Old Catholic Theology in its Ecumenical Context

Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level
This course is closed and you can't apply anymore. Please check our other courses.

This course offers an introduction to Old Catholic theology in an ecumenical context. Old Catholic theology is understood as the main theological currents as they exist in the Union of Utrecht of Old Catholic Churches. The topics covered by the course include the following aspects of Old Catholic theology and tradition: the history of Old Catholicism, spirituality, ecumenism, canon law and ecclesiology, liturgy, and systematic theology. After the online edition of this summer school last summer the organisation is looking forward to offer the course face-to-face again in Utrecht in the summer of 2022.

Students will be taught by experts in Old Catholic theology on the faculty of the Old Catholic Seminary, Utrecht.The topics covered by the course include the following: History of Old Catholicism, Old Catholic spirituality, Ecumenism and Old Catholicism, Old Catholic canon law and ecclesiology, Old Catholic liturgy, and Old Catholic systematic theology.

The course includes an exploration of religious art in cooperation with the main Dutch museum on this topic, Museum Catharijneconvent. Participants will also engage with Old Catholic liturgy and church music. Furthermore, attention will be given to the episcopal city of Utrecht, as a key site of the history of Dutch Christianity in general and of Old Catholicism in particular. A new feature will be an excursion to the city of Amsterdam and its fascinating history of both religious tolerance and hidden Catholicism. Besides attending lectures and excursions there will also be the possibility to participate in social activities in which you can learn from the knowledge and background of your fellow students and have a good time together as well.

At the end of the course, students will have a broad overview of main topics and themes in Old Catholic theology and spirituality and will be able to pursue further independent study of the subject. The course is at the introductory level of an M.Div. curriculum; good BA students may also apply, as well as others. Students may be expected to do advance reading for the course.

More information about the programme and lecturers can be found in the Day-to-day programme that can be downloaded by the button below.

This course can be combined with a second week of advanced studies: 'The Early Church as Ideal - Old Catholic Theology Beyond the Basics'. This course is offered in immediate connection with the introductory course. Combining both courses leads to a reduction of the total course fee. You can apply for the combination track here: Old Catholic Theology: The Early Church as Charism and Challenge.

Day-to-day programme (PDF)
Course director
Prof. dr. Peter-Ben Smit


  • Rev. Dr. Mattijs Ploeger - Systematic theology and liturgical studies
  • The Rt. Rev. Dr. Dirk Jan Schoon - Church History
  • Rev. Prof. dr. Peter-Ben Smit - Ecumenism
  • Mr. Adriaan Snijders, LLB, - Canon Law
  • Mr. Richard de Beer, MA, - Art History (Museum Catherijneconvent)
  • The Rt. Rev. Bernd Wallet, MA - Archbisshop of Utrecht

Target audience

  • Students of theology interested in Old Catholicism and ecumenism;
  • Clergy and theologians interested in Old Catholicism and ecumenism;
  • Laypersons with formal or informal theological training interesting in Old Catholicism and ecumenism.

The course is of specific interest for students with Anglican, Orthodox, Lutheran, Old Catholic, Roman Catholic and ecumenical backgrounds.

Aim of the course

The goals of the course are, the following;

upon completing the course:

  1. The student will be familiar with central aspects of Old Catholic identity and theology;
  2. The student will be able to contextualise Old Catholic theology within the broader spectrum of theology and religious studies;
  3. The student will be able to undertake further independent exploratory studies of aspects of Old Catholic theology.

Study load

4 contact hours/day, about 40 hours or preparatory self-study will be required.


Course fee:
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School
Extra information about the fee

If you want to combine this course with 'The Early Church as Ideal - Old Catholic Theology Beyond the Basics', you can apply to the track 'Old Catholic Theology: 'The Early Church as Charism and Challenge' and there will be a reduced fee. 


Extra application information

Keep the rules concerning traveling of your own country and of the Netherlands (travel information can be found here) in mind when applying. If it somehow will not be possible to organise the summer school in Utrecht, there will be a back-up plan to deliver the summer school online like last year. There will be a possibility to cancel your application in the case you only want to attend the summer school when it takes place in Utrecht.

N.B. there won't be a recording or online live stream when the course will take place in Utrecht.

More information

Prof. dr. Peter-Ben Smit | Utrecht University | E: p.b.a.smit@uu.nl


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
15 June 2022