EKD-Bulletin 02/2003

2 - 2002

Mission - Development - Diaconia

Laboratory and ecumenical meeting place

The Academy of Mission at Hamburg University

The Academy of Mission at Hamburg University said goodbye at the end of March to two Indian graduate students studying for a doctorate. In the framework of their theological promotion at the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College (Chennai, India), they carried out research for six months at the Academy of Mission and the Theological Faculty of Hamburg University. The Academy of Mission sponsored the visit with a scholarship. Presently scholarship holders from India, Korea, Togo, Cameroon, Brazil and Mexico are living at the Academy of Mission and studying for a doctorate in theology at Hamburg University.

The Academy of Mission at Hamburg University has been part of the Ecumenical Movement since its foundation in 1957. It is sponsored by Hamburg University, the Evangelical Mission in Germany and the Evangelical Church in Germany, and is closely linked to the Institute for Mission, Ecumenism and Religious Studies of the Protestant Theology Faculty at Hamburg University. As an Academy of Mission, it is committed to reflections on ecumenical mission and inter-religious dialogue. As an academy, it is a place of meeting for theologians of various cultures and it sees itself as an ecumenical living- and learning community for a time.

The Academy of Mission offers courses for church groups in Germany in its conference rooms, e.g. for vicars during their training, or further training for pastors. Ecumenical themes, mission and inter-religious dialogue are handled in intensive, weekly seminars, and development-related matters are discussed. The scholarship holders of the Academy of Mission are important discussion partners in these courses. They bring in the experiences of their Churches and their contexts. In contrast, in the trading port of Hