Scientific education in the field of Theology and Religious Studies is characterized by a tense relationship between scientific detachment on the one hand and personal ideological commitment on the other. The academy has a duty to deliver students to society who are thoroughly trained and academically ready for an international academic career. These same students are also expected to be involved in their own religious tradition, being able to function as faithful and believing pastors. To be adequate in this role, they need to be equipped with all the knowledge and skills necessary in this particular religious group. It is not
always easy to reach that goal within an academic context. Normative beliefs and academic descriptions, involvement and distance continuously run into one another. Moreover, personal involvement can come under pressure as a result of scientific detachment. This is, for example, the case if students from an orthodox or conservative background participate in a research course about text critics and, as a result, come to doubt their own scriptures. At the same time, a personal commitment to a religious or spiritual tradition can get in the way of a scientific analysis and a scientific attitude towards that tradition. This happens if students refuse to examine, for example, evolutionary approaches to religion, arguing that evolution theory cannot be combined with their religious beliefs. Education in Theology and Religious Studies should ensure both scientific detachment and the personal attachment to one’s own tradition.