AMSTERDAM – Dr. Hans Riphagen (38) has been appointed rector of the Baptist Seminary in Amsterdam as of September 1. This was announced on June 16th during a general assembly of the Union of Baptist Churches in the Netherlands and the Alliance of Baptist and CAMA* Churches. The Baptist Seminary is the theological training centre for these two denominations that are currently in the process of merging.
Riphagen, who obtained his PhD at the Vrie Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands (VU University) on June 9th, for his thesis 'Church-in-the-Neighbourhood', has been working as a lecturer in Practical Theology and Liturgy at the Seminary since 2018. “I look forward to continue building our beautiful Seminarium, a small-scale training institute that focuses on quality,” Riphagen said during the assembly. He will succeed Teun van der Leer, who has been the Seminary’s former rector from 2007-2019. The president of the new church fellowship, Robert Bezemer states: “In Hans Riphagen we see a rector with a heart for people, research, education and the community. Important for the future of the Seminary is that Hans already has a broad network in academic theology and at the same time is at home in the world of Baptist congregations. This offers a number of opportunities to involve local churches in the work of the Seminary. We are proud of this appointment and of the strong, professional team of teachers active within the Seminary's learning community.”
Future Plans Riphagen started working for the Union of Baptist Churches in 2010 as Mission Coordinator. Later he combined that job with teaching. He studied theology at the Christelijke Hogeschool Ede and at the VU University in Amsterdam. The future rector aims to pursue close connections with the church fellowship: “Our students gain experience through internships, exposure visits and research assignments, while vice versa the churches benefit from this. As a Seminary our core task is the formation of students into resilient leaders and theologians who live and show the path of faith in Jesus Christ. At the same time, we want to make relevant contributions to evangelical and Baptistic theology in the Netherlands and internationally. A key word in our Seminary is ‘inquisitiveness’: a curiosity for the relevant questions of today, rooted in and nourished by the sources of the Bible and the faith tradition.” Finally, the cooperation with other organisations also has Riphagen's full attention. “The future of theology requires working together. We do this with the VU University, the International Baptist Theological Study Center, and various other partner institutions. It is a challenging time for the church: Overall we face decline, and above that, we are confronted with the consequences of the covid pandemic. I draw hope from the thought of the mustard seed; that God's kingdom begins and happens in small things. That is precisely why we can be hopeful, praying and studying along the way.” END OF PRESS RELEASE
For more information, please contact the Union’s president Robert Bezemer, tel. +31 6-48674212 or email@example.com, or Hans Riphagen, tel. +31 6-33186651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*CAMA - Christian and Missionary Alliance
Gerdien Karssen-de Zwart, Communications Officer of the Union of Baptist Churches in the Netherlands - June 24, 2021