Ecumenical News International

Historical mission seminary gives way to University for Intercultural Theology

August 23, 2012

Celle (epd). After over 150 years, the Hermannsburg Mission Seminary (near Celle, Germany) is now closing its doors. The seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission in Lower Saxony was the only EKD church institution in Germany that specifically prepared pastors for their work abroad. Missionaries from the seminary have been sent to 19 countries outside Europe since 1849, spokesman Klaus Hampe explained this Thursday. The seminary will give way to a new "University for Applied Sciences for Intercultural Theology", which is to open on 2 October.

The new institution will offer one MA and two BA programs focused on intercultural cooperation, with students and instructors expected from nearly all parts of the world. Hermannsburg in fact already introduced an MA program in Intercultural Theology in cooperation with the University of Göttingen three years ago. Students are currently enrolled there from nearly ten countries including Germany, Ethiopia, Rwanda, India, and Kazakhstan.

Rev. Ludwig Harms (1808-1865) founded the Hermannsburg mission and training program. Since then, around 700 young men, to the addition of women beginning in 1991, left the institution for work abroad. The seminary's partner churches now have their own centers for theological training. The mission is supported by three Protestant regional churches within the state of Lower Saxony and enjoys contacts with 19 partner churches in 17 countries.



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