Master Learning and Innovation

Track Christian Education

The aim of the Master’s programme is to deepen the knowledge and skills of experienced teachers who could become teacher leaders, principals and school leaders in Christian schools and for people working in educational aid organisations.

You can soon register  to participate in our Master’s Programme Learning and Innovation, Track: Christian Education! 

We will start with a new cohort in September 2022. 

Master Learning and Innovation - Track Christian Education

Master Learning and Innovation - Track Christian Education

Why is it important?

Christian Education in your context to a new level 

We offer an international Master’s programme on Christian Education which fully focuses on the backgrounds and practices of education, inspired and informed by the Christian faith. We perceive a worldwide need for knowledge about Christian education and about how it can be improved. Our curriculum provides a unique opportunity to bring Christian Education into your own context to a new level while learning from lecturers and fellow students from other countries.

The language of instruction is English. On this web page you can find all the information you need. We have structured it in three categories: ‘before your studies’, ‘during your studies’ and ‘after your studies’.

If you want to apply for this Master’s programme, you need to meet our admission requirements. For students not meeting the admission requirements, it is currently not possible to take a pre-master’s or catch-up course.

What are the admission requirements?Practical information for studentsMore about studying in The Netherlands

Before your studies

This Master’s programme is available for teachers who would like to become teacher leaders, for principals and school leaders in Christian schools and for people wor­king in educational aid organisations. 

"I unterstand others and broadened my horizons"

Jiyoung, Linguistics, student from South-Korea

“Learning the different cultures of the students in the class helped me to understand others and broadened my horizons. I also met precious friends there. With the relationships I built up and the help of my fellow students, I was able to discover who I am and what my values are, in a way I had never managed before. I got positive energy for my life back in Korea.” 

We can change the world for the Kingdom of God

Professor John Choi, teacher from South-Korea

“I teach module 4, entitled 'Transforming society: education for justice and shalom'. This module will help the students to apply a Kingdom perspective to their concrete Christian Education situations. Since they are from different parts of the world, we will share diverse experiences and visions of the future together. This allows us to learn from one another and encourages the development of holistic Christian education, integrating our faith, learning, and life so that we can change the world for the Kingdom of God.” 

“Growing in formulating my foundation for the Christian worldview” 

Viviane, student from France 

“My name is Viviane and I come from France. I’ve been in Christian education for 30 years. I was encouraged by the leaders at my school to follow the masters at Driestar Christian University. It provides a good foundation for the Christian worldview. I have grown to know mine better by formulating it. I had a very good experience on campus. Studying online does require a lot of discipline. The peer coaches are essential, since direct contact with the teachers is rare. But it’s a good alternative and pushes us to be more proactive in improving our knowledge: we are not just fed. I’m now more involved with the staff and students in my home school, because I try to help them understand my process. Besides, I need their help in many ways (such as questionnaires, interviews, and experiments). I think they like it. It definitely brings a feeling of motion. Now the challenge is to get this motion going in the right direction and do it in synergy with the school I work in.” 

“A large and exciting perspective” 

Boaz Da, student from Burkina Faso 

“I am very satisfied about the Master Learning and Innovation: Christian Education. That is because it’s Christ-Centred with a deep vision of Christian Education and some good practices in Christian Education. Due to my educational background it was challenging but really helpful. You learn a lot of theories from different perspectives and how they are applicable in Christian Education. 

For my work, the master Learning and Innovation: Christian education has different benefits: first of all, it helped me to improve the content of the trainings we lead for School leaders and Christian teachers. It also helped me to improve my contribution in various of debates related to Christian Education. 

Let’s conclude in saying that the MLI-CE gives you a large and exciting perspective about Christian Education!”

Driestar Christian University is located in Gouda, a typically Dutch town, located between Rotterdam and Utrecht. If you are looking for more information about studying in the Netherlands, feel free to take a look at this page. During your stay in the Netherlands you can choose to be provided with accommodation. Making use of this accommodation is optional.

During your studies

Improving education from a Christian perspective is the core of our Master's programme. Therefore, working on an innovation in your own practice is the guiding principle during the programme. You will be supported to do so step by step in our four modules (each in every semester). 

