Driestar Christian University for Teacher Education offers new international blended learning programmes on Christian education. In the short course ‘Christian education: a practices approach’ we deepen our understanding of  Christian education worldwide by reflecting on which views on educational practices are effective and how they can be evaluated from a Christian perspective. The course has three strands: the content strand, the personal development strand and the innovation / research strand. 

The short course is part of the Master’s programme on Christian education. As a participant of the short course you will join the international learning community of Master’s students. The short course is a blended learning programme. The course is taught by expert (guest) lecturers from different nationalities.
Costs: € 1.997,-
Study load: 15 ECTS
Location: distance learning; campus seminar

  • Course dates (Gouda): 20 September till 1 October 2021 (provisional planning).
  • Online lectures: 30 Augustus – 17 September 2021 and 4 October 2021 till 28 January 2022.

Within an international community of students and expert (guest) lecturers you will extend your theoretical and practical understanding of Christian education. With use of the philosophy of education, we reflect on which views on educational practices are effective and how they can be evaluated from a Christian perspective. Starting from observations in the practice of Christian Education in the Netherlands, participants will be introduced to a variety of practices worldwide.

We frame current views within the practices approach of Christian education (Smith & Smith, 2009), and study the approach’s backgrounds and recent research findings. By studying theory and reflection on their own practices, this course helps participants to enrich their practice (or the practices they serve) with insights into Christian pedagogy. We will study the dominant neoliberal approach and the constructivist approach, and how these philosophies have their impact worldwide.

Participants will learn how to recognize those influences and will be invited to reflect critically from their own religious background. In the research / innovation strand participants will examine the current situation of their institute(s) and explore which innovations are needed with regard to their own practices (practice-oriented research). The personal development strand is aimed to reflect on the professional role of the participants and it is focused on the integration of knowledge and practice.

Course objectives


At the end of the course the participant:

  • Knows the background of the practices approach
  • Knows the differences with the ‘worldview’ approach
  • Knows the background and influence of neo-liberal thinking in education


At the end of the course the participant:
  • Understands the reasons and justification of differences in Christian Education practices.
  • Is able to answer the question: can a teacher make his/her teaching distinguishing Christian?
  • Is able to distinguish influences of current philosophies in practices of education in his/her own cultural context
  • Is able to critically reflect on current philosophies and is able to formulate his/her own opinion
  • Is able to apply insights from a historical educator to current educational practice


At the end of the course the participant:
  • Is able to initiate a small project as application of the practices approach
  • Is able to formulate a vision on education for his/her own school

The short course programme consists of online lectures, group assignments, individual assignments, reading literature, completing a final assignment and participation in the campus seminar. You should expect 420 hours of study for the short course, spread over the full duration of this course. That means that, beside the campus seminar, you will need to spend around 19 hours a week on individual study or online group assignments. The campus seminar is held half way through the course, has a fulltime programme and participation is compulsory. During the campus seminar you will have the opportunity to visit schools and gain teaching practice in schools in the Netherlands.

Course dates (Semester 1)

  • Course dates (Gouda): 20 September till 1 October 2021 (provisional planning).
  • Online lectures: 30 Augustus – 17 September 2021 and 4 October 2021 till 28 January 2022

Campus seminar

The campus seminar will be held from 20 September - 1 October 2021. We expect you to be present at 9 AM on Monday. The campus seminar will be held at Driestar Christian University, which is located in Gouda (a town between Rotterdam and Utrecht). During your stay in the Netherlands you have the option of being provided with accommodation and food.
Accommodation is available from Friday 17 September till Friday 1 October. Information on the cost can be found on the accommodation tab. Making use of this accommodation is optional.


The course will be taught by Prof. Bram de Muynck (the Netherlands), Prof. Trevor Cooling (United Kingdom), Dr. Jan Veldman (the Netherlands), Drs. Willemieke de Jong (the Netherlands) and Drs. Ellen Aanen (the Netherlands).


The course is offered to experienced teachers, principals, school leaders and people who work in educational aid organisations. More detailed information about application can be found on the Application tab.


Tuition fee: € 1.997,-

Funding your study
At some point, most students in the Netherlands encounter the Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs, commonly known as DUO. This organisation is mostly known for providing students with student finance and the student travel product. Depending on residency status, course registration and age, international students can also get funding from DUO. You can find all information about the requirements and the amounts on DUO’s website for international students.


We offer you credits for the course according to the Bologna system (the European Credits Transfer System, ECTS). After completing the short course you will receive a Driestar Christian University Certificate, indicating that you completed the 15 ECTS credit course.

Admission requirements

A bachelor’s degree in the field of Education is required to be admitted to the short course. If you have obtained a master’s degree in another field and if you work in education, you can still apply for this short course. If you do not hold a bachelor’s degree in Education but would like to enrol in the short course, please send an email to our International Office. As the course will be taught in English, passing an online language test is required for international students before the start of the course.

Course dates (Semester 1)
  • Course dates (Gouda): 20 September till 1 October 2021 (provisional planning).
  • Online lectures: 30 Augustus – 17 September 2021 and 4 October 2021 till 28 January 2022

Application deadlines

  • Academic deadline for application for non EU/EEA and OKP applicants:  7 March 2021.
    • DELTA deadline for OKP applicants: 15 March 2021.
  • Academic deadline for non-fellowship and EU/EEA applicants: 1 June 2021.

Application procedure

  1. Application: If you would like to apply, please register by filling in the application form. In this application process you will need your Curriculum Vitae and a motivation letter.
  2. Foreign students only: After receiving your application, we will send you details for you to take an online English test.
  3. After receiving your application, we will have an informal Skype conversation and consider your admission to the short course.
  4. After admission, our International Office will advise you on the preparations for your stay.
  5. Check the preparation-stay site and the site for information on Visa procedures
  6. Check the website www.grantfinder.nl  for grants and scholarships.
  7. Feel free to contact Ms. E.L. (Lydia) Bor if you would like more information about the programme and about admission.