Module IV, Amsterdam – Cologne

Amsterdam/Netherlands and Cologne/Germany
September 30 – October 8, 2012


Human history is a history of migration. Over the ages, danger, need and curiosity have prompted people to leave their countries of origin in search of security, livelihood and fulfilment. Many also migrated for religious reasons; the journey without return is a deep religious symbol that can be found in the Bible and Qur’an.
Today sizeable communities of Muslim migrants live in many European countries. How do they deal with living in societies where many of the norms are different  from their own religious and cultural backgrounds? How can they become active and accepted citizens of this new homeland without losing their heritage?

The module

  • analyses why people migrate and how host communities react to them
  • includes study and interpretation of stories of migration in the holy books
  • fosters understanding of the difficulties of developing concepts of “integration”
  • explores new ways of dealing with cultural and religious differences.


The module emphasizes the “encuentro” method of learning. Problems are analysed by interacting with people at all levels (civic and religious authorities, people directly affected by the problem, etc.) and by learning to look at the issue from many perspectives. To do this, the module introduces a variety of creative didactic methods.


The module explores new initiatives and models of integration in Amsterdam and Cologne. The group stays in the Dominican Monastery in Huissen, Netherlands. From there it visits migrant communities and projects in Cologne and Amsterdam. Both cities are home to people of many different cultures and religions.


The Netherlands: Dominican Study Centre for Theology and Society (DSTS), Dominikanenklooster, Oecumenische Vrouwensynode (Organisation of Christian Women), Al Nisa (Organisation of Muslim Women).

Germany: Melanchton-Academy Cologne/Centre for Islamic Women’s Research and Encouragement (ZIF).


The Netherlands:
DSTS, Nieuwe Herengracht 18, NL-1018 DP Amsterdam
Tel: +3120-6235721, E-mail:

ZIF, P.O. Box 520362, D-50952 Cologne
Tel: +49-221-3686467, E-mail:

de_vries_geertjeDr. Geertje de Vries works currently as lecturer at Inholland University Amsterdam, department of Theology. She is also an ordained minister in the Protestant Church of the Netherlands. She teaches classes of students for imam training, pastoral work and teachers in religious education. Her field of expertise is gender studies, art and religion and practical theology.


vande_wetering_stellaDr. Stella van de Wetering graduatied in Arabic language and Arabic Islamic culture. Her fields of expertise are Arabic Language, Gender and Islamic Theology and Interreligious Dialogue. Currently, she is lecturer at VU University, Centre of Islamic Education (CIT) and InHolland University Amsterdam, Department of Theology. Dr. van de Wetering teaches the following courses: Islam and religious education, imam training and pastoral work as part of the teacher training programme in these institutions.

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