In each module one major theme will be discussed from historical, philosophical-theological, social, concrete-practical and a teacher’s personal perspective, which inspires you to improve education and can underpin your innovation. Furthermore, you will learn in each module how to conduct (participative) action research in order to sustainable innovate and we pay attention to your personal professional development. 

We provide online distance learning and we encourage regular online meetings with your fellow students and lecturers. Every year there is an on-campus seminar of 2 weeks, which is held at Driestar Christian University, located in Gouda, the Netherlands. During your two-week stay you will meet the learning community of students and lecturers and you will have the opportunity to visit schools and gain teaching practice in Dutch schools. Participation in the on-campus seminars is compulsory.

Module 1: What is Christian Education: A Practices Approach

  • Philosophy of Christian education. Starting from observations of the practice of Christian education in the Netherlands, the student will be introduced to views on Christian education. We will also reflect on current developments in education, their roots and their applications, such as constructivism and performativity, and challenges of present-day thinkers: Martha Nussbaum, Noddings, Biesta.
  • ‘Practices’ Approach to Christian education. A proper vision of Christian education only makes sense when it can be observed in practice, therefore we will study the practice-oriented approach of Christian education as introduced by Smith & Smith, 2009. This module will help participants to enrich their practice (or the practices they serve) with insights of Christian pedagogy. How can a teacher make his/her teaching distinguished as Christian? 

Module 2: Religious and Moral Education from a Christian Perspective

  • Pedagogical and Educational Approaches of Religious Education. There are different perspectives on the aims and methods of Religious Education, character formation and citizenship. There is always a context to understand, either the anthropology of the teacher, the development stages of a child, the cultural context of a child, school and society, or whatever else.
  • Formation of Christian committed character. Christian Formation isn’t an isolated educational process, but a process that interacts with a lot of actors and factors that are of influence and therefore can be used to achieve the goal of Christian Education. This module builds further on the concepts of the first content strand about the insights of Christian pedagogy.
  • Religious Atmosphere and Teacher’s Calling. The context of culture and religious atmosphere influence religious education. Also, the actions of Christian educators depend on their interpretations of some anthropological issues relevant for education (Imago Dei, Sin, Redemption, the Christian image of God and The Kingdom of God). Although we desire all pupils to become Christians, there is the concern that transmitting content does not guarantee the formation of committed Christian graduates or of Christian characters. We end with a framework of a biblical view of the teacher as a person and their knowledge, Christian identity, spirituality and way of walking with God in the Classroom. 

Module 3: Christian Leadership, Ethos, Curriculum and Development in Education

  • Innovation and change in education. Theory and practice of school development. Lessons will be drawn from organizational change theories and its application to Christian Education.
  • Curriculum development. How to shape and improve the curriculum of your school. We will learn from traditional principles and from the latest developments such as ‘gamification’, the use of smart boards, flipped classroom and distance learning. We reflect on educational sciences from a Christian perspective.
  • Leadership and quality assurance. How do you deal with government standards? How do you give account to parents and school boards? 

Module 4: Transforming Society: Social Justice, Diversity and Tolerance in Christian Education

  • Agents of social change. In many countries Christian educators have a strong desire for more justice in their society. We will reflect on the role schools and individual educators have as agents of social change. From the perspective of world citizenship education we will see that this matters for all teachers, whether they live in developing countries or not.
  • Biblical principles of social justice, equality and hospitality. We firstly try to understand the impact sin, injustice and violence is having on students and their families. The biblical concepts of ‘Kingdom of God’, ‘justice’, and ‘shalom’ will be at the foreground. Secondly, we try to understand the biblical principles of social justice, equality and hospitality.
  • Practical insights. We will derive practical insights from the Christian anthropology of inclusiveness and diversity, the idea of hospitality and ideas on special needs students and inclusive education.

Credits / Certificate

We offer you credits for the modules according to the Bologna system (the European Credits Transfer System, ECTS). For each successfully completed module you will receive 15 ECTS credits (on average, one credit requires 28 hours of study).

After successfully completing the Master’s programme you will receive a Certificate and you will be allowed to use the title of Master of Education (60 ECTS).

