Old Catholic Theology beyond the Basics: In search of being Church in Communion

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

'Old Catholic Theology beyond the Basics: In Search of Being Church in Communion'  focuses on a key topic in Old Catholic theology: communion. In Old Catholic theology, communion with God, with other Christians and with the whole of creation are of paramount importance. Participants in this course will immerse themselves into different aspects of communion. Classes will explore sacramental and liturgical theology, ecumenical theology, eco-theology, and historical dimensions of communion. It offers a unique opportunity for acquiring an advanced insight into Old Catholic theology.

The course is taught by experts in Old Catholic theology from the faculty of the Old Catholic Seminary, Utrecht, as well as by invited senior professors. Students will acquire a multi-faceted understanding of 'communion' in its spiritual, liturgical, theological, ethical, and historical dimensions. The course will equip participants to make their insights bear fruit in both church and society.

Bringing students together in a culturally, religiously, and educationally diverse community of learners, the course uses lectures, seminars and excursions as educational formats. Beyond that, the city of Utrecht and the Utrecht Summer School offer plenty of opportunities for socializing and exploration.

The focus on the topic of communion has its background in both the central position of communion in contemporary Old Catholic spirituality and theology and in the historical search for communion in Old Catholic history, which often begins with the Old Catholic Churches’ involuntary separation from the Roman Catholic Church, such as happened in the Netherlands in 1723-1724.

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.

This course can be combined with the introductory course offered a week earlier: Old Catholic Theology in its Ecumenical Context. That course is also a prerequisite for the advanced course for those without a prior background in Old Catholic theology. To combine both courses you can apply to the track Old Catholic Theology: Communion as Calling and Challenge which will give you a reduction of 50 euros on the total costs.

Copyright picture: Kerkfotografie
Day-to-day Programme Summerschool II - 2023 - 2023.04.30.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
  • Leonie van Straaten, MA - Practical and Ecumenical Theology
  • Ds. Hans Uytenbogaard, MA - Ecumenical Theology

And others, to be announced.

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 interested in Old Catholicism and ecumenism.

The course is of specific interest to students from Anglican, Orthodox, Lutheran, Old Catholic, and ecumenical backgrounds.

Aim of the course

Upon completing the course:

  • The student will be familiar with the key tenets of Old Catholic reflection on communion in theology and history;
  • The student will be able to contextualize the Old Catholic approach to communion within the broader spectrum of theology and religious studies;
  • The student will be able to relate the diverse aspects of communion explored in the course to the own religious tradition or worldview in a dialogical manner.

Study load

About four 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 introducing course Old Catholic Theology in its Ecumenical Context, you can apply to the track Old Catholic Theology: Communion as Calling and Challenge which will give you a reduction of € 50 on the total costs. 


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 is somehow not possible to organise the summer school in Utrecht, there will be a back-up plan to deliver the summer school online, like in 2021. You can cancel your application if 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 takes place in Utrecht.

Contact details

Prof. dr. Peter-Ben Smit | Utrecht University | E-mail: P.B.A.Smit@uu.nl

Recommended combinations


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
01 June 2023