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Global Christianity


Admission requirements

This course is open to all students with an academic interest in the subject matter.

Students Religiewetenschappen can enroll for this course only after successful completion of the course 'Christendom: de Basics'.


In 1900, Christianity was primarily a Western religion, with over 80 percent of Christians living in Europe or North America. Today, however, Christianity is a truly global religion, with over 60 percent of Christians living in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The course will introduce students to this seismic shift and help develop a broad competence and understanding of Christianity as a diverse, polycentric, and lived religion that spans the globe and remains highly influential in the twenty-first century.

Alongside a regional survey and analysis of Christianity throughout the globe, the course is enriched with detailed case studies from each region, providing an in-depth and textured understanding of the processes, patterns, and impact of localised expressions of Christianity. The course will also engage the following prominent issues and concepts: secularisation, globalisation, post-colonialism, transnationalism, migration, ethnicity, race, violence, sex, and gender. Given the interdisciplinary nature of global Christianity, multiple methodological disciplines and theoretical approaches will be explored, including anthropology, sociology, history, economics, and political science.

Course objectives

Each student who completes the course will:

  • Develop a broad competence and understanding of Christianity as a diverse, polycentric, and lived religion in the following cultural regions: Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Europe, Central and South Asia, Western Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, Latin America, North America, and Oceania.

  • Develop an interdisciplinary approach to Global Christianity that takes into account anthropological, sociological, historical, economical, and political methods and theories.

  • Acquire a factual knowledge of the four major traditions of Christianity: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Pentecostal/Charismatic.

  • Be able to explain the major trends and future trajectory of Christianity as a global religion.

Transferable Skills

  • Develop interdisciplinary skills by critically combining anthropological, sociological, historical, economical, and political methods and theories.

  • Develop critical skills of analyzing complex global patterns by using qualitative and quantitative data and comparing the data with prominent theories (e.g. globalization, urbanization, feminist, postcolonial, etc.).

  • Develop written communication skills such as writing reports and short essay responses.

  • Gain basic practical fieldwork skills such as: ‘gaining access’ to communities, taking fieldnotes, and conducting informal interviews.


Timetable Religiewetenschappen

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total Course Load: 5EC’s x 28 hours = 140 hours

  • Attending class sessions: 13 sessions x 2 hours = 26 hours

  • Reading assigned texts: c. 400 pages at 7 pages/hour = 58 hours

  • Writing reading reports: 13 hours

  • Field Visit and Field Report = 18 hours

  • Preparing for exam: 25 hours

Assessment method

The final mark will be determined as a weighted average of three marks:

  1. Field Visit and Field Report: 20%
  2. Reading Reports: 20%
  3. Exam with a combination of closed questions, short open questions, and essay questions: 60%

NOTE: to pass the course, students must score at least a 4 on each assignment and a minimum weighted average of 5.5 for the final grade.


Students who have participated in all elements of the course, but scored an overall insufficient mark are entitled to a resit. For the field report and reading reports, students will be given a chance to hand in new versions. For the exam, students will be given a chance to resit the exam at the end of the semester.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


The course makes use of Blackboard the following ways: (1) all communication will take place via Blackboard; (2) additional information about the course will be available via Blackboard; and (3) assignments must be submitted via Blackboard.

Reading list

Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

The Next Christendom (2011 version) will be the primary textbook used for the course and is available as an e-book via the university library catalogue.

Additional readings will be made available via Blackboard.


Students are required to register through uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Dr.C.L. Williams


The course is taught in English, but the field report, mid-term exam, and final exam may be written in Dutch.