Information for international students

Information for international students

Studying theology in The Netherlands
Theological University of Apeldoorn


This is an introduction to the Dutch Theological University of Apeldoorn. Graduates of this university are currently employed as ministers and lecturers in various countries worldwide. Both foreign as well as Dutch students find the experience of studying at this university to be enriching and worthwhile.
Foreign students must be prepared to invest in a long-term stay in the Netherlands. A major reason that theological students choose to study at the Theological University of Apeldoorn is the reformed tradition in the Netherlands and the scholarly content of the study programs.
This page is intended as a source of information for those interested in studying at this university. In compiling the information, we have aimed to be as clear as possible about what students can expect from these programs and what is expected of a student.

You are welcome to study here, provided that …

As a large number of foreign students show interest in the study programs and because the combination of reformed tradition with academic level studies are held in high regard, this folder also contains information related to this. The university only accepts motivated and qualified students, in order to avoid disappointment on both sides. Students who choose to study in Apeldoorn can expect to receive excellent guidance and support. Expert lecturers teach a wide range of theological subjects in a thorough and serious manner. For this reason, all applications are evaluated individually to ensure there is sufficient capacity  to provide the graduate or doctoral student with guidance in specific disciplines.  Therefore the question whether the applicant primarily intends to serve his or her church is essential, as studying facilities in Apeldoorn are geared towards such intentions and not personal ambition. If this is the case, we are very happy to inform you about how you can enrol for an advanced study in Apeldoorn.

The financial side is another important aspect of your study

Pursuing your studies in the Netherlands is rather expensive. Besides study costs (e.g. tuition fees, books) you have to pay for (amongst other things) a residence permit, housing, food, insurance and transport.
The total amount a single student will need is approximately € 20,000 (!) per year. If a spouse is coming along, an additional sum of € 4,500 will be needed, and for each child € 1,500 should be budgeted.
This budget should be transferred to: NL 96 ABNA 044 72 69518. The BIC number is ABNANL2A.
The Theological University of Apeldoorn will reserve a sum for the return journey, and the budget minus return costs will be divided into a monthly allowance, paid to the student. The first payment on arrival will be 1.5 times the monthly allowance, to allow students to settle in and pay initial costs. Students are advised to take some cash money with them, so as to bridge the time between arrival and establishment of a bank account. Under ordinary circumstances, advances on the monthly allowance are not made.

Table: Monthly allowance

  Student Partner Per child
Budget, paid in advance € 20,000 € 4,500 € 1,500
Reserved for return ticket € 1,000 € 1,000 € 1,000
Total to be paid back € 19,000 € 3,500 € 500
On September 1st € 2,280 € 310 € 60
On October 1st € 1,520 € 290 € 40
(monthly, until) On August 1st € 1,520 € 290 € 40

Note: On departure, the remaining money will be transferred to the student.

The Dutch Government requires that all international students, including PhD candidates, have at their disposal sufficient funds during their entire study in the Netherlands. Therefore you have to be able to provide a financial plan showing that you have a real source of income during your stay in the Netherlands (e.g. living; stipend; church support; personal support).
Furthermore, the TUA requests you to sign an agreement to the effect that, should you fail to sufficiently finance your studies, you will leave the university and return to your home country.

There is one scholarship available every year for a student who comes to study at TUA from abroad. Click here to get more information about this NL Scholarship (former Holland Scholarship).

Theology in Apeldoorn

Since 1894 the Theological University of Apeldoorn has been fulfilling its historical mission to educate ministers for the Christian Reformed Churches in the Netherlands. The university has developed into an institute for theological studies and research, which also benefits those outside the Christian Reformed Church, both in the Netherlands and abroad. The philosophy of the university is based on the authority of God’s Word, and the university strives to combine the Reformation and the Reformed confession with the realities of church and society in the 21st century.
The university numbers more than 100 students, in addition to three professors, two assistant professors, thirteen lecturers, and a support staff of seven. The university is affiliated with the Institute for Reformation Research.

