ECCEN 2014: Christian education approaching the future 1 October 2014

From Wednesday 24th till Friday 26th of September Driestar Christian University, VGS and Jacobus Fruytier Scholengemeenschap organised the second European conference on Christian education (ECCEN 2014).

With around 100 participants, of which 40% from abroad, the theme ‘Christian education approaching 2020’ was comprehensively discussed.


The conference commenced with a lecture by Rev. Dr. A. Huijgen, senior lecturer at Theological University Apeldoorn, in which we reflected on being a Christian in this world approaching 2020. He detailed a picture of several crises in which we currently live, along with the importance of Christian attitudes we should aspire to.

Dr. John Shortt, professor at Liverpool Hope University, spoke about how we can lead our schools and pupils as we approach the future. God asks of us to practise ‘shalom’ in our education. ‘Shalom’ in the Biblical sense, which signifies wholeness, integrity and connectedness. The relationship with pupils is key in this. “Teaching is about relationships. We open windows and look through them together to know God’s world.”

Rev. Dr. M. Kater, senior lecturer at Theological University Apeldoorn, considered the question of how we should think about leadership in Christian education as we approach 2020. He answered this question by focussing on the following three points: ‘leading by longing’, ‘leading by loving’ and ‘leading by liturgy’.

Alongside the lectures, workshops were organised around various sub-themes, such as leadership in schools, society and the classroom. The conference was concluded with a lecture by Gert-Jan Segers, a ChristenUnie MP, in which we thought about the role of Christian education in a secular society. “When we think of Christian education, impacting our culture, we should not make the same mistake we made in the Netherlands and are still making: trying to make people Christian from the outside forgetting the inside.” “When the night is almost over, the day is about to come. That is the promise of Christ. Thinking of the challenges we have, our only hope is the bright morning star, Christ himself. The night is almost over, the day will come…”

International gathering

The conference was attended by around 100 participants from various European countries, including Germany, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania, Ukraine and Sweden, and also from Nepal. Those attending were primarily school leaders. We would particularly like to thank all the pupils who were involved and played an important role in this conference, on behalf of the organising parties: Driestar Christian University, JFSG and VGS.

Further information and lectures

All information regarding this conference can be found on The organisation looks back on this conference with gratitude, in which those involved in Christian education in Europe reflected on the developments, threats and opportunities together, with great concern for each other.

More news

    • Wonderfully Made: video and preview

      We know there is a need for materials and training with regard to sexual and relationship education from a Christian perspective. This conclusion comes from the results of the questionnaire we shared earlier this year and from the contacts we have with different partners all over the world. Many persons showed interest in English materials, with the aim to explore whether Wonderfully Made would fit the own context.

    • IELC 2019 - Don't Miss this Christian School Leadership Event!

      From February 27th to March 2nd 2019, the 3rd International Educational Leadership Conference will be held in Budapest, Hungary.

    • New: 'The Essence of Christian Teaching', a joint publication by DCU and ACSI Europe.

      The new book consists of essential building blocks of Christian education, which challenge the readers to rethink and deepen their practice of teaching in their own situation.

    • International Class of 2018 kick-off!

      On september 5th the International Class of 2018 kicked off. Twelve students, from five different country's will focus on the meaning of christian education and what it means to be a christian educator.

    • Opening conference for the Christian Education Master’s course

      On August 28 and August 29, all the lecturers involved in the Christian Education Master’s course came to Gouda. The conference marked the start of this new Master’s program in Christian Education at Driestar Christian University. The new Master’s course seeks to challenge students from the Netherlands and from abroad to think about Christian education.