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 reflected 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.

Students will be taught by experts in Old Catholic theology from the faculty at 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 also 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 by attending Mass in St. Gertrud’s Cathedral. The excursion to Amsterdam, where the participants will tour sites of (Old) Catholic history will be offered again this year. Besides lectures and excursions, it will also be possible to participate in social activities, in which you can learn from the knowledge and backgrounds 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 major 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. 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 will be uploaded as soon as possible..

This course can be combined with a second week of advanced studies: Old Catholic Theology beyond the Basics: In search of being Church in Communion. That 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: Communion as Calling and Challenge.

Day-to-day Programme Summerschool I - 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;
  • Thelma Schoon, MA - Practical Theology
  • Rev. Prof. Dr. Peter-Ben Smit - Ecumenism;
  • Adriaan Snijders, LL.M. - Canon Law;
  • Richard de Beer, MA - Art History (Museum Catherijneconvent);
  • The Most 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 interested in Old Catholicism and ecumenism.

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

Aim of the course

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 contextualize 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 specific 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 deepening course Old Catholic Theology beyond the Basics: In search of being Church in Communion, you can apply to the track Old Catholic Theology: Communion as Calling and Challenge and there will be a reduced fee. 

Additional information

As this course starts on Sunday 2 July 2023, you are welcome to check-in at the Utrecht Summer School accommodation on Saturday 1 July 2023. This is a different arrangement from the other Summer School courses, so please make sure to take a look on the course page for housing information. More information will be presented in the pre-departure document, which all fully registered students will receive in March 2023.  


Extra application information

Keep the rules concerning traveling of your own country and of the Netherlands in mind when applying (travel information can be found here). 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. There will be a possibility to 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 if the course takes place on location, in Utrecht.

Contact details

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

Recommended combinations


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
01 June 2023