Vacancy assistant professor Practical Theology

The Protestant Theological University is looking for an Assistant Professor (‘Universitair Docent’) of Practical Theology at the Chair of Practical Theology: Worship and Formation. The notions of worship and formation are understood in a broad sense, so including the intersectional fields of ritual and liturgy; the arts and Christian arts; (religious) education and youth ministry; and public theology and ecclesiastical theology. The chair works closely with the other chair of Practical Theology: Community and Care.

The desired Assistent Professor will focus primarily on the practical theological reading of cultures, in particular in (one or more of) the intersectional fields of ritual/liturgy, arts/Christian arts, (religious) education/youth ministry. The desired Assistent Professor knows how to convincingly connect cultural tendencies with contemporary theological discourses and developments in world Christianity, including the Netherlands. 

The Protestant Theological University is a theological university that focuses on understanding and renewing the Christian tradition with a view to church, academy and society. We offer (post) academic education for theological professionals, social and church organisations and other interested parties. We train pastors for the Protestant Church in the Netherlands and conduct research into developments in faith, church and world Christianity.

Practical theologians contribute to the research programs of the university with empirical-theological, often ethnographic-theological and collaborative research. Research at the PThU is accommodated in two foci (‘mediating good life’; and ‘moving identities’) as well as in four university-wide inter- or trans-disciplinary clusters (slavery; land [agricultural and environmental issues]; Church2040 [projects directly linked to the church]; and moral compass). Knowledge is generated in cooperation with a strong network of international academic partners as well as of — mainly national — societal partners. The main societal partner of PThU is the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PCN).

Strong research collaborations within the department of Practical Theology: Worship and Formation exist in the Research Centre for Youth, Church and Culture (OJKC), and the interuniversity Institute for Ritual and Liturgical Studies (IRiLiS), which both serve as a focal points for national and international academic researchers as well as professionals in church and society. Both centres are located at the chair.

Bachelor and Master education at the university is interdisciplinary and mainly organised in hybrid thematical and disciplinary courses. Practical theologians participate in these courses based on their broad practical theological knowledge as well as their expertise in one or more of the practical theological (sub-)disciplines

What will you be doing?

The desired assistant professor (‘universitair docent’) will:

  • provide (and maintain) education (programmes) at bachelor's, master's and post-academic level in the field of practical theology and culture in interdisciplinary contexts
  • conduct academic research within the university's research foci and clusters
  • position and co-create research in (inter)national networks
  • (with others) develop new research and recruit external funds and/or grants for research
  • attract and co-supervise PhD students
  • fulfil administrative responsibilities
  • contribute to ecclesiastical and social services

What do we ask?     

The assistant professor (‘universitair docent’) should have the following qualities:

  • PhD in practical theology, preferably in one of the intersectional fields of the chair
  • proven ability to theologically ‘read’ contemporary cultures, in particular in (one or more of) the intersectional fields of ritual/liturgy, arts/Christian arts, (religious) learning/youth ministry 
  • proven ability to connect cultural tendencies with contemporary theological discourses and developments in world Christianity, including the Netherlands
  • (willingness to develop) knowledge of methodological questions related to the research profile of the chair
  • aspiration for an academic career as evidenced by international academic experience and follow-up publications and a relevant international network
  • didactic qualities and preferably experience in providing academic education. An already achieved Basic Qualification Education (BKO) is an advantage
  • demonstrated ability to valorise academic insights, in particular to make a contribution to the ecclesiastical policy area
  • experience as a minister in the Protestant Church in the Netherlands or one of its sister churches
  • passionate, communicative, very capable of profiling the discipline
  • proven ability to collaborate in education and research
  • excellent communicative skills in the context of plurality and diversity at all levels (students, colleagues, cooperation partners)
  • knowledge of and affinity with the Dutch theological, ecclesiastical and cultural context
  • oral and written command of the English language
  • willingness to understand and speak the Dutch language within two to three years and to use it in research, education and administration

The PThU is an organisation for everyone and where we embrace the widest variety of people. We therefore cordially invite anyone who is also in favor of this to respond.

What do we offer?

The Protestant Theological University offers good employment conditions with attention to flexibility and (personal) development. The UFO profile of Assistant Professor applies. As an employee, you will receive a temporary employment contract for the duration of 18 months (external candidate). In case of proven suitability, we will convert this contract into a contract for an indefinite period.

Depending on relevant experience at the start of employment, the salary is € 4,814 to € 6,181 gross per month on the basis of full working hours (scale 12 CLA Dutch Universities/Protestant Theological University). The holiday allowance is 8% and the year-end bonus is 8.3%. There is a generous contribution to the ABP pension fund and there are ample training opportunities. There is good compensation for commuting expenses and the option of tax exchange of employment conditions.

More information

For more information about our organisation, visit The PThU has laid down its mission, vision and policy intentions in an Institutional Plan for the period 2021-2026. A number of internal policy documents relating to the university's research foci are available to candidates on request.

Information on IRiLiS and OJKC may be found on their respective websites.

For questions about the position of Assistant Professor of Practical Theology: Worship and Formation, please contact Prof. Dr. Marcel Barnard, chair holder of Practical Theology Amsterdam, via

Want to apply?

Written applications including a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae and list of publications can be sent to by 13 February 2023 at the latest, to the attention of Prof. Dr Marcel Barnard, chair of the Appointments Advisory Committee.

Also enclose with the application an overview of the education you have given, and a vision document of approximately two pages, in which you outline your research intentions for the next three years in a promotional way, in conjunction with the mission of the PThU, including a view to the acquisition of external financing. In this vision document you explicitly refer to the strengthening of the internal cohesion and external expressiveness of the theology that PThU has in mind.

You are kindly requested to provide the requested information in a single PDF file.


Job interviews will take place in week 9 (27 February – 3 March), any follow-up interviews in week 11 (13 – 17 March). The selected candidate will start the job on September 1.  

Giving a mini lecture is part of this selection interview. It is included in the procedure that we ask the Synod of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands for approval.


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