New at Driestar Christian University!

In 2018 we will offer an international Master’s course in Christian Education which will fully focus on the backgrounds and practices of education inspired and informed by the Christian faith.
We perceive a need for knowledge about Christian education worldwide and about how it can be improved. The curriculum of the Master will be developed taking into account the cultural differences of the participants.

The language of instruction is English.

  • Degree: Master of Education
  • Track: Christian Education (international context)
  • Credits: 60 ECTS
  • Duration: You can apply for one or more modules, or complete the Master by studying all the modules within two years
  • Course type: Blended learning. Each module has a core of on-campus seminar in the Netherlands preceeded and followed by online study.
  • Language of instruction: English.

The aim of the Master is to deepen knowledge and skills for experienced teachers who could become teacher leaders, for principals and school leaders in Christian schools and for people wor­king in educational aid organisations. We also invite those who are preparing for a PhD in Christian Education.

Three strands

The modules are structured within three strands:

  • The content strand involves theological, philosophical and historical sources for Christian education, with reference to current debates in education.
  • The innovation/research strand is about developing innovations within your own context based on practice-oriented research.
  • The personal development strand is a tutorship aimed to guide you in your current role in your institution with regard to educational innovation and integrating knowledge and practice.

Professional profile

The objective of this Master is becoming a Teacher leader. Teacher leaders are teachers with a vision of good quality education who develop and implement new practices. Teacher leaders work together with colleagues to introduce innovations and they can share their innovations with others. Teacher leaders innovate because they believe in doing good, justice and shalom.
  1. Teacher leaders are teachers with a vision of good quality education
    Teacher leaders are professional leaders with a mind set to learning in their own teaching/educational practice. They have a well-founded view on good quality education, based on knowledge of (cultural) historical and philosophical sources, academic literature, specialist literature and practice oriented research in their own practice.  
  2. Teacher leaders develop and implement new practices
    Teacher leaders develop new practices (innovations) that contribute to good education. They first do this on a small scale in their own teaching/educational practice and then by involving others in their innovations.  
  3. Teacher leaders work together with colleagues to innovate
    Teacher leaders work together with colleagues to implement innovations and research these by means of practice-oriented research. Teacher leaders actively contribute to their organization’s policy. To do this, teacher leaders use innovation expertise.  
  4. Teacher leaders can share their innovations
    Teacher leaders demonstrate and share their innovations and the practical knowledge they have gathered, systemized and, through research, critically reflected on for the use of others.


Courses will be taught by an international team of professors from around the world, including Professor David Smith (United States), Professor Trevor Cooling (United Kingdom), Professor John Choi (South Korea), Professor Dana Hanesová (Slovakia) and Professor Bram de Muynck (the Netherlands). Also several excellent lecturers from Driestar Christian University are involved.

Four modules

The Master’s content is defined by four major themes which are discussed from historical, phi­losophical-theological, social, concrete-practical and a teacher’s personal perspective. These themes come up in theoretical modules in the content strands and are connected to a tutoring strand and a research strand.
Each module consists of 10 weeks of online distance learning, followed by campus seminars. These non-distance classes will be taught in Gouda, the Netherlands. During your three to four week stay in the Netherlands you will be part of a learning community of students and professors and you will have the opportunity to visit schools and gain teaching practice in Dutch schools.
You can study flexibly by choosing how many modules you follow per year. You can follow all four modules in one year, or one, two or three modules per year.


Module 1: What is Christian Education: a Practices Approach

  • Philosophy of Christian education. Starting from observations of the practice of Christian education in the Netherlands the student will be introduced to views on Christian education. We will also reflect on current developments in education, their roots and their applications, such as constructivism and performativity, and challenges of present-day thinkers: Martha Nussbaum, Noddings, Biesta.
  • Practical approach of Christian education. Because we link theory closely to practice, we will study the practice-oriented approach of Christian education as introduced by Smith & Smith, 2009. This module will help participants to enrich their practice (or the practices they serve) with insights of Christian pedagogy. How can a teacher make his/her teaching distinguished as Christian? 

Module 2: Religious and Moral Education from a Christian Perspective

  • Theology in education. The student will study anthropological issues relevant for education. What the Bible teaches us about teaching and learning; The Christian image of God, The Kingdom of God; Eschatology.
  • Religious Education. The student will know the structure and character of religious education in different types of education.
  • Citizenship education. How can Christian teaching contribute to citizenship education?

Module 3: Christian Leadership, Ethos, Curriculum and Development in Education

  • Innovation and change in education. Theory and practice of school development. Lessons will be drawn from organizational change theories and its application to Christian Education.
  • Curriculum development. How to shape and improve the curriculum of your school. We will learn from traditional principles and from the latest developments such as ‘gamification’, the use of smart-boards, flipped classroom and distance learning. We reflect on educational sciences from a Christian perspective.
Leadership and quality assurance. How do you deal with government standards? How do you give account to parents and school boards? 

Module 4: Transforming Society: Social Justice, Diversity and Tolerance in Christian Education

  • International thinking, hospitality and intercultural learning. This module will link to the tutoring strand.
  • Education, society and the Kingdom of God. Political and societal context of education; justice and shalom. Religious diversity and tolerance. This module provides an image of Christian education worldwide, starting with the model of ‘Christian Education Worldwide’, developed and used at Driestar Christian University. We will look at trends appearing worldwide sociologically, demographically, religiously and with regard to law and politics. We will use sources from comparative education and make it practical by focusing on fighting poverty.
  • Inclusiveness and diversity. This module provides us with practical insights from Christian anthropology and from the principle of hospitality for the special needs of students and inclusive education. How can a school encourage hospitality towards different types of children? How can a school connect with the community and promote parental involvement?

