ECCEN (European Conference for Christian Education in the Netherlands) organise conferences for school leaders and teachers of Christian Schools across Europe, drawing together different cultures, nationalities and professions within Christian education.

Welcome to the website of the European Conference for Christian Education in the Netherlands (ECCEN).  Come and join us at our next conference!

Different European perspectives

12-14 September 2018
Apeldoorn, the Netherlands

Many countries enjoy 'freedom of religion' and 'freedom of education'. These treasured freedoms are protected in national laws  and even United Nations Declarations.  We also see these freedoms being eroded and challenged aggressively in our increasingly secular societies.  Despite opposition, do we truly understand the authority that God has given, enshrined in these freedoms, to offer a compelling education for Europe? 

As Christian educators, are we taking full advantage of our freedoms? Can we defend these freedoms? Are we equipping students through our curriculums and learning communities to serve both God and our neighbour in modern Europe?

Moreover, the way that we approach this situation will depend on how God’s word is working inside us. After all, it is the freedom in Christ that sets us free. How do we cultivate our external and internal freedoms?

This situation in Europe brings us into need and calls us to meet together. We extend a warm invitation to European educators to join us at the 4th ECCEN conference hosted in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands.  There will be lots of opportunities to meet, talk and share inspiring practical examples.

Let us inform your classroom pedagogy and help build a strategic vision in your management boards so you may confidently 'give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have’.  A warm welcome to all!

ECCEN is committed to playing an active role in bringing together all the individual threads of Christian education to foster knowledge, promote the exchange of expertise and to strengthen each other for the future.

ECCEN (European Conference for Christian Education in the Netherlands) organise conferences for school leaders and teachers of Christian Schools across Europe, drawing together different cultures, nationalities and professions within Christian education.

ECCEN is committed to playing an active role in bringing together all the individual threads of Christian education to foster knowledge, promote the exchange of expertise and to strengthen each other for the future.

The reason why we organize these conferences: 

  • Christian education has a powerful biblical message of hope which can make a vital contribution to our society;
  • The place of Christian education in our countries is under increased pressure;
  • There is a great demand for solutions to an increasing number of social problems;
  • Cooperation in Europe on educational issues is becoming more important.
ECCEN 2016 is organised by the following organisations: 

Driestar Christian University
Driestar Christian University(Gouda) is a centre of knowledge for Christian education (University for Teacher Education, Educational Advice Centre and Management Advice Centre). 

Jacobus Fruytier Scholengemeenschap
Jacobus Fruytier Scholengemeenschap (Apeldoorn) is a Christian school for secondary education.

VGS is an organization (Ridderkerk) that supports boards and governors of Christian schools in the Netherlands.

Target group

Various European school leaders, school policymakers, consultants, politicians and other people who have a leadership role in education are kindly invited to participate in this European Conference. The conference will be in English.

We hope to encourage and equip every participant in his or her role for the benefit of Christian education. During the conference there will be a lot of time for knowledge exchange, sharing faith and much more. We hope and pray that after this conference everybody will return home inspired and strengthened by God.

Wednesday September 12

16.00     Registration
17.00     Dinner
19.00     Welcome
19.20     Meditation by Rev. H. van Zetten 
20.00     Group discussion
20.45     Closing of the day by Rev. H. van Zetten 

Thursday September 13

09.00     Welcome and morning devotion

09.20     LECTURE: Freedom of religion and education 
                  from the constitutional & European perspective

 by Adina Portaru, Legal Counsel for ADF International, Brussels.
 Her thesis assesses how the European Court of Human Rights and
the UN Human Rights Committee interpret freedom of thought and religion.

10.10     REFLECTION from a Swedish perspective

by Bo Nyberg, rector Kallskolan in Stockholm.
The recent experiences in Sweden shows what the interpretation
of freedom of religion & education  in the national debate can be.

10.30     Break
11.00     Discussion in small groups
11.45     Plenary discussion with panel
12.05     Closure (morning programme)
12.15     Group picture
12.30     Lunch

13.00     Excursion
16.10     Free time
17.30     Dinner

19.00     LECTURE:  Freedom of religion and education 
                  in connection with the relations of church and state in Scotland.    

by Rev. David Campbell from Scotland.
An explanation in terms of the Establishment Principle of the duty of rulers towards the Christian Church – an historic and fresh approach to the concept of freedom of religion and education.

