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The Board of the Protestant Theological University warmly welcomes you at the

Opening Ceremony of the Academic Year 2019-2020

on Monday, September 2, in Amsterdam.

This year, the opening is dedicated to the theme:

‘Theological Leadership’

Prof. Ian Nell of Stellenbosch University, South Africa, will deliver a lecture on post-colonial leadership, titled: 

Post-colonial leadership? The challenges facing a new generation of theologians

Prof. Ian Nell

He will address the different leadership competencies that theologians need facing the challenges of the post-colonial world helping congregants to flourish in a highly competitive world. 

As professor of Practical Theology/Missiology, Ian Nell will be one of our Research Fellows as from September 2019. His focus is on leadership development. Leaders as “directors” in the God-human drama also play an important part in social capital formation and transformational leadership in times of change.


In South Africa people are living in a postcolonial context. The question is whether we can speak about post-colonial leadership, hence the question mark in the title. After questioning and interrogating concepts like coloniality, post-cloniality and decolonization we will look at some of the major challenges we as theologians and religious leaders are facing in South Africa and we will try to see whether there are parallels in the Netherlands.

Some of the challenges we will cross-examine include, ecological, socio-political, economical, educational, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and also Spiritual challenges. We as faith leaders do have to respond with integrity to these challenges and therefore Ian Nell will look at different leadership competencies for a new generation of theologians. Competencies that will enable us to react to the challenges in responsible ways helping our congregants to flourish in a highly competitive world.

Liturgical celebration

We will end the ceremony with a liturgical celebration with the university pastor, and with the rev. Saskia van Meggelen, Chairwoman of the Protestant Church.

We hope that you will be present during this festive event. Please register before August 26.

Practical information

Date: September 2,  2019
Time: 14.30 - 16.30 h. (Walk-in from 14.00 h) Afterwards there is a reception.
Location: Vrijburg, Herman Gorterstraat 31 of Diepenbrocksraat 36, 1077 WE Amsterdam

The programme is entirely in English.

Registrationform Opening Academic Year 2019-2020

The questions marked with an * are required.