PThU announces intention to choose Utrecht as new location
The Board of Governors of the Protestant Theological University (PThU) intends to relocate the university to Utrecht.
Reason for the new location
The board has determined that the current location at two sites is an obstacle to the formation of a close-knit academic community in which students, lecturers and external guests can meet, work together, study and celebrate. This requires a single location, which is easily accessible, promotes academic interdependence and supports PThU's own visibility. Moreover, having two locations is expensive and inefficient, especially in terms of educational implementation. This also reduces PThU's own visibility. The future of the university and the church as a whole will benefit from a strong and future-proof theology. Moreover, social issues require theological reflection and answering of existential questions and problems. For this, we need preachers and theologians with a high-quality academic education. By moving to a new location, PThU wants to give an extra impulse to this process. With the full consent of the University Council, the Board of Professors and the Supervisory Board, Utrecht has been chosen as the new location. This decision still has to be ratified by the General Synod of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, which will give its opinion on it at the synod meeting on 21 April.
From the very beginning, the Board of Governors has been aware that the initiative to unite would evoke all kinds of considerations and feelings among all those who have been committed to PThU for years. Therefore, with the help of an external consultancy firm, a careful and intensive orientation and decision-making process was set up from September 2021 onwards. Students, staff, advisory board, university council and supervisory board have been involved in this process. There were also frequent consultations with the various cooperation partners. During the process, five criteria were formulated for the choice of city: central location and accessibility, opportunities for cooperation with a broad university, chances for strengthening the independent position of PThU among partners and a city that is diverse and facilitates academic community building. On the basis of these selection criteria and their mutual weighting, Utrecht was selected as the preferred city. The Board of Governors is pleased that this choice has wide support among all those involved.
The choice of the city is the first phase in the process towards a single location. Once the General Synod has ratified the decision to choose Utrecht, a schedule of requirements will be drawn up for the actual location. On the basis of this programme of requirements the move will be prepared. PThU strives to be able to start at the new location 1 September 2024.