19.40     Group discussion
20.00     Plenary discussion with panel
20.15     Reflection and book presentation ‘The Essence of Christian Teaching’ 
by Bram de Muynck
20.45     Evening devotion by Rev. Campbell
21.00     Informal meeting

Friday September 14

08.45     Welcome and morning devotion
09.00     LECTURE: Freedom of religion and education in the European context 
                   from the East-European perspective by Arloz Peterle.

09.30     CONTRIBUTION: experiences in France and Belgium by Patrick Schmitt
09.45     Musical intermezzo
10.05     CONTRIBUTION: experiences in Germany by Wolfgang Stock 
10.20     CONTRIBUTION: experiences in Slovakia  by Dana Hanesova

10.35     Break
11.05     Discussion in small groups
11.30     Plenary discussion with panel
12.00     Closing of the conference
12.15     Lunch
13.00     Departure

We accept the revelation of the triune God given in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and confess the historic faith of the gospel therein set forth. We here assert doctrines which we regard as crucial to the understanding of the faith, in line with the apostolic creed. We hope and pray that this issues in mutual love, practical Christian service and evangelistic concern:

  • The sovereignty and grace of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in creation, providence, revelation, redemption and final judgement.
  • The divine inspiration of Holy Scripture and its consequent entire trustworthiness and supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
  • The universal sinfulness and guilt of fallen mankind, making him subject to God’s wrath and condemnation.
  • The substitutionary sacrifice of the incarnate Son of God as the sole and all-sufficient ground of redemption from the guilt and power of sin, and from its eternal consequences.
  • The justification of the sinner solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ crucified and risen from the dead.
  • The illuminating, regenerating, indwelling and sanctifying work of God the Holy Spirit.
  • The priesthood of all believers, who form the universal Church, the Body of which Christ is the Head, and which is committed by His command to the proclamation of the Gospel throughout the world.
  • The expectation of the personal, visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ, in power and glory.

Register online

You can register through this online registration form


After we have received your registration form, you will receive a confirmation letter with an invoice for the conference fees. As spaces are limited, we suggest that you register as soon as possible. 


  No accommodation   Hotel (2 nights) included  Host family (2 nights) included 

ECCEN participant
from the Netherlands

 € 495,- € 675,- -

ECCEN participant

- €250,- €160,-

Includes: registration and conference fee, accommodation for two nights (if applicable), meals.

Many Christian families of the students/teachers of the school are willing to host international visitors.

Please read our terms and conditions before registration. 


The ECCEN 2018 conference will be held in Apeldoorn at the Jacobus Fruytier Scholengemeenschap.

The Christian Jacobus Fruytier School is the location of the conference. It is a secondary school for Christian education in the centre of the Netherlands and also a well-known place for many foreign students because of the many international exchanges. It is situated among the forests of the Veluwe, the largest national park of the Netherlands. In the surrounding area are forests, beautiful heather fields, and the royal palace Het Loo.

Jacobus Fruytier School
Anklaarseweg 71
7316 MB Apeldoorn
The Netherlands


We provide accommodation for you during the conference (12-14 September 2018).
You can either stay in a hotel or with host families. 

Hotel Apeldoorn Hampshire     
Soerenseweg 73, 
7313 EH Apeldoorn
 The Netherland
Tel:  0031(0)553554555
Hotel Het Loo
Loolaan 566,
7315 AG Apeldoorn, 
The Netherlands
Tel: 0031(0)5791255

Both hotels are in Apeldoorn and near the school. If you have any questions about your stay at the hotel, please contact the VGS.

Host families
It is also possible for our guests from abroad to stay with the families of students/teachers of Jacobus Fruytier school. They will take care of the travel and the accommodation. If you have any questions about staying with a host family, please contact Henk van Sorge.


Apeldoorn can be reached by train from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. (1 hour and 15 minutes / 30 euros)
For train connections, see

Click on the links below to listen to the lectures. 


Lecture by Rev. J.B. Zippro
The Bible and my neighbour

Lecture by Prof. dr. Willem van Vlastuin  
Stand on a foundation

Lecture by Phill Moon
Stand for a new generation






Lecture by G.J.M. Segers
How can we influence our secular culture as we approach 2020?

Lecture by Rev. Dr. M.J.Kater
How should we think about leadership as we approach 2020?
Download pdf

Lecture by Dr. J. Shortt
How can we lead our schools and pupils as we approach 2020?
Download pdf

Lecture by Rev. A. Huijgen
The Christian Life Towards 2020: The End of Times?
Download pdf

Open space session 
Download pdf