Research Groups and Expertise

Meet the Research Group BEST (Biblical Exegesis and Theology), the Research Group Church History and Church Law, and the Research Group Practical Theology.

Research Group BEST (Biblical Exegesis and Theology)

In research group BEST, Biblical exegetes (Old and New Testaments) and systematic theologians (mostly dogmaticians) cooperate under the theme Discriminating Love. The research centers on aspects of God’s love that contrast with present-day understandings of love. God’s love is apparently discriminating in nature. It discriminates, for instance, between his people and other peoples, between the elect and the others. God’s love does not exclude judgment. The aim of the research is to assess God’s discriminating love in light of the Reformed tradition. The interdisciplinary character of BEST offers unique opportunities.

Research Group Church History and Church Law

Studying historical sources from current questions, a range of international contacts, themes relevant to the Church and to society: all this – and much more – is within reach through the research group Church History and Church Law. For ambitious and competent researchers there is a great deal to do in these areas. These are the edition of Philipp Melanchthon’s theological works and the edition of the the Acts of the Synod of Dordrecht, both of which account for a total of some 25 volumes, digital sources from the Puritans, the demand for death and comfort in the reformed tradition, and the interaction between Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinist theologians in the 16th and 17th centuries. For ambitious and competent researchers, there is therefore a great deal to do in these areas.

Research Group Practical Theology

Within the Department of Practical Theology, practical theologians work together with experts from other disciplines, in particular pedagogy and psychology. The theme for the coming years is Formation in Church and Education. There are two main programmes: Formation in Homiletics, and in Mission (Chair of Practical Theology) and Formation, Identity, and Personhood (special Chair of Pedagogy). The connection between these two research areas offers a unique challenge to think through all kinds of practices in church and school and to contribute to (re)vitalising these practices.