Troubleshooting 'SEVERE: Exception sending context initialized event to listener instance of class [org.springframework.web.context.ContextLoaderListener]' Error in Spring Framework

Published on 2023.11.18


When working with the Spring Framework, you may come across the 'SEVERE: Exception sending context initialized event to listener instance of class [org.springframework.web.context.ContextLoaderListener]' error. This error can occur during the initialization of the Spring application context and can be caused by various issues. In this article, we will discuss the possible causes of this error and provide troubleshooting steps to resolve it.

Possible Causes

  1. Missing or incompatible dependencies: One of the common causes of this error is missing or incompatible dependencies in your project. Ensure that all required libraries and dependencies are correctly added to your project's classpath and are compatible with the version of Spring Framework you are using.

  2. Configuration issues: Incorrect configuration settings can also lead to this error. Check your Spring configuration files (e.g., application-context.xml) for any configuration errors or inconsistencies. Make sure that all required beans, properties, and dependencies are properly defined.

  3. ClassNotFoundException or NoClassDefFoundError: If the error message mentions a missing class, such as 'ClassNotFoundException' or 'NoClassDefFoundError', it indicates that a required class is not found in the classpath. Confirm that the class is available and accessible.

  4. Circular dependencies: Circular dependencies between beans can cause initialization issues and result in this error. Analyze your bean dependencies and ensure that there are no circular dependencies.

  5. Conflict in bean definitions: If multiple bean definitions with the same name or conflicting configurations are present, it can lead to initialization errors. Resolve any conflicts by renaming beans or correcting the configurations.

Troubleshooting Steps

  1. Check the error stack trace: Examine the error stack trace to identify any specific classes or methods that are causing the error. This can provide valuable clues about the root cause.

  2. Verify dependencies: Double-check the dependencies in your project's classpath and ensure that they are correctly added and compatible with the Spring version you are using. Update any outdated or incompatible dependencies.

  3. Review configuration files: Carefully review your Spring configuration files for any errors or inconsistencies. Pay attention to bean definitions, property values, and any external configurations that may affect application context initialization.

  4. Check for missing classes: If the error mentions a missing class, confirm that the class is available in your project's classpath. If it is a third-party library, ensure that the library is correctly added as a dependency.

  5. Analyze bean dependencies: Analyze the dependencies between your beans and check for any circular dependencies. Refactor your code if necessary to remove any circular dependencies.

  6. Resolve bean conflicts: If there are conflicts in bean definitions, such as duplicate names or conflicting configurations, resolve them by renaming beans or correcting the configurations.

  7. Enable debug logging: Enable debug logging in your Spring application to get more detailed information about the initialization process. This can help in identifying the specific cause of the error.

  8. Consult Spring documentation and community: If the error persists, consult the official Spring documentation, forums, or community for further assistance. There may be specific solutions or known issues related to your particular setup.


The 'SEVERE: Exception sending context initialized event to listener instance of class [org.springframework.web.context.ContextLoaderListener]' error in the Spring Framework can have various causes, including missing dependencies, configuration issues, missing classes, circular dependencies, or conflicts in bean definitions. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you should be able to identify and resolve the specific cause of the error in your Spring application.