THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION AT THE DUTCH UNIVERSITIES IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY F.G.M. BROEYER 1. Introduction In the history of Dutch theological education 1876 was a most mem- orable year. The year gave birth to a new law on higher cducation. Especially for theology the situation changed radically.' Because of the separation of Church and state the Faculties of Theology at the three Dutch universities, Leiden, Groningen and Utrecht lost their status as official training centres for the ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church. The preceding organic law of 1815 in its article 63 had labelled them as such. In spite of the liberal constitution of 1848 which introduced the separation of Church and state, this stip- ulation of 1815 concerning the training of ministers was to persist until 1876. A prolonged and at times hotly contested debate about the position of the Faculties of Theology erupted before definitive decisions could be taken. In the year 1876 itself it was not clear whether the Faculties of Theology would even continue to exist. In an article in the cultural journal De Gids, entitled 'Ter Uitvaart' [To the Funeral] the one-time pastor A. Pierson asked scornfully, how a branch of learning could
Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis (in 2006 continued as Church History and Religious Culture) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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