we foster good relationships with a growing number of Dutch and international researchers and institutions.

What supervision is offered?

Our universities do not offer PhD classes or courses but our PhD students are guided directly by their supervising professor. Many of our international PhD students do not live in the Netherlands but take their doctorate in their home country, staying in touch with the supervisors through email, Skype and on short term visits (as discussed with their supervising professor).


International students wishing to apply for a PhD will be required to provide academic documentation as specified below. These documents will be assessed by the professor who is responsible for the area of expertise in which the applicant would like to pursue his or her PhD.

If the documents indicate sufficient familiarity and compliance with the academic standards in the Netherlands, you will be asked to submit an extensive Research Proposal, according to the instructions given by the supervising professor.

In some cases, a one-year professional Master’s degree at either the university in Apeldoorn or in Kampen will be required before admission to a PhD programme. In this way international students become familiar with our institution and professors and with the manner in which academic research is done in the Netherlands.

The final decision on admission will be taken by the PhD Board, based on the recommendation of the research group and the supervising professor.


If you have any questions about the application for a PhD please contact:

Required documents for admission to a PhD degree study:

  1.  a Curriculum Vitae (CV) – both personal and academic
  2. a motivational letter in which you describe shortly why you would like to pursue your PhD studies in Apeldoorn or Kampen
  3. a copy or scan of your previous academic certificates
  4. a copy or scan of your passport
  5. a passport photo
  6. in the event that you wish to live in the Netherlands: a financial plan (the Dutch immigration service requires you to prove that you have a source of livelihood/income during your stay in the Netherlands (e.g. stipend; church support; personal support)
  7. a scan of English language test results, i.e. one of the following:  [IELTS – Academic] 6,5 or [TOEFL iBT] 79; TOEFL cBT 213 (minimal scores as indicated)
  8. your thesis (highest degree) and/or two recent (not older than 5 years) representative theological papers written in (or translated into) English
  9. two letters of recommendation from professors of the institution you graduated from, or from earlier academic supervisors.

Please refer to the documents below for a Format for PhD proposals and the Regulations of our Phd Program.