Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Die Fakultät stellt sich vor


On April 10, 2000, our Faculty moved into its new facilities in the Francke Foundations. The main building is a reconstruction of an historical edifice, expanded by several modern additions. The new location provides the Faculty with functional workspaces and gives it the appearance of a modern institution of higher learning geared toward communicative exchange.

Studying Theology at Martin Luther University also involves attending a university with one of the richest histories in Germany. Founded in 1502 by the Saxon Elector Frederick the Wise, the University of Wittenberg gave birth to the Reformation. The University of Halle was founded in 1694 by the Elector of Brandenburg with an aim toward reforming higher education and soon emerged as an important center of Pietism and the Enlightenment. The two institutions were unified in 1817.

While Wittenberg harboured the great Reformers, Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon, and became a prominent center of Protestant Scholasticism in the 17th century, Halle, too, had its share of significant theologians. Among these are August Hermann Francke, the founder of the Orphanage; Johann Salomo Semler, a pioneer of historical methodology; Friedrich Schleiermacher, the founder of Neoprotestantism; August Tholuck, a key figure of the German Awakening; Friedrich Loofs, a prolific exponent of Dogmengeschichte; and Otto Eißfeldt, whose introduction to the Old Testament remains classic; to name but a few.

Our Faculty currently encompasses four institutes with a total of twelve full-time professors and more than twenty additional instructors and assistants. Aside from the classical theological subjects (Church History, Systematics, Old and New Testaments, Practical Theology), they offer advanced courses in specialized areas. These include The Study of Palestine, Ancient Oriental and Hellenistic Religions, Halle Pietism, Medical Ethics, Contemporary Philosophy of Religion, as well as Religion and Aesthetics. Futher areas of departmental specialization range from Christian Archaeology and Christian Art to Orthodox Studies, West Slavic Church History, and the Study of Esoteric Movements.

Under the auspices of the Francke Foundations are the university's Centers for the Study of Pietism and of the Enlightenment. These centers also have their own libraries, offering students and faculty valuable collections of 16th to 18th-century books and prints. The Leucorea Foundation, located in Wittenberg, is home to a Center of Reformation History and Lutheran Orthodoxy, and the Mesrop Center of Armenian Studies.

Our Faculty works closely with other faculties in the University, giving rise to a wide range of interdisciplinary courses and projects involving Theology, Law, History, Near Easter Studies, Literature, Medicine, Physics and Philosophy, to name a few recent examples.
The Faculty of Theology offers several degree programs. These include a Diploma, a Master of Evangelical Theology, a course of studies leading to the First Church Examination, to degrees in Teaching (for a variety of German school types).

The Faculty provides student housing in the Reformed Seminary and the Evangelical Seminary, located on the grounds of the Francke Foundations. These, along with a new cafeteria in the Foundations, contribute to a sense of communal life and atmosphere to many of our students.

The city of Halle and its surrounding areas have more to offer than would appear at first glance. Long walks along the Saale riverside, extended sojourns in the city's bars and pubs, afternoons in cafés, as well as an extensive array of cultural opportunities (opera, symphony, church music, theater, caberet, art galleries and exhibits) offer plenty of extracurricular activity.

And finally: Because of its manageable size, our faculty cultivates a personal atmosphere. Seminars are small and intimacy between professors and students is common.

Why study theology in Halle? Ask our students or ask yourself. We look forward to your coming.

Prof. Dr. Dirk Evers

Dean of the Faculty of Theology