Theo Pleizier

Theo Pleizier

Assistant Professor of Practical Theology

Protestant Theological University

About me

As an assistant professor of Practical Theology I teach Pastoral Care and Homiletics at the Protestant Theological University in Groningen, The Netherlands. I contribute to the international program ‘Missional Communities’. My research interests include soulcare, spirituality and preaching. I coordinate the (Dutch) post-doctoral program ‘Societas Doctorum Ecclesiae’ of the PThU, a program that stimulates PhD-graduated theologians employed outside the university in doing academic research. I am international secretary of Societas Homiletica.

From 2007-2015 I served as parish minister in the Protestant Church in the Netherlands two congregations in The Netherlands, Langerak ZH (2007-2012) and Dirksland (2012-2015).


  • Pastoral Care
  • Military Chaplaincy
  • Parish Ministry
  • Preaching


  • PhD in Theology, 2010

    Protestant Theological University, Utrecht

  • MA in Theology, 2001

    Utrecht University

Recent Posts


The Return of the Soul in Pastoral Ministry

A reassessment of the soul as central idea in pastoral care theory and practice.

Pastoral Care - Facts and Figures

NCLS (Church Life Survey) gathers large datasets from a wide array of perspectives from Christian communities. In this project I design a module on pastoral care in parishes to study quantitative data on the type of pastoral care that is offered in congregations and how pastoral care is evaluated by respondents. NCLS is an Australian research model.

Spiritual Formation in Parish Pastoral Care

This international project develops and researches a method for spiritual formation in pastoral care in the parish. The project is a collaborative effort with practical-theologians from Australia, Scotland, South-Africa and The United States. I respresent the Northern European context.

Societas Doctorum Ecclesiae

SDE is a special post-doctoral project at the PThU. Theologians outside the university (such as church ministers holding a PhD) co-author scholarly articles with faculty members of the PThU. The program is recognised as continuing education program in the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. The program is currently in Dutch. I coordinate the project.

Military Chaplaincy | Case Studies Project

The aim of the Dutch Case Studies Project is to produce and evaluate case studies that can aid in the identification of good practices in chaplaincy care. I contribute to the project by co-leading the researh community for Military Chaplaincy.

Recent Publications

for publications in Dutch

On the Construction of Religious Texts. The Case of Writing a Catechism

Religious texts represent a specific rhetorical genre. What does it mean to construct these texts? In order to answer this question we reflect upon our experience of co-authoring a religious text, the Ordinary Catechism (Gewone Catechismus), published in 2019. The findings …

Comparing Multiple Case Studies of (Military) Chaplaincy Care: Methodological Issues

[…] In the military chaplaincy research community that we are both involved in as researchers, the issue of case comparison emerged while discussing single cases. This research community consists of six military chaplains, working in multiple contexts of the Dutch …

Do Military Chaplains Preach? Exploring Sermons for Soldiers by Protestant Military Chaplains in the Dutch Army

This paper provides an introduction to the study of the sermons of military chaplains based on 10 sermons by Army and Navy chaplains within the context of peacekeeping missions. Three concepts emerge from these data, focusing upon the homiletical activity of military …

Legal Euthanasia in Pastoral Practice: Experiences of Pastors in the Protestant Church in the Netherlands

This representative survey amongst 653 ministers in the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) maps their experiences and views with regard to euthanasia. We found that three-quarters of the ministers have experience with euthanasia requests from their parishioners. …

Predigen erinnert Gott an sein erstes Wort. Homiletische Überlegungen zu einer Predigt von Martin Luther

Jedes Jahr beginne ich den Kurs Feiern und Predigen (Vieren en preken) innerhalb der Pfarrerausbildung an der Protestantse Theologische Universiteit mit der Predigt von Martin Luther über die Kanaänitische Frau nach Matthäus 15. Luther predigte häufiger über diese Perikope, …