Newsletter CThM July 2022
We completed another year! We are proud of all our fellow learners who celebrated a beautiful graduation at the Vrije Universiteit on July 1. We were honored by the presence of the Ds. Rhoinde-Mijnals Doth, the chair of Samen Kerk in Nederland and prof. dr. Ruard Ganzevoort, the Dean of the Faculty of Religion and Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
This year’s fellow learners came from Ghana, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Suriname, DRC, and Kenya. They did very well. During an open day of our program they told future fellow learners: “Studying at this center made my life more meaningful” and “You find yourself and your own path in the course of this program”. In addition to all their regular classes and exams, the fellow learners worked throughout the year on their internships. To give you a sense of the variety and creativity of the specialized topics they chose, here is a taste:
- Perspectives on divorce by Pentecostal church leaders in the context of migration
- Theological reflections on seeking asylum
- Acts of the Migrants: stories of the role of faith and God in migration
- The relationship between Winti and Christianity
- Challenges of a newly emerging migrant church
- Understanding Dutch postmodern secular people’s views on Christian faith
- New ideas for improving relations between migrant churches and Dutch churches
We wish all our 2021/2022 graduates the very best for the future, with full confidence that they will continue their important work as pastors, ministry leaders, and change agents!
Day Out With Fellow Learners
In June, CThM organized a excursion with the fellow learners visiting historically migration related areas in Amsterdam, the highlight was our visit at the Waalse Kerk, also known as Refugee Church of 17th century Amsterdam, welcoming protestant refugees who were persecuted in France because of their faith. The fellow learners, were touched, and could feel the pain and cries of the 17th century refugees and could associate with their own pain and struggles. Watch and listen to this the heart touching words of Austin one of the fellow learners at the Waalse Kerk.
Our alumni are impacting the world. Alumnus Hadje Sadje recently published the book “Theology at the Border: Community Peacemaker Teams and the Refugee Crisis in Europe” click link
Also recently, alumnus Eunice Anita-Offerman was appointed to co-lead the Amsterdam-based church Mozaiek020.
We warmly congratulate Hadje and Eunice on their accomplishments!
In June, we presented CThM research findings on migrant churches and perspectives on mental health at the “8th European Conference on Religion, Spirituality and Health”, held at the Vrije Universiteit. We received positive responses from scholars in this field.
CThM also co-initiated a unique special issue on the topic of ‘migration’ that will come out in the journal ‘Psyche en Geloof’ this quarter. Look out for it! Featured authors work or have worked in the triangle of Christian faith, migration, and mental health. Four contributions will come from our own CThM alumni. This issue is unique since many of the authors are pastors and therapists who do not normally publish about what they do. In this way we hope to show some of the many rich dynamics that are happening in the Netherlands in the fields of therapy, mental health education and pastoral care by and for Christian migrants.
New year 2022/2023
After the Summer break we look forward to starting again with a batch of fellow learners, coming from Angola, Brazil, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Surinam.
For now, we thank you for all your support and friendship in this past year and we wish you a restful Summer break. We look forward to seeing you again in the new year!
Dr. Daniëlle Phillips-Koning, Assistant Professor
Dr. Samuel Lee, Director Center for Theology of Migration