CThM Newsletter June 2020
We have completed the year! With one obvious adaptation along the way: switching all our Spring classes to online Zoom sessions due to COVID 19. This was an adjustment as all year we had enjoyed our face-to-face learning together. However, we all soon became skilled at using Zoom and discovered that the intensity of our discussions continued unabated online. Our fellow learners remained deeply engaged in the lectures and debates, their internships and exams, and have now come to the end and a new beginning of this journey together.
All are students will graduate at a later point this Summer, when we hope to be able to celebrate this milestone in person.
In one of the last classes of this year, students shared what they found to be highlights in their learning over this past year. Here are some examples of what they said:
- “African Christology has given me great insight into my own behavior and that of the church members. I realize that worship is not complete without integrating the culture”;
- “Postmodern Christianity and Public Theology have given me what I was missing in my personal theology”;
- “Through the course in Multicultural Pastoral Care, I undertood that everyone is a potential victim of mental illness - this makes it very crucial for us to talk about mental illness and not treat it as a taboo”.
Dr. Danielle Phillips-Koning's research at our Center continues under the COVID 19 conditions and gets shaped by it. How do migrant pastors deal with pastoral care and mental health in these new and challenging conditions? Interviews with this specific focus have begun, and some initial findings were shared at a conference on ‘Resilience’ of the Faculty of Religion and Theology earlier this Spring. At the same time, a new article is being developed on the research findings about migrant churches, pastoral care and mental health from the time before the corona crisis. Also, we are creating an expert network together with partners in Christian mental health care and multicultural church ministry called ‘HUB mental well-being for Christian migrants’. This network is focused on the triangle of Christian faith, mental health and migration/cultural diversity. This Fall we will organize an expert meeting at the VU with scholars and practitioners who work with this triangle of topics
Former and current CThM students are impacting society. Betty Tjipta Sari, fellow learner from the first year (2017), recently received her Ph.D. inpsychologyfromTilburg University.
This year’s graduate, Ds. Hedwig Komproe recently delivered a sermon on national TV, EO on racism. You can watich his entire sermon online by following the link here https://www.npostart.nl/VPWON_1320519
Two graduates of this year will continue their work with people with a refugee background, which they started as part of their CThM internship. Another current graduate has started a video channel where various social issues, amongst which mental health, are discussed.
For the future, we look forward to starting with a whole new batch of fellow learners in September. We recently organized our Open Day through Zoom and met with a good number of church leaders who have signed up to study with us next year.
Graditude for the guest lecturers
Last year we were deeply inspired by professors and lecturers who enriched us by their knowledge and experience. We would like to thank the following folowing persons:
Prof. Dr. Eddie van de Borght
Dr. Leon van de Broek
Prof. Dr. Stefan Paas
Dr. Arjan Plaisier
Dr. Simon Ririhena
Prof. Dr. Joke van Saane
Dr. Ge Speelman
Prof. Dr. Mirjam van Veen
Prof. Dr. Heleen Zorgdrager
But first things first, we will take a bit of a break and we wish the same for you: a restful, healthy, and enjoyable Summer!
Dr. Danielle Phillips-Koning, Assistant Professor & Researcher
Dr. Samuel Lee, Director CThM