Practical Theology

Practical Theology

Department chair: Prof. Dr. Jack Barentsen

Studies in Practical Theology

The influence of Christianity on the norms and values of western societies has decreased significantly. As a consequence the societal role of the Church is no longer broadly accepted. Whereas in the past the Church provided social cohesion, people now find their way in a multitude of networks and subcultures. This postmodern and pluralist context challenges Christian communities of faith to maintain their own vitality, even as they adapt and innovate.

The department of Practical Theology approaches Christian praxis in various ways in order to understand this context and its challenge, as well as to indicate new directions forward. A careful balance is maintained between respect for Christian tradition and the need for renewal.

Research in the department of practical theology follows three thematic lines:

  • The first line, with a focus on Church Development and Leadership, centers on changes in the organizational culture of faith communities as well as on the associated challenges for Church leaders.
  • The second line of research Ritual Formation through Preaching, Liturgy and Art, researches the self-understanding of believers by means of rituals in the broadest sense of the word.
  • The third line of research New Ways in Christian Education: the Role of Spirituality, focuses on the role of Christian identity formation in the context of Christian higher education.

Independent Academic Personnel

Prof. Dr. Jack Barentsen Church Office & Leadership, Practical Ecclesiology, Church Pedagogy & Christian Education
Dr. Jos Douma Spirituality, Homiletics
Dr. René Erwich Spiritual Leadership, Homiletics, Church Development, Pastoral Ministry
Prof. Dr. Helge Stadelmann Homiletics, Liturgy

Special Academic Personnel

Dr. Jos de Kock  Children & Youth – religious education – education & catechetics – research methodology
Dr. Rinke van Hell Film, Popular Culture and Theology

External Instructors

Dr. Jocelyn Bryan
Prof. Dr. Mark Lamport
Benjamin Spring (PhD Candidate)

 Doctoral Students (with or without AAP/SAP-status)

Judith Hildebrandt
Benjamin Spring Paul Ramsey’s Covenantal Ethics in Leadership: Power, Social Identity, and the Bond between Leaders and Followers

Research Institutes and Groups

Institute of Leadership and Social Ethics (ILSE)

Bicultural Identity as a Means to Negotiate Cultural Religious Differences

Bicultural Identity as a Means to...

Dissertation of Ji-Ung Lim on intergenerational value differences among Christian Koreans in Germany

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Impression Homo Amans Symposium

Impression Homo Amans Symposium

Many current economic models still assume that people are profoundly rational, selfish and amoral, a thought that we mainly encounter in the homo economicus...

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