Department of Practical theology and Religious Education

Practical Theology examines the action taken by the church in religious and social contexts. It observes current church and general religious practice, considers its historical, social, biographical and institutional conditions, confronts this practice critically and constructively with the principles of Christianity, and develops instructions and guidelines, primarily for the clergy and religious teachers, but also for all others who carry responsibility in the church.

Chairs are Prof. Dr. Jan Hermelink (Practical Theology / Pastoral Theology) and Prof. Dr. Bernd Schröder (Practical Theology / Religious Education).

Regular courses at the Department Hermelink:

  • Liturgy / Homiletics (each semester):
    Proseminar: Texts and exercises on the way to the sermon
    Seminar: Community church service - design, management and reflection
    Overview lecture on homiletics or liturgy (every third semester)
  • Poimenics (pastoral theology) (at least every other semester):
    Proseminar, seminar or overview lecture on issues of pastoral care
  • Theory of official church acts (at least every third semester):
    Seminar on a traditional official church act, overview lecture
  • Church welfare and social work (at least every fourth semester):
    Proseminar, seminar or tutorial (with excursions) on Church caring activities
  • Cybernetics (each semester):
    Proseminar or seminar, tutorial or overview lecture on issues of church theory (e.g., office / profession, management / leadership, church exit / entrance, church reform)
  • Societies (each semester): Historical and social science perspectives in practical theological discussions of current research projects

Regular courses at the Department Schröder:

  • Courses for introduction in Religious Education (each semester)
  • Courses to Basic questions of Religious Education, of parish education and topics of Religious Didactics (each semester)
  • Supervision of day placements (each semester)
  • Overview lectures to Religious Education and the branch of Religious Education (each semester)
  • Block seminars at RPI Loccum (Institute for Religious Education Loccum) (each semester)
  • Societies with discussions of current research projects (each semester)

Special research areas in Göttingen:

  • Practical-theological theory of the Church, with particular reference to perspectives concerning pastoral-psychology, organisational theory and economics (Hermelink)
  • Examination of official church acts in comparison with non-religious counterparts, especially from the systematic, liturgical and organisational sociological perspective (Hermelink)
  • Religious instruction in relation between Christianity, Judaism and Islam (Schröder)
  • Religious Education: practical experience and scientific world (Schröder)
  • Religion and everyday life at school (Schröder)