Prof. dr. Erik Olsman

Hoogleraar Geestelijke Verzorging | Professor of Chaplaincy Studies
Community / Care

Erik Olsman graduated cum laude in theology and worked as chaplain in palliative care (16-20) and psychiatry (07-13). After his PhD-study on hope in palliative care at the University of Amsterdam (10-14), he worked as postdoc researcher in disability studies at the Amsterdam University Medical Center (15-17) and was a senior lecturer of medical ethics at the Leiden University Medical Center (15-20).

Starting as an associate professor (20-23), he became a full professor of chaplaincy studies at the Protestant Theological University (23-now). He teaches chaplains in supporting persons with a diversity of (non) religious backgrounds in a professional way. As a guest lecturer, he teaches social workers, psychologists, medical doctors and nurses in providing spiritual care.

Olsman chaired the revision of the national, evidence-based and multidisciplinary guideline 'Grief in the palliative phase' (IKNL, 20-22) and several of his studies were the basis of a chapter on hope in palliative care, in the national guideline 'Spirituality and meaning in the last phase of life' (IKNL, 2018). He is a known expert on hope and has contributed to, for example, The Oxford Compendium of Hope (Oxford University Press, 2024).

Erik serves as a minister of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. In his own community of faith, he sings in a classical church choir and served as elder. Also, he chairs the Dutch Queer Theologians, a think tank for (gender) inclusive theology. His drive, as a researcher and Christian theologian, is that this world could be (a bit) better, which requires care for those who live at the margins of our societies.