Bachelor’s and Master’s Programs

The Theological University of Apeldoorn offers both bachelor’s and master’s programs as part of its curriculum. Both  are three-year programs. The bachelor’s phase is a broad study program focusing on essential academic skills. The biblical languages and Latin are also covered. The master’s phase offers the possibility to specialize in a specific area of theology. In addition, both phases include vocational elements.

Enrolment Procedure

If you wish to enrol as a foreign student, you will need to submit the following:
1.   An application which includes the following:
- A letter showing your motivation for studying in Apeldoorn.
- A declaration of agreement with the Reformed confession
- Information on your prior theological education (i.e. when and where it took place).
- Information on how you plan to meet your financial obligations in the Netherlands
- Information on your family situation.
- A declaration of agreement with the conditions laid down by the Theological University of Apeldoorn.
- One or two papers, written in English and of an academic level, that indicate your level skill, preferable no more than 5 years old.

2.   A declaration from the university or seminary where you have studied which explains:
- Why the church in your native country, or the institute where you are currently studying, feels it is important for you to study in Apeldoorn
- Your study results in the past and how you functioned personally during your studies.

Once you have satisfied the above requirements, the Examination Board will evaluate your enrolment against the Nuffic regulations and admit you as a student for one year. All students must re-enrol every year. In determining whether to admit a student for the following academic year, the re-enrolment application will be evaluated on the basis of the student's progress. Re-enrolment is at the discretion of the Theological University of Apeldoorn.

Enrolment and Language Requirements

Prior to commencing their studies, all students must master the Dutch language. An NT 2 certificate is required for admission to the universities (‘Dutch for foreign speakers’; Babel, P.O. Box 80148, 3508 TC UTRECHT, Netherlands,

A grasp of the English language is also required. To this end, students are required to take the TOEFL test in their home country, scoring no less than 79/213.
- As a rule, students majoring in church history or systematic theology must have a sufficient knowledge of Latin. It is essential that students majoring in Old or New Testament studies have a good command of biblical Hebrew or New Testament Greek, respectively.  An adequate knowledge of English and German is expected of all students, in order to be able to read theological books in these languages.

Please keep in mind that a transition to life in the Netherlands, including adaptation to Dutch culture and mastering the Dutch language, requires considerable time and effort.

Most foreign students adhere to the following timeline:
- Arrival in January, followed by a period in which you become familiar with the Netherlands and the Dutch language. This phase usually ends with obtaining the NT 2 diploma. (The Dutch immigration authorities (IND) require institutions to keep track of and report on students’ progress on an annual basis. All preparatory education should be successfully completed within one year.)
- In accordance with the regulations of the Dutch immigration authorities (IND), you will be afforded at most one year to learn Dutch, after which you are expected to obtain your single year’s Master’s degree within two years. Any delay beyond this timetable means you (and your family) will need to return to your native country.
- In consultation with the professor in charge of the intended major program a selection is made of classes and activities in which you participate as part of the process of settling down in the university community.
- The teaching staff, taking into account a proposal from the professor in charge of the intended major program, will determine which additional requirements you must meet, if any, before you are allowed to take part in the general study program. Your studies' progress will be reviewed annually.

More information

The student himself is responsible for financing his studies and finding suitable accommodation. The university cannot offer support in financial matters, in locating appropriate accomodations, nor in the storage of personal effects or furniture. Asking local churches for financial support is not allowed under any circumstances. You may, however, ask local churches for assistance in taking out insurances, making arrangements for your children's education, locating local shops, etc.

A Bachelor or Master student originating from outside the Netherlands will pay the full tuition fee, which amounts to € 6,225 for the academic year of 2022/2023. A PhD student from outside the Netherlands will pay annually a tuition fee of € 675,- for 2022/2023.

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.

Theologische Universiteit van de Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland
Wilhelminapark 4
The Netherlands
Phone: + 31 (0) 55 577 5700
Fax: + 31 (0) 55 522 6339

Important websites

Code of conduct (and see this document)

Netherlands Immigration Authorities

The Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education


Code of conduct

Legal protection

Explanation about the Code of conduct