The modules are structured within three strands that each contribute to the module’s theme:

  • The content strand involves theological, philosophical and historical sources on Christian education, with reference to current debates in education.
  • The innovation/research strand is about developing innovations within your own context based on practice-oriented research or action research.
  • The personal professional development strand is a tutorship aimed to guide you in your current role in your institution with regard to educational innovation and integrating knowledge and practice.
The master’s programme on Christian Education is a specialized track of the general Master's in Learning and Innovation. The objective of this Master's is that you become a Teacher leader. Teacher leaders are teachers with a vision of good quality education who develop and implement new practices. Teacher leaders work together with colleagues to introduce innovations and they can share their innovations with others. Teacher leaders innovate because they believe in doing good, justice and shalom.
  1. Teacher leaders are teachers with a vision of good quality education
    Teacher leaders are professional leaders with a mind set to learning in their own teaching/educational practice. They have a well-founded view on good quality education, based on knowledge of (cultural) historical and philosophical sources, academic literature, specialist literature and practice-oriented research in their own practice.  
  2. Teacher leaders develop and implement new practices
    Teacher leaders develop new practices (innovations) that contribute to good education. They first do this on a small scale in their own teaching/educational practice and then by involving others in their innovations.  
  3. Teacher leaders work together with colleagues to innovate
    Teacher leaders work together with colleagues to implement innovations and research these by means of practice-oriented research. Teacher leaders actively contribute to their organization’s policies. To do this, teacher leaders use innovation expertise.  
  4. Teacher leaders can share their innovations
    Teacher leaders demonstrate and share their innovations and the practical knowledge they have gathered, systemized and, through research, critically reflected on for the use of others.

Courses will be taught by several excellent lecturers from Driestar Christian University for Teacher Education for Teacher education. Also, an international team of professors from around the world is involved, including:

  • Professor John Choi (South Korea);
  • Professor Trevor Cooling (United Kingdom);
  • Professor Pavel Hanes (Slovakia);
  • Professor Dana Hanesová (Slovakia);
  • Julie McGonigle (United Kingdom) and
  • Professor Bram de Muynck (the Netherlands).
Also, several excellent lecturers from Driestar Christian University are involved.
On average you need 20 hours a week for your study. Based on the experiences of our alumni, we strongly encourage you to at least reserve Tuesdays for your study.
The dates of the on-campus seminar in academic years 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 will be available on October 1 (2021) at latest.  

Registration will be open on October 1 (2021).
These fees are for the course only and exclude any living and accommodation costs.
    Fee Potential grants
Single module:   € 1.997,- per module Erasmus+
Multiple modules:      
I am from the EU and have no Master's degree in education Tuition fee per year regardless of number of modules € 2.168,- per year Lerarenbeurs (for Dutch teachers) 
I am from the EU and have a Master's degree in education Institutional tuition fee per year, regardless of number of modules € 6.415,- per year Erasmus+
I am not from the EU Institutional tuition fee for two years € 6.415,- per year Holland Scholarship 
  Completed within four years 15 credits per year (equal to one module) € 1.997,- per year (equal to one module) Holland Scholarship 

* If you cannot complete your study in two year, you have to pay for the additional months. This amount is in proportion to the annual amount.

You can read more about the living costs for international students here.

Funding your study

At some point, most students in the Netherlands encounter the Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs, commonly known as DUO. This organisation is mostly known for providing students with student finance and the student travel product. Depending on residency status, course registration and age, international students can also get funding from DUO. You can find all information about the requirements and the amounts on DUO’s website for international students.

After your studies

Congratulations on completing our master's in Learning and Innovation - Christian Education track. We are looking forward to what you will achieve in your daily work practice. Even though you have completed your studies, you are still welcome to visit our university. We would love to stay in touch and are excited to hear how you apply your knowledge in your work. Are you interested in using your newly-found expertise to further improve our education? Please let us know, we are now shaping Christian education together.


We hope we provided enough information for you to decide whether or not to apply for this master's programme. If not, don't hesitate to contact us! If you want to apply, please follow the link below.

Take me to the application form!

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