Knowing

Theological Competence

Lectures, seminars, exercises and projects according to the main disciplines:

  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Church History
  • Systematic Theology
  • Practical Theology
  • Christian Education
  • Church Music
  • Missiology
  • Counseling

Language courses (including reading) in the biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek

Lectures and exercises in the areas of Psychology and History of Philosophy

Being

Personal Competence

Personality assessment before studies begin

Weekly class tutorial as well as devotions and cell groups

Personal mentorship sessions between the student and instructors

Evaluation of the student's personality through reports given by the mentor in the student's place of internship

Living and ministering together as students of an intercultural community

Weekly ministry by the students

Doing

Competence in Action

Church ministry experience before studies begin

Social ministry, church ministry and field ministry alongside studies

Exercises in practical theology in churches in the form of Bible lessons or similar theological education of adults

Sermons accompanied by an evaluation by a lecturer through a personal conversation

Establishing of churches

Internship of social care and counseling

Outreaches to local churches and non-denominational events in teams accompanied by an instructor

Membership and work in a local church

Theological Aptitude

Theology is a methodical, systematic appraisal of Christian faith in regard to its origins, its socio-historical formation, its expression given the challenges of the time, and its outworking in church and society. Theological training leads to the acquisition of knowledge and skills which qualify students for this appraisal and instructs them for an appropriate vocation.

This task will be observed from each theological discipline together and specifically: the biblical-theological subjects convey knowledge from the original testimonies of faith, as they are given in the Old and New Testament Scriptures. It leads to an understanding of the biblical texts in their own speech-form, their historical context and how they relate to the present day. Church history provides knowledge about the most important denominational and social formations of faith in the history of the Christian church in general and in some branches of the church in particular. It leads to an interpretation in the general historical context and the ability to understand and discuss these interpretations as demonstrations of faith. Systematic theology provides knowledge of the basic forms of Christian doctrine and ethical orientation in regard to philosophical and ethical challenges of the present time. It leads to a reasoned judgment about the value of faith (dogmatics) and to carving out a way of living in faith (ethics). In conjunction with philosophy, with characteristics of formation theory and spiritual historical development, systematic theology makes the student familiar with and leads to reflection on the student’s own thinking with regard to presuppositions.

Practical theology provides knowledge of the practical ways of working out one’s faith in church and society. It leads to the active communication of the Christian message in various life situations: in social and missionary service within society, in organization and teaching within the church setting, and in the provision of counseling for individuals. This occurs in conjunction with scientific knowledge and skills, especially from the areas of sociology, education and psychology. Through its connection with historical, linguistic, systematic and practical aspects, the theological training provides a broad spectrum of skills which equip the student for other studies and fields of action in society.

Practical Abilities

The study of theology is directed toward the work and ministry of the pastor (preaching, counseling, teaching, church leadership, church planting) but also toward other ministries in the church and society (youth ministry, teaching of adults, advisory service, social care, home and overseas mission, church music, counseling). Practically oriented classes (Evangelism, Social Care and Homiletics) and classes in which the students actively participate (church ministry, social practicum and excursions) assist in the training of skills through presentations and lectures about these topics. At the same time, they lead to an independent theological understanding of various areas of practice, along with their specific problems and challenges (e.g. hospital chaplaincy, preaching by means of electronic media).

The practical side of studies will be observed in the corresponding theological subjects. It is vital for students to acquire key skills for ministry in our contemporary society (e.g. communication and team skills, lateral thinking, structured work and computer literacy).

At the center of interest in an academically based and practically oriented study of theology lies the hermeneutic appeal to make the message of the Bible relevant. This will improve the development of life in various individuals and areas of society.

Personal Abilities

A further goal of theological study lies in the student's personal development. Through this intellectual progress, he/she will be led to a proper awareness of self and environment, and be encouraged to establish an independent spiritual lifestyle.

It is also important to develop an appropriate estimation of one’s own personality and establish a well-balanced relationship between self-acceptance and self-criticism. In addition to corporate and personal devotions, cell groups and informal opportunities, specific courses are available to assist this development, such as Psychology and Sociology.

The unprejudiced awareness of others, the social context of international cultures, the skills of communication, presentation and leadership are all developed in community living with students from various parts of the world. The awareness of a practical ministry within the setting of community and courses such as Counseling, Church Planting and Church Leadership also aid in the student's development.

The student will develop a theological-spiritual character of personality, a willingness to accept social responsibility, and a lifestyle which portrays Christ in a secular society. In conjunction with the development of a realistic understanding of ministry, the student's personal life will be improved through participation in church services and practice in the area of spiritual education.

The development of an independent, theologically competent person occurs through the examination of theological content, attentiveness to the study material, and the fellowship of living and learning in a Christian environment.