Utrecht, Netherlands

Old Catholic Theology in its Ecumenical Context

online course
when 5 July 2021 - 10 July 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 375

The course offers an introduction to Old Catholic theology in an ecumenical context. Old Catholic theology is understood as the main theological currents as they exist in Union of Utrecht of Old Catholic Churches. The topics covered by the course include the following aspects of Old Catholic theology and tradition: the history of Old Catholicism, spirituality, ecumenism, canon law and ecclesiology, liturgy, and systematic theology. In 2021, the course is offered online for the first time.

Students will be taught by experts in Old Catholic theology on the faculty of the Old Catholic Seminary, Utrecht, together with staff of the Institute of Old Catholic Theology, University of Bern. The topics covered by the course include the following: History of Old Catholicism, Old Catholic spirituality, Ecumenism and Old Catholicism, Old Catholic canon law and ecclesiology, Old Catholic liturgy, and Old Catholic systematic theology.

The course includes an exploration of religious art in cooperation with the main Dutch museum on this topic, Museum Catharijneconvent. Participants will also engage with Old Catholic liturgy and church music. Furthermore, attention will be given to the episcopal city of Utrecht, as a key site of the history of Dutch Christianity in general and of Old Catholicism in particular.

At the end of the course, students will have a broad overview of main topics and themes in Old Catholic theology and spirituality and will be able to pursue further independent study of the subject. The course is at the introductory level of an M.Div. curriculum;; good BA students may also apply, as well as others. Students may be expected to do advance reading for the course.;

This course can be combined with a second week of advanced studies: ‘The Early Church as Ideal – Old Catholic Theology Beyond the Basics.’ This course is offered in immediate connection with the introductory course. Are you interested in participating in both courses? You can apply for the combination track here: Old Catholic Theology: The Early Church as Charism and Challenge.

Course leader

Prof. dr. Peter-Ben Smit

Target group

Students of theology interested in Old Catholicism and ecumenism; Clergy and theologians interested in Old Catholicism and ecumenism; Laypersons with formal or informal theological training interesting in Old Catholicism and ecumenism. The course is of specific interest for students with Anglican, Orthodox, Lutheran, Old Catholic, and ecumenical backgrounds.

Course aim

The goals of the course are, the following; upon completing the course:
1) The student will be familiar with central aspects of Old Catholic identity and theology,
2) The student will be able to contextualize Old Catholic theology within the broader spectrum of theology and religious studies,
3) The student will be able to undertake further independent exploratory studies of aspects of Old Catholic theology.

Fee info

EUR 375: Course fee

If you are combining this course with 'the Early Church as Ideal - Old Catholic Theology Beyond the Basics', there will be a reduced fee.
EUR 200: Housing fee (optional)


For Anglican students, scholarships may be available.

Register for this course
on course website