The Herman Bavinck Center for Reformed and Evangelical Theology, founded in November 2015, seeks to study and advance the tradition of Reformed theology that inspired the founders of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and that still inspires millions of people all over the world today. This tradition of doing theology, going back to the Swiss Reformation of the 16th century, is not avertive but world-transformative, in that it is has open eyes to society at large and is committed to the common good. Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck serve as excellent examples of this ethos, but many leading theologians from the contemporary Reformed and evangelical world might be mentioned as well. The Center mainly promotes constructive theology with a strong historical anchoring, but it also fosters work in biblical, historical, philosophical, and practical theology with a focus on or from within the Reformed tradition.
The Center aims at pursuing its goal mainly in the following ways:
- through the specialization track ‘Reformed and Evangelical Theology’ in the postgraduate degree programs of the Faculty of Religion and Theology: the one-year Master of Theology, the two-year Research Master, and the Graduate School for doctoral studies (cf. below);
- through participating with distinctive modules in the new international English-language bachelor-program in theology and religious studies that will be launched in September 2020;
- through annual conferences (usually in June) with both internal and external PhD-students during which work-in-progress is discussed;
- through regular (usually: bimonthly) meetings of its members in a research seminar, where dialogue and cross-fertilization on running projects is stimulated;
- through close cooperation with the International Reformed Theological Institute and participation in its biannual international scholarly conferences;
- through the provision of hospitality to visiting scholars who study aspects of Reformed and/or evangelical theology;
- through the promotion of cutting-edge scholarly research on issues related to Reformed and evangelical theology.
The activities of the Center include the specialization ‘Reformed and Evangelical Theology’ within the one year master ‘Exploring a Discipline’ and within the two year research master programme at VU. Every year, at least two modules specializing in Reformed theology will be offered in both programmes. Further specialization is obtained through a research internship carried out under the supervision of one of the associated staff members of the Center as well as through the master thesis with which you conclude the programme.