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Newsletter CThM January 2021

The Center for Theology of Migration wishes you joy and good health in this new year! In this newsletter we would like to share with you what’s been going on at our center.

Meet our new fellow learners 2020/2021

Due to the COVID 19 crisis and the necessity of online teaching, we were unsure how many students would enroll for our new year of classes that started in September 2020. To our delight, we now have an enthusiastic new group of 7 fellow learners from 5 different countries! Our classes have all continued as normal though everything is done via Zoom. As lecturers it has surprised us how learning and connecting both are still possible online – we have never met our current fellow learners i.e. students in physical classroom and yet it feels like we are a real community of learners. Our new fellow learners show attentiveness to one another in regard to for example the birth of a child or a birthday, and laughter is frequent in the online classroom. The level at which the students perform at their exams and in their internship, preparations also show that the online setting still allows for quality learning, for which we feel grateful. Nonetheless, we do really look forward to the day that we can see and learn together again face-to-face!

we have never met our current fellow learners i.e. students in physical classroom and yet it feels like we are a real community of learners


This year we started to engage a more intensive supervision of internships. The internship is a part of our standard curriculum that is continuous throughout the year. The months September – December are spent in preparation, deciding on topics, locations, learning goals and methods. We allow for both practical and research-based internships. This year, all of our fellow learners have chosen to do a research internship and we are further equipping them in the area of research skills. What’s striking is the interest shown this year in matters related to counseling, pastoral care and mental health. Topics this year include:

  • Corona and pastoral care among migrants

  • Marriage counseling among migrants

  • Exploring collaborations between migrant clergy and mental health professionals

  • How migrant clergy and mental health professionals perceive each other?

  • Alzheimer’s and stigma among migrants

  • Perspectives on being ‘one body’ in a multicultural church

  • Notions of women in education among Dutch Christians

We look forward to the research processes in the coming months that will culminate in papers and presentations in June. We hope and aim that some of this research can even lead to publications.


What’s happening in research at our center?

  • We created a network together with partners in Christian mental health care and multicultural church ministry called ‘HUB mental well-being for Christian migrants’. This HUB organized an online expert meeting in October 2020. About 22 psychologists, social workers, pastors, spiritual care workers and researchers from different cultural backgrounds (the Netherlands, Ghana, Nigeria, Curacao, Suriname, Indonesia, Middle East) and church involvement (PKN, Reformed, Evangelical, EBG, Pentecostal, Orthodox) came together to explore these questions. At the end of the meeting, a broad sense of recognition and the need for cooperation was expressed. A report of the expert meeting will be published and the HUB will continue to organize conferences this year

  • A new research group has formed that focuses on research in the area of Christian migrants, psychological and pastoral care, and mental well-being. It is exciting to see more people seeing the importance of these themes and uniting around research and improving practices of care;

  • An article is in the making on Pentecostal migrant clergy’s perspectives on mental health care;

  • Various new research projects in the area of pastoral care and mental health among Christian migrants are underway, about which we can inform you more in the next newsletter… stay posted!

Samuel Lee Received Royal Award

On the 13th of September, director of the Center for Theology of Migration, Dr. Samuel Lee was awarded as The Knight in the Order of the Orange Nassau. After a beautiful speech by Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam, Mrs. Marjolein Moorman, she handed the award to Samuel Lee. He receives this award for his 25 years commitment as a Pentecostal theologian and his service for the migrant churches in the Netherlands.

Other News

In the past years the alumni of CThM have been active in various projects concerning migrant churches: some are

  • involved in NGO's

  • some are active at SKIN (Samen Kerk in Nederland) as members of the board

  • during the corona crisis, some have regularly appeared on national tv programs such as delivering sermons, national days of prayer, and other programs

  • some have organized online platform for women work and gender issues

We look forward to connecting with all of you in this new year.

We wish you good courage, good health, and new inspirations throughout these challenging times.

Center for Theology of Migration

Dr. Daniëlle Phillips-Koning, Assistant Professor

Dr. Samuel Lee, Director Center for Theology of Migration

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