Speelman, Dr. H. A. (Herman)

Onderzoeker/Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Herman Speelman

Tel. +31(0)38 333 58 64
E-mail: haspeelman[at]tukampen.nl

Functions and Areas of Interest

Function and Areas of Interest

Senior researcher in the research group Early Modern Reformed Theology
Areas of Interest: Calviniana en Melanchthoniana

Research Programme

  1. The Development of Disciplina in the Context of Genevan Confessions Period: it concerns a combination of five confessional texts from 1557 untill 1562 from Calvin on the one hand, and a scientific study to the origins and the effect of what is sometimes called the third characteristic of the church on the other. 
  2. Investigation into Content and Impact of Melanchthon’s Unterricht der visitatoren.
  3. The Reformers and the Liturgy of the Hours.
  • An edition within the Scripta Ecclesiastica of Calvin's Ioannis Calvini opera omnia recognita (COR).
  • Monograph concerning disciplina with Calvin and the later effects in the Netherlands.
  • Monograph concerning Melanchthon's Onderricht to ministers.
  • Monograph concerning the Reformed vision on the Liturgy of the Hours.
  • Calvin and the Independence of the Church; Calvin’s Confession.


In 1980, I graduated with a degree in theology from the Free University in Amsterdam, focusing on philosophy and systematic theology. During my degree, I spent time in Dordt College in Iowa, USA as well. During my graduate studies from 1990-1993, I specialized in church history.

Besides working as a pastor in many congregations of the Christian Reformed Churches over the past 35 years, I also served as an army chaplain for a year. Previously, I was a dean at International Theological Institute and have taught courses in symbolism at this Institution for distance education for ten years. I have also lectured in church history at the Reformed College in Zwolle for over twenty years. I have also served as a missionary, I have taught apologetics at Hindustan Bible College in Chennai, India, and hermeneutics at the Pacific Islands Bible College on Guam, USA.

Currently, I am Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Early Modern Reformed Theology at the Theological University of Kampen and involved as a visiting lecturer in Ecumenism at the deacon and priest training program at the seminary Bovendonk in Hoeven.

As a pastor and teacher in the field of religion, I received spiritual support from many religious communities, including the Trappists in Berkel-Enschot and the Friars Minor Capuchin in 's-Hertogenbosch, as well as from Franciscan communities in Stoutenburg, in Kranenburg and on Guam. On a daily basis, I felt carried and was revitalized by their liturgy of the hours as the basis for a life of prayer.



(2016), Melanchthon and Calvin on Confession and Communion:  Early Modern Protestant Penitential and Eucharistic Piety, with prefaces of Bram van de Beek and Paul van Geest, Göttingen; in print and digital. 365 p.

(2014), Calvin and the Independence of the Church, with a preface of Erik de Boer, Göttingen; in print and digital. 291 p.

(2014), Eén met Christus: Een klein traktaat van Johannes Calvijn over de heilige Maaltijd, vertaald en ingeleid door Herman Speelman, met een woord vooraf door Paul van Geest, Kampen. 128 p.

(2013), Hoe overleeft de kerk?: Melanchthons Onderricht aan predikanten, m.m.v. Theo Korteweg, Heerenveen. 448 p.

(2010), Biechten bij Calvijn: Over het geheim van heilig communiceren, Heerenveen. 597 p.


(2016), “Calvin on Confession. His Struggle for a New Form of Discipline and our Struggle to Understand his View,” in Herman J. Selderhuis/ Arnold Huijgen (eds), Calvinus Pastor Ecclesiae: Papers of the Eleventh International Congress on Calvin Research, Göttingen, 413-426.

(2016), “At the Lord’s Table: Calvin’s motives for a frequent celebration of the Holy Supper,” in Pieter H. Vos (ed), Congress Volume.

(2016), “The Eucharist as a Mysterious Representation of Christ: A comparison between Calvin’s 1541 Petit traicté de la saincte cene and A Kempis’s 1441 Devota exhortacio ad sacram communionem,” in Patrizio Foresta (ed), Congress Volume.

(2016), “Calvinism and the Origins of Religious Plurality in Europe,” in Gijsbert van den Brink, Congress Volume, Zoetermeer.

(2016), Luther over zijn bekering, nieuwe theologische inzichten en kijk op de leiding van de kerk, in Herman J. Selderhuis (ed), Luther-project, Utrecht.

(2016), Enige bijdragen, in Wim H. Th. Moehn (ed), Reformatiebijbel, Heerenveen.

(2015), “Eucharistische vroomheid in late middeleeuwen en de vroegmoderne tijd: Nieuw licht op avondmaal en tucht bij Calvijn”, in Erik A. de Boer/ Harm J. Boiten (red), Godsvrucht in geschiedenis: Bundel ter gelegenheid van het afscheid van prof. dr. Frank van der Pol als hoogleraar aan de Theologische Universiteit Kampen, Heerenveen, 191-207.

(2015), Het eerste Reformatiejubileum: Over Melanchthons inzichten in 1527 als aanscherping op die van Luther, in INzicht, Studentenmagazine TUA, jrg.19, nr. 3.

(2015), “Man, Freedom, and the Church: Luther, Melanchthon, and Calvin on How to Serve God Freely, within or outside the Power of the Church,” in Anne Eusterschulte/ Hannah Wälzholz (ed), Anthropological Reformations – Anthropology in the Era of Reformation, Göttingen, 319-340.

(2015), “Melanchthon and Calvin on Confession, Contrition, and Penitence: Daily Practices of Life and Death,” in Tarald Rasmussen/ Jon Oygarden Flaeten (ed), Preparing for Death, Remembering the Dead, Göttingen, 329-350.

(2014), “Distinctly Flexible: A key feature of the Protestant Church Polity,” in Leo J. Koffeman/ Johannes Smit (ed), Protestant Church Polity in Changing Contexts, Berlin/ Münster/ Wien, vol. 2, 187-192.

(2011), “Inleiding op en vertaling van Melanchthons Instructies voor visitatoren”, in Frank van der Pol (red), Philippus Melanchthon: Bruggenbouwer, Utrecht, 332-390.

(2009), “Historische inleiding”, in Mees te Velde (red), Confessies: Gereformeerde geloofsverantwoording in zestiende-eeuws Europa, Heerenveen, 21-110.

(2009), Calvijn en Beza en hun visie op confessies, in De Reformatie, Jg. 85, nr. 5, 76-78.

(2009), Calvijn en de biecht, in William den Boer/ Herman J. selderhuis (ed), Opnieuw Calvijn: Verzameling Nederlandse Calvijnstudies, Apeldoorn, vol. 2, 1387-1396; eerder in Communio, Jg. 24, nr. 4, Leuven 1999, 274-287.