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Research interests

Many lay people nowadays connect themselves with the spiritualties of the Catholic Church through ‘New Ecclesial Movements’ (NEMs) or movements associated with established religious orders and institutes. Several theologians have reflected on these movements, pointing to their significance as well as the issues they raise. One observation frequently made is their universal attractiveness to young people. This goes for Dutch young people as well. Though often having disappeared from the parish pews and therefore difficult to reach for youth ministers and volunteers, they are found in New Ecclesial Movements. This phenomenon propels further inquiry.

How do New Ecclesial Movements practice youth ministry? Who are the young people that are coming? What are they looking for and experiencing?

My project involves qualitative-descriptive research regarding the youth ministry of (Dutch branches of) three New Ecclesial Movements. I am doing three consecutive case studies focusing on each movement’s youth ministry organization and content: activities, presence of relational ministry, spiritual direction and/or pastoral care, and theological concepts or catechesis -- both from the viewpoints of the people organizing it and the young people participating in it. In each case, I will answer my research questions by exploring written resources, doing in-depth interviews, and making participant-observations.

In order to understand and reflect on the theological meaning of New Ecclesial Movements’ youth ministry, it is important to place my research in the theoretical context of the Theology of Youth and Youth Ministry. Its scientific study is a new phenomenon, advanced by organizations such as the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry, and very relevant for the future of the Catholic Church.



Dec 2014 - PhD Student Tilburg University, School of Catholic Theology

2012-2013 Post-Graduate Education Clinical Psychology - Institute for the Psychological Sciences, Arlington VA, USA (GPA 3.96)

2010-2012 Master of Science Clinical Psychology - Institute for the Psychological Sciences, Arlington VA, USA (GPA 3.98)

2007-2010 Bachelor of Arts Theology with Minor Faith and Culture - Tilburg University, School of Catholic Theology (cum laude)

2006-2007 1st year Bachelor of Science Psychology - Maastricht University (cum laude)

1999-2005 VWO Gymnasium - SG. St. Ursula, Horn, the Netherlands (cum laude)


2012-2013 Junior Clinical Extern at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences Training Clinic in Arlington VA, USA (Providing psychotherapy, psychological assessments and consultations to children, adolescents and adults in an outpatient setting. Partaking in classes and supervision, giving presentations)

2011-2012 Assistant to the Director of Admissions and Promotions (IPS, Arlington VA USA)

2010-2011 Front Desk Assistant (IPS, Arlington VA USA)

2010 Student Assistant to the Dean (Tilburg University, School of Catholic Theology)

Academic Scholarships

IASYM Elective Research Paper Grant "Science and Youth Ministry Stream" (2017)

Marian Foundation Scholarship for IASYM Conference Sydney (2016)

United States Council of Catholic Bishops Dpt. of Catholic Education Grant (2012-2013)

Dean's Scholarship Institute for the Psychological Sciences (2011-2012)

Excellence Scholarship Tilburg University (2010-2011) 


2016-2018 Member PhD Council Tilburg School of Catholic Theology

2016 - Member of the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry (IASYM)

2016 - Pastoral Coach / Spiritual Counselor

2015 - Member of the Netherlands School for Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion (NOSTER)

2013-2015 Member Archdiocesan Youth Platform Utrecht

2010-2013 Student Affiliate American Psychological Association (APA)

2008-2010 Student Member Faculty Council Tilburg School of Catholic Theology

2007-2009 Program Committee Member Dutch Catholic Youth Day

2006- Music Minister and Core Team Member Life Teen Netherlands (parochial/national)

2005-2006 Team Member NET Ministries (St. Paul MN, USA)


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