Prof. Dr. R. Ruard Ganzevoort


Ruard Ganzevoort was born in 1965 in a liberal reformed family in the Netherlands. With his parents, siblings, and occasional foster children, he lived in several places in his home country and Surinam, South America. Activism (human rights, ecology, anti-war) was always part of their family life. A spiritual search from age 14 brought him into contact with (among others) Hare Krishna devotees and Youth for Christ. The latter offered him a spiritual home for several years, but he has always remained open to a wide variety of spiritual traditions, including for example the African-Surinamese Winti-religion.

Interested in many possible careers, he ended up studying theology and becoming a minister in one of the smaller reformed denominations in the Netherlands. He served three congregations and was elected on the board of the national synod. Meanwhile he had earned his Ph.D. with a research project on the function and change of faith in crisis situations. In 1996 he was appointed assistant-professor (associate from 2001) of practical theology at Kampen Theological University, the Netherlands. In 2005 he became full professor of practical theology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA), supplemented by a temporary position as professor of theology at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Since 2017 he is dean of the Faculty of Religion and Theology of VUA and since 2019 also Chief Diversity Officer of the university. He is past president of the International Academy of Practical Theology and the International Society for Empirical Research in Theology and served/serves on the board of several organizations in research, education, and social care. His research includes topics like religious coping, sexual diversity, popular culture, trauma, violence, and forgiveness, and so on. His publications include some 20 (co-)authored or (co-)edited books, among whichAdam en Evert’(Adam and Steve) on the tensions between Christianity and homosexuality (see  website above for full details). He lectured and taught at any conferences and with institutions on all continents except Antarctica. Since 2011 Ganzevoort is also a Senator in the Dutch parliament, where he contributes to debates on a.o., religion and society, anti-discrimination, LGBT-issues, education.

Ganzevoort is the father of six sons (one deceased) from a sixteen-year marriage and a grandfather to five. Following his coming-out and subsequent divorce in 2001, he was married for 13 years with his partner Marc, which led to him being defrocked in 2005. Together they ran a hotel for eight years and were involved in the yearly LGBT-festival Midzomergracht in Utrecht, the Netherlands. After Marc’s passing away in 2016, he lives together with an Indonesian Muslim partner.

(This biographical statement provided by Ruard Ganzevoort.)

Biography Date: July, 2010; rev. August 2021

Additional Resources


Reformed (Netherlands) | Author/editor | Theology | Netherlands


“Prof. Dr. R. Ruard Ganzevoort | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed April 24, 2024, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/r-ruard-ganzevoort.


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