Prof. dr. B. van den Toren

Professor of Intercultural Theology
Intercultural theology / missiology

Curriculum vitae of Dr Bernard (Benno) van den Toren

Groningen, the Netherlands, August 2021

Birth: 21 January 1966 in Alblasserdam in the Netherlands

Married since 23 September 1987 with Gijsberdine Lekkerkerker. Together they have three sons: Wiger (1988), Derk Anne (1991) and Marten (1994).


  • August – December 1996: Mission course at the Hendrik Kraemer Institute in Oegstgeest (The Netherlands)
  • 1993-1995: research Fellow of the Theological University in Kampen (Koornmarkt), the Netherlands.
  • 1995: Doctor of Philosophy.
  • 1994: Master of Divinity (cum laude)
  • 1992: Master of Theology specialising in Philosophy of Religion and Dogmatics
  • 1990-1991: Research student at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford under Dr Alister McGrath and Dr David Cook.
  • 1984: Beginning of theological studies at the Theological Faculty of the State University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
  • 1978-1984: Secondary education giving access to university studies (VWO) in Dutch, English, German, Latin, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry
  • 1972-1978: Primary education.

Professional experience

  • 2014-: Professor of Intercultural Theology at the Protestant Theological University (Groningen, the Netherlands)
  • March 2013- Project Leader (and from 2014 Project Co-Leader) of the ‘Configuring Adam and Eve’ project based at Wycliffe Hall and funded by BioLogos.
  • August 2012-August 2013: Acting Vice-Principal at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford
  • 2010-: Extraordinary professor in the Theology of Charismatic Renewal at the VU University, Amsterdam
  • 2007-2013: Academic Dean at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford
  • 2005-2013: Tutor in Christian Doctrine at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and member of the Theological Faculty of the University of Oxford
  • 2005-: Visiting professor in Systematic Theology at the Bangui Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (Bangui, Central African Republic)
  • 2004-2005: Director a.i. of the “Troisième Cycle” (Ph.D. programme) at FATEB
  • 2002-2003: Scholar in Residence at Regent College, Vancouver, B.C
  • 1997-2005: Professor at the Chair of Systematic Theology at the Bangui Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (Bangui, Central African Republic).
  • 1996: Consecration as Minister of the Dutch Reformed Church (NHK).
  • 1996-2008: Missionary of the Mission of the Christian Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (CGKN).
  • 1992-1996: Travelling secretary for IFES-the Netherlands for the work among theological students.
  • 1991-1993: Pastoral work in the Dutch Reformed Church (NHK) in Gorinchem (The Netherlands).
  • 1990-1991: Teaching New Testament Greek at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.
  • 1988-1990: Assistant for the teaching of the History of Philosophy at the Theological Faculty of the State University of Utrecht.

Committee memberships

  • 2009-: member Advisory Board, International fellowship of Evangelical Students – The Netherlands
  • 2010-2016: member of the Selection Committee for Langham Scholarships UK
  • 2008-2013: Parochial Church Council member and Deanery Synod member for St. Andrew’s (Church of England), North Oxford
  • 2007: member of the Study Unit on ‘Contextualisation’ of the Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance.
  • 1999-2002: secretary AEC-FOR, a committee of the Evangelical Alliance in the Central African Republic for work among Rwandese and later also Congolese refugees.
  • 1992-1996: member of the steering committee of the national centre for youth evangelism “de Windroos”.
  • 1986-1988: respectively secretary en chairman of the Reformed Theological Students Association 'Voetius'.

Editorial committee memberships

  • 2018-: Project Director and Editor-in-Chief of the website African Theology Worldwide.
  • 2010-2017: Editor-in-chief of Geestkracht, Bulletin for Charismatische Theologie (‘Journal for Charismatic Theology’)
  • 2011-: member of the Advisory Board of Theologia Reformata.

Professional memberships

  • Society for the Study of Theology
  • Fellowship of European Evangelical Theologians

Supervised doctoral theses

  • Jason D. Runyan, ‘The Compatibility between a Theologically relevant Libertarian Notion of Freewill and Contemporary Neuroscience Research’, D.Phil. Thesis, The University of Oxford, Michaelmas 2009.
  • Abel Ngarsoulede, ‘Enjeux théologiques de la sécularisation en Afrique subsaharienne : Une étude de cas de N’Djamena en République du Tchad’, Thèse de Doctorat, Faculté de Théologique Evangélique de Bangui, Décembre 2012.
  • J. Bosco Bangura, ‘The Charismatic Movement in Sierra Leone (1980-2010): A Missio-historical Analysis in View of African Culture, Prosperity Gospel and Power Theology’, Ph.D. thesis submitted to the Evangelical Theological Faculty, Leuven and the VU University, Amsterdam, 2013 (jointly supervised with prof. Dr. Klaus Fiedler).
  • Gary Allen Stephens, ‘Dialogue, Argumentation, and Belief Revision: A study of apologetic conversations in West Cameroon’, Middlesex University & Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, 2016.
  • Brian Andrew Edwards, ‘Self-deception at the Intersection of Friedrich Nietzsche and the Apostle Paul’, Middlesex University & Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, 2017 (second supervisor, with Stephen N. Williams).
  • Stephen Rolf Milford, ‘Eccentricity in Anthropology: David Kelsey’s Anthropological Formula as a Way out of the Substantive-Relational Imago Dei Debate’. PhD, Protestant Theological University, 2017.

Other academic responsibilities

  • 2018-: Member of the Academic Advisory Board Oxford Centre for Mission Studies
  • 2007-2011: MTh Examiner for the University of Oxford
  • 2006-2017: External PhD supervisor of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies

Language proficiency

  • Dutch: reading, conversation, lecturing, writing
  • English: reading, conversation, lecturing, writing
  • French: reading, conversation, lecturing, writing
  • German: reading, conversation
  • Latin: A-level
  • Hebrew: limited
  • Classical and NT Greek: adequate

Areas of current research

  • African Christianity and secularisation
  • Science and Religion in intercultural perspectives
  • The relationship between the spiritual and material world
  • The development of a Trinitarian theology of religions
  • Interreligious apologetic witness and dialogue
  • The theology of multiculturalism
  • The nature and method of intercultural theology
  • Christian Ethics and Theology in an African Context