Single module

If you follow one module, you prepare through blended learning in the months leading up to the campus seminar. You only need to be in the Netherlands to attend the two weeks of lectures.

You will get a certificate. If you are willing to, you can collect more certificates to complete the whole masterprogram. 

Multiple modules in one semester

From September 2019, you can choose to follow more than one module by attending the lectures for both modules in one semester in the Netherlands. This can be an advantage for anyone with a visa valid for three months, for instance.

Completing the Master in one year

From September 2019 you can complete the Master in the Netherlands in one year. You will follow modules 1 and 3 in the Fall semester of 2019 and modules 2 and 4 in Spring 2020. Between the modules, additional support will be provided. In addition, you can have an opportunity to gain practical experience between the weeks of lectures. You will also need a lot of time for independent study.

2018 - 2019 

Module 1
21 Sept - 2 Nov 26 nov - 7 dec 2018 14 Dec - 11 Jan
Four online lectures  Two weeks on-campus  Two online lectures 

Module 2
8 February - 8 March 1 - 12 april 2019 17 May -14 June
Online lectures Two weeks on campus  Online lectures

Note: If you want to start this year, it is only possible to follow two modules.

2019 - 2020

Fall semester
Module 1
20 Sept - 18 Okt 25 Nov -  6 Dec 13 Dec -10 Jan
Online lectures Two weeks on campus  Online lectures

Module 3
13 Sept - 11 Okt  1 Nov - 22 Nov 13 - 24 January
Online lectures  Online lectures Two weeks on campus

Spring semester
Module 2
7 February - 6 March 23 March - 3 April 8 May - 29 June
Online lectures Two weeks on campus  Online lectures

Module 4
14 February - 13 March 17 April - 15 May  8 - 19 June
Online lectures Online lectures Two weeks on campus

Note: from the academic year 2019-2020 it is possible to complete the Master in one year by following multiple modules in one semester.


Tuition Fee

These fees are for the course only and exclude any living and accommodation costs.
      Fee Potential grants
Single module:   € 1.975,- per module Erasmus+
Multiple modules:      
I come from the EU and have no Master's degree in education Tuition fee per year regardless of number of modules  € 1.990,- per year 2018/2019 Lerarenbeurs (for Dutch teachers) Erasmus+
I come from the EU and have a Master's degree in education Institutional tuition fee per year, regardless of number of modules  €7.900,- per year (provisional forecast 2019/2020) Erasmus+
I come from outside the EU Institutional tuition fee per year  €7.900,- per year (provisional forecast 2019/2020) Holland Scholarship (maximum amount  €2.500)
  Completed within two years 30 credits per year €3.950,- per year Holland Scholarship (maximum amount €2.500,-)
  Completed within four years 15 credits per year (equal to one module) €1.975,- per year (equal to one module) Holland Scholarship (maximum amount €2.500,-) 

You can read more about the living costs for international students on this website (provisional forecast).

Study abroad

Driestar Christian University is located in Gouda, a typically Dutch town located between Rotterdam and Utrecht. 

You can find more information about Visa and study in the Netherlands on this page


During your stay in the Netherlands you have the option of being provided with accommodation and food. Information on the cost of this can be found on the accommodation tab. Making use of this accommodation is optional.

Admission requirements

You require a bachelor’s degree in the field of Education to be admitted to the master’s course .

If you have obtained a Bachelor's degree in a different field, you can still apply for this Master’s track if you work in education. For students not meeting the admission requirements, it is currently not possible to take a pre-master’s or catch-up course. If you do not hold a bachelor’s degree in Education but would like to enrol in the Master’s course, please send an email to our International Office.

A basic principle is that students must follow all the modules and exemptions are only possible for complete modules by evidence of competences obtained elsewhere.Since an innovation in the student’s own environment is an important part of the programme, students need to guarantee the support of their institution to attend the course and the potential to carry out an innovation in their class, department and/or institution.

English language requirements

As the course will be taught in English, passing an online language test is required before the start of the course. All students must prove that they have good writing and conversation skills in English.

If English is not your native language, you must provide a result from an internationally recognized test of English/certificate.

An official English language test result is not required if: 

  • you have completed your secondary education in Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or the USA.
  • you have an International Baccalaureate diploma. 

The minimum test scores required are (test results should be no more than two years old.)

  • TOEFL: 80 (internet-based) and 550 (paper-based).
  • IELTS Academic: 6.0
  • Cambridge CAE (Certificate of Advanced English): Grade C scale 180- 184
  • Cambridge CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English)

Information on test dates, scheduling, and costs can be obtained at the respective websites of TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge English.


Application deadlines:
  • Module 1 2018: 1 June 2018
  • Module 2 2019: 24 october 2018

Application procedure

1. Application  In this application process you will need your Curriculum Vitae, a motivation letter and a recommendation letter written by someone working in the context where your research and innovation will take place.

2. Only for foreign student: After receiving your application, we will have an informal Skype conversation.

3. After receiving your application, we will send you an English test

4. After passing this test, you will receive a format to write a position paper. A position paper implies a description of your current work situation, with a possible innovation or research subject.

5. You will have an admission interview in Gouda (for foreign students this will be a Skype conversation) with two senior lecturers by referring to all the things mentioned above.