Utrecht, Netherlands

Old Catholic Theology in its Ecumenical Context

when 7 July 2024 - 12 July 2024
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 425

This 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 the 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. After the online edition of this summer school last summer the organisation aims to offer the course in real life again in Utrecht in the summer of 2022 (pending the development of the pandemic - a final decision will be made towards the end of May 2022).

Students will be taught by experts in Old Catholic theology on the faculty of the Old Catholic Seminary, Utrecht.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. A new feature will be an excursion to the city of Amsterdam and its fascinating history of both religious tolerance and hidden Catholicism. Besides attending lectures and excursions there will also be the possibility to participate in social activities in which you can learn from the knowledge and background of your fellow students and have a good time together as well.

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.

More information about the programme and lecturers can be found in the Day-to-day programme that can be downloaded by the button below.

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. Combining both courses leads to a reduction of the total course fee. 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 425: Course + course materials

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 250: Housing fee (optional)


For Anglican students, scholarships may be available.