The PhD Research Programme of IBTS is orientated towards those who are practically involved in leadership, ministry and mission in the European region and beyond. Doctoral research makes an important contribution to the mission of the church as it engages with significant social, cultural and political change. IBTS is working closely with the European Baptist Federation (EBF) to establish an IBTS Research Community that will foster long term research around some of the key issues in ministry and mission. We see the PhD programme as an apprenticeship for life-long engagement in research and education and welcome applicants who are interested in being involved in such a community.
The Centre’s programmes focus on the major areas of Identity (Anabaptist and Baptist History and Theology), Mission, and Practice (Practical Theology and Qualitative Research).
IBTS Centre is a collaborative centre within the Faculty of Religion and Theology of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. When students are formally accepted on to the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam programme they will have both IBTS Centre and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam supervisors. In this way the Centre seeks to provide an international baptistic context for study as researchers work towards an award of a state accredited PhD degree with this major European university. For details of the Vrije Universiteit doctoral regulations within which IBTS Centre works, you may download the document here.
The Post Graduate Research Certificate in Theology:
PhD studies at the Centre begins with the IBTS one year Post Graduate Research Certificate in Theology (PGCert). The Certificate programme allows participants to demonstrate their capacity in terms of quality and quantity of work and to develop their areas of research interest. During this programme, applicants have their abilities to do PhD research tested, their skills developed, their project focused, their ideas and work advanced and they are supported in producing a PhD proposal which, if successful, will have them enrolled in the VU Faculty of Religion and Theology Graduate School with IBTS and VU supervisors in place. Progression through the PhD programme and requirements to proceed beyond the PGCert are outlined in the ‘Research Journey’ section of the Research Handbook. There are two mandatory parts to the PGCert programme – the Induction Week and the online line seminars as outlined below.
Please note, however, that becoming a student of IBTS Centre does not guarantee formal acceptance onto the Vrije Universiteit doctoral programme, as this depends upon the satisfactory production of work and the development of an acceptable proposal with a supervisory team in place.
If, due to lack of progress, failure to meet satisfactory academic standards or to achieve a developed proposal, a student is not registered in the Graduate School within two years they will not normally be allowed to remain on the PhD programme or an annual charge for supervision may be levied.
Induction Week and Online Seminars:
All students are required to attend an initial Induction Week and the annual IBTS Centre Colloquium. The Induction Week serves as an introduction to the three modules of Certificate programme, the balance of which will be delivered by online seminars throughout the rest of the year. Full details are in the Research Handbook
The dates for the induction week in 2024 are: Monday 15 January - Friday 19 January.
Please also note that the online seminars are mandatory, are held on the Zoom platform and take place on selected dates during the year (usually a Monday or Wednesday) at 15:00 Amsterdam time. Please be sure you can arrange to participate in these seminars. Actual dates will be confirmed during the Induction Week.
Attendance at the IBTS Annual Colloquium:
In addition to the Certificate Induction Week, all new students are expected to attend the annual IBTS Research Colloquium and participate in IBTS online seminars throughout the year. Attendance at the annual Colloquium is a requirement for all research students throughout their studies. The annual colloquium in 2024 will run from Monday 22 – Saturday 27 January. As this is the only formal attendance requirement, potential applicants should consider whether or not they can meet this annual commitment, as we consider it an essential component of the PhD programme.
The Colloquium and online seminars allow participants to receive peer and team tutor feedback on their proposals and the development of their work and to contribute to the Centre research community. During the annual Colloquium in Amsterdam there are also opportunities for participants to attend seminars to meet any obligatory and/or outstanding requirements as part of their training plans.