In setting its thematic priorities the department of Ecumenical Theology and Orient Church and Mission History under the directorship of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Martin Tamcke is unique in Germany.

Ecumenics emerged from the denominational diversity of Christianity, the different faiths, the different kinds of church practice and the “truth” controversy. It reflects on and explores the diversity of denominations and contexts with Church unity in teaching and doxology in mind.

Since reflection takes place in dialogue with the different denominations, and ecumenical Christianity ultimately thrives on relationships, the institute has, and is building up in an ongoing process, a network of international and inter-denominational contacts. The exchange of teachers and students ensures and promotes this scientific dialogue.
Regarding the subject from a mission history viewpoint also takes into account those basic issues that arose during the encounter with foreign cultures and which have found expression today in the churches and theologies of the non-European world.
The subject relies on both international and interdisciplinary work. For an in-depth understanding it is essential to have knowledge of the respective partner, the country and its culture and language. With regard to oriental church communities, opportunities to get to know these churches and peoples are offered through partnerships with international universities. Such opportunities are not offered in a comparable manner at any other German university.

In addition, the institute pays special attention to issues which are of current social and political relevance in Europe today. The focus of teaching and research is on Oriental-Occidental interaction (especially with regard to migrants and oriental minority cultures in Europe), and Orthodox and Christian-Muslim coexistence in Europe.