We offer an international Master’s course in Christian Education which 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 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 seminar. These non-distance classes will be taught in Gouda, the Netherlands. During your two 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.

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?

Master track: 2019 - 2021

Schedule for student who applied in 2019.

Module 1
2 Sept - 20 Sept 2019 23 Sept -  4 Oct 2019 7 Oct 2019 - 10 Jan 2020
Online lectures Two weeks on campus Online lectures

Module 2
10 February - 20 March 2020 23 March - 3 April 2020 6 April - 29 June 2020
Online lectures Two weeks on campus Online lectures

Module 3

14 Sept - 12 Okt 2020 2 Nov - 22 Nov 2020 11 - 22 January 2021
Online lectures Online lectures Two weeks on campus

Module 4

8 February - 26 March 2021 5 April - 28 May 2021 7 - 18 June 2021
Online lectures Online lectures Two weeks on campus

Master track: 2021 - 2023

Schedule for student who want to apply in 2021.

Semester 1 (online lessons) 30 August 2021 - 28 January 2022
On campus seminar in Gouda Monday 20 September – Friday 1 October 2021
Semester 2 (online lessons) 31 January 2022 – 1 August 2022
On campus seminar in Gouda Monday 28 March 2022 – Friday 8 April 2022
Semester 3 (online lessons) 5 September 2022 – 3 February 2023
On campus seminar in Gouda Monday 9 January 2022 – Friday 20 January 2023
Semester 4 (online lessons) 6 February 2023 – 30 June 2023
On campus seminar Monday 1 May 2023 – Friday 12 May 2023

Tuition Fee (2019-2020)

These fees are for the course only and exclude any living and accommodation costs.
      Fee Potential grants
Single module:   € 1.997,- 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  € 2.083,- per year 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  € 7.988,- per year Erasmus+
I come from outside the EU Institutional tuition fee for two years  € 7.988,- 
(€ 3.994 per year)
Holland Scholarship (maximum amount  €2.500)
  Completed within four years 15 credits per year (equal to one module) € 1.997,- 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).

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.

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 work in education and you have obtained a bachelor's degree in a different field, you can still apply and you can gain access to the programme on the basis of a positive outcome of the admission interview.
  • You work in education or a related workplace. 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.
  • 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 (more information: see below ‘English language requirements’).
  • A positive result follows the admission interview (more information: see below ‘Application procedure’).
  • For students not meeting the admission requirements, it is currently not possible to take a pre-master’s or catch-up course. 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. 

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

  • 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  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 information about an English test (IELTS; minimum score required is 6.0). For foreign students it is legally obliged to do this test and the costs shall be borne by Driestar Christian University. Dutch students may apply for this test as well, but have to pay the costs of the test (approximately €250,-) themselves.

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.