Matthijs (Matthias) Kronemeijer entered the PhD program in 2016. He is Dutch and lived in the Netherlands until 2014. Matthijs’s main interest is in the role of religion and religious institutions in civil society; his major is Comparative Politics. Matthijs has an undergraduate master’s degree in Theology from the former Catholic Theological University of Utrecht, and also an undergraduate master’s degree in Arabic Language and Culture from Utrecht University. He also holds an MSt (Master of Studies) degree in Jewish Studies from Oxford University, for which he received a scholarship. From 2002 to 2004 he worked at the Catholic University of Nijmegen preparing for a doctorate in New Testament studies, but left after the untimely death of his academic supervisor, a Catholic priest and a Communist Party member. Then from 2005 to 2014 he worked in the Military Chaplaincy office of the Dutch Ministry of Defense, lastly as Deputy to the Roman Catholic Chief Chaplain.
While in the Netherlands Matthijs was a member of a Christian Democratic political party, and he is hoping to build on this experience while in the United States. In 2000 Matthijs was selected for the Humanity in Action fellowship program, a U.S.-European leadership development program focused on minority rights, diversity and active citizenship. On a few occasions he has written for Dutch newspapers on topics related to Christianity and religious freedom. Matthijs has a passion for Christian and Islamic art; he is also an experienced ensemble singer. His wife Brenda is a Christian Reformed Campus Minister and currently works as a Campus Pastor for MSU graduate students and faculty. They live on the eastside of Lansing, where they are involved in the neighborhood.