The Early Church as Ideal: Old Catholic Theology beyond the Basics

Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level
Advanced Master

This course offers the possibility to deepen your knowledge of Old Catholic theology by thematic and in-depth case-driven classes, linked to a key starting point of Old Catholic theology: the faith and order of the Early Church. How can a modern church be so ‘traditional’ at the same time? This apparent tension and paradox will be the core theme of this weeklong, intensive course. The course will be taught by experts in Old Catholic theology affiliated with the Old Catholic Seminary in Utrecht and beyond. After the online edition of this summer school last summer the organisation aims to offer the course face-to-face again in Utrecht in the summer of 2022.

The topics and disciplines covered by the course include: fundamental and liturgical theology, spirituality, and ecumenism. Case studies that will be explored cover topics such as marriage, the ordination of women, spirituality, and mission. The course will also engage with Old Catholic worship as it is being celebrated today.

At the end of the course, students will have a deepened knowledge of, and insight in Old Catholic theology and her appeal on the Early Church and will be able to apply this knowledge in theological reflexion and research. The course is at the advanced level of a MA curriculum. Students may be expected to do advance reading for the course.

Entry requirements for this course are having attended the course ‘Old Catholic Theology in an Ecumenical context’, advanced knowledge of theology or a similar qualification. The course ‘Old Catholic Theology in an Ecumenical context’ is offered in immediate connection with this advanced course. Are you interested in participating in both courses? You can apply for the combination track here: Old Catholic Theology: The Early Church as Charism and Challenge. Combining both courses also leads to a reduced fee.

Old Catholic theology is understood as the theological discourse within the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht.

More information can be found in the Day-to-day programme that can be downloaded below.

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 - Ecumenical Theology
  • Mr. Adriaan Snijders, MA, LLB - Canon Law

And others, to be announced.

Target audience

  • Students who attended the course: 'Old Catholic Theology in its Ecumenical Context';
  • 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:

  • The student will have a deepened knowledge of and insight in Old Catholic theology and her appeal on the Early Church; 
  • The student will be able apply this knowledge in theological reflection and research; 
  • The student will be able to undertake further independent study 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


Booking both courses could be done by applying for the combination track 'Old Catholic Theology: The Early Church as Charism and Challenge' and leads to a reduced fee.

For questions you can contact the course director.


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:

Recommended combinations


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
15 June 2022