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Author: Harald Neervoort

Memorial tribute Hans van der Ven

Memorial tribute Hans van der Ven

The following address was delivered at the meeting of the International Academy of Practical Theology at Sao Leopoldo, Brazil on April 7, 2019, in commemoration of Johannes A. van der Ven.

Dear members and guests of the International Academy of Practical Theology!

It is sad news which make me address you. This morning we learned that Hans van der Ven passed away two days ago.

I have been asked to say a few words commemorating him.

I have known Hans for a long time. We first met in 1987 at one of the Tuebingen conferences which later led to the founding of the International Academy. Hans was one of the small number of people who founded the Academy in Princeton in 1991.

Hans first of all was a practical theologian. Many will see empirical theology as his main contribution and achievement, including the Journal of Empirical Theology which he founded about 30 years ago. Yet Hans never equaled empirical research with practical theology. He was also very interested in theology, in systematic theology, especially in post-Vatican II theology. His major books testify to this, like his book on the Church (almost as monumental as the Bible), his continued interest in theodicy which he treated both theologically and empirically, but also his last major topic Human Rights.

I well remember Hans asking me at one the meetings of the Academy if I thought that he should devote the rest of his academic life to this topic (and I agreed). It was a well-considered choice.

Hans also was a wonderful colleague and teacher – a teacher of teachers. His Nijmegen team including his former doctoral students show this in the first place. To just mention those who many in the Academy will remember: Chris Hermans, Hans-Georg Ziebertz, Carl Sterkens, Paul Vermeer.

There would be many other colleagues to mention – colleagues who came to Nijmegen for one of the conferences and symposiums, study groups and exchanges which Hans organized. His inspirations were dear to many in the field.

And certainly Hans was a friend, a personal friend and a caring friend who was interested in what others were doing and how they were doing.

Next year Hans would have turned 80.

I have lost a friend, we all have lost a friend!

I invite you to stand in order to commemorate Hans with a moment of silence.

Thank you!


Friedrich Schweitzer (University of Tübingen, Germany)

First volume IAPT Conference Series published

First volume IAPT Conference Series published

From 2019 on IAPT works on Open Access publication of the Academy’s conference volumes. Contents can be downloaded from the IAPT Conference Series website. The first volume published is composed by the proceedings of the IAPT Oslo conference 2017: Reforming practical theology. The politics of body and space; edited by Auli Vähäkangas, Sivert Angel, Kirstine Helboe Johansen.

PhD-position in practical theology Tilburg School of Catholic Theology

PhD-position in practical theology Tilburg School of Catholic Theology

The Tilburg School of Catholic Theology is looking for an enthusiastic PhD student (M/F) for its The late modern transformation of religion: the case of new Catholicism research program. This program brings together specialists from various theological disciplines, including Church History, Systematic Theology, and Practical Theology.

For more information on this job opening, follow this link.

Apply again for membership in May 2019

Apply again for membership in May 2019

New applications for membership will not be handled between 15 January and 15 April 2019, due to the preparations for the conference in Brazil. Feel free to apply again in May 2019

More information on becoming a member can be found in this flyer.

Scholars who are interested in becoming a new member or new associate member are invited to complete this form and to send it to the IAPT secretary. Click here to download the form


Assistant Professor Practical Theology and Religious Education at Fordham University

Assistant Professor Practical Theology and Religious Education at Fordham University

Fordham University invites applications for a full-time tenure track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE). Areas of specialization are open. Teaching will include hybrid (campus and digital learning) formats. Applicants must have completed the Ph.D. by May 2019. For more information follow this link.

Senior Lecturer and Director of the Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology – Anglia Ruskin University – Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences

Senior Lecturer and Director of the Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology – Anglia Ruskin University – Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences

Senior Lecturer and Director of the Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology at Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia Ruskin is a vibrant workplace and our University is gaining prominence both nationally and internationally. We have ambitious plans for the future and we are determined that our students and staff will realise their full potential. Our main campuses in the cities of Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough have been transformed with major capital investment. With an annual turnover of over £200m, we are a major force for higher education and one of the largest universities in the East of England.

This post is a joint appointment between Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and the Cambridge Theological Federation (CTF). The employer is ARU.

The Cambridge Theological Federation (CTF) has been a partner of ARU since 1995.  The CTF is an ecumenical collaboration of educational institutes which teaches theology for ministry; reflect on the local and global, ecumenical and inter-faith context for Christian mission; foster encounters between people of different ecclesial and faith traditions; and undertake research in theology and religious studies. (

The post-holder needs to be firmly embedded in, and committed to, both contexts, as a key element of the role is the bridging and mediating of relationships, regulations and procedures between Anglia Ruskin University and the CTF, and within Anglia Ruskin University between both the Faculty and the Doctoral School. The post-holder will sit on key committees within the CTF, the Faculty of ALSS and our wider University, as well as participating in the life of the Faculty at the Departmental level.

Directing the DProf programme involves the supervision of approximately 15 research students; the creative development of the taught component of the programme (2 level 7 modules introduced in 2017, which are offered both face to face and by distance learning); responsibility for a cohort of 10 students working through a link with the Divinity School of Chung Chi College in the Chinese University of Hong Kong including an annual visit to Hong Kong; the development of other international cohorts; responsibility for an international week in Cambridge during the summer for DProf students; involvement with the national practical theology professional doctorate summer school in which ARU/CTF DProf students participate.  The successful applicant will also contribute to teaching in PG research methods or sociology of religion.

In respect of DProf and other CTF/ARU students the responsibilities also include student recruitment, admissions, visa compliance, ethics approval and advice and progression monitoring, budget management, staff development and supervisor/examiner recruitment.

With a PhD/DProf in Theology or cognate discipline, you’ll be an experienced and culturally sensitive doctoral supervisor in practical theology with recent teaching experience in a higher education institution.  You’ll also be comfortable in working within the ethos of theological education in an ecumenical and interfaith context.

For an informal discussion, please contact Jane Leach, Principal, Wesley House Cambridge and President Emerita of the Cambridge Theological Federation: or Dr Alison Ainley, Head of Humanities, Law and Social Sciences,

To find out more about working with us, click here.