Gerdien Bertram-Troost

Project Co-leader


I am Assistant Professor of Religious Education both at the Faculty of Theology and the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 


After my study Educational- and Developmental Psychology (cum laude) at Leiden University I became a phd student at Stichting Hendrik Piersonleerstoel for Christian Education at the educational department of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. I completed my PhD study on religious identity development of adolescents in secondary education in 2006. Subsequently I participated in a European Research on Religion in Education (REDCo[g1] ) as a post doc researcher on behalf of the educational department of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Based on this European project many books on (pupils and teachers views on) religion in education and religious diversity both in education and in society are published by Waxmann (Münster).

After the REDCo project I attained a position as Assistant Professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences. From 2012 onwards I’ve also held a position at the Faculty of Theology. In commission of Verus[g2]  (In the past ‘Besturenraad’), the national organisation for Catholic and Christian education, she carried out several (empirical) researches focussing on parents, pupils and/or teachers in Christian schools (both primary and secondary). On the basis of this cooperation the Verus-VU-Research position for Religious Education was founded in september 2015. Since then, I have been holder of this research position.

In my leisure time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, walking in nature and reading.

Areas of expertise

Religious education, citizenship education, diversity, empirical educational studies.


My main research interests lie in the fields of education, (developmental) psychology, theology, and their overlap. As a national organisation for Catholic and Christian education Verus aims to contribute to good education. Therefore a vision on what is ultimately important is needed, leading to questions on origin of life, identity and spirituality. A key point of particular interest is the question on the role and shape of religious education. Reflections on religious education form an integrated whole with questions on the aims of education and the question what good education is and how it can be given shape in relation to characteristics of specific age groups. These questions need to be dealt with within the context of our current diverse culture and society. Questions on ‘good education’ and the possible role of religious education in good education do not stand apart.

For the project on wonderful education, I will deploy my expertise with empirical studies within the context of education and my network within (denominational) education. I am curious to see to what extent the concept of ‘wonder’ plays a role in today’s primary education and whether, especially for denominational schools and pupils with a religious background, the concept of ‘wonder’ is also linked to religious notions.

Selected publications

  • Bertram-Troost, G.D.,  C. Kom, I. ter Avest & S. Miedema. (2015) A Catalogue of Protestant. Primary Schools in the Secular Age. Results of an Empirical Project in the Netherlands (2015), Religion & Education, 40, 2, 202-217.
  • Bertram-Troost, G.D., Miedema, S. (2017). Fostering religious  tolerance in Education. The dutch Perspective. In: Ganzevoort, R. and Sremac, S. (eds). Lived religion and the politics of (in)tolerance. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 237-257.
  • Bertram-Troost, G.D., Van der Kooij, J.,Miedema, S, Versteegt, I. en Van Nes, I. (2017). Inspiration, motivation and worldview. Teachers in Dutch secondary education. In: Heimbrock, H.G. (ed.). Taking position. Waxmann: Münster/New York/München/Berlin, pp. 157-180.
  • Bertram-Troost, G.D., Miedema, S. (2017). Parental Choice and Changing Christian School   Identity. In: Hiatt-Michael, D.B. (ed.). Family Involvement in Faith-Based Schools, Information Age Publishing: Charlotte, NC, 149-165.
  • Minnaar-Kuiper, E., Bertram-Troost, G.D. (accepted). Dutch non-affiliated pre-vocational Pupils, their Worldview and Religious Education. British Journal of Religious Education. 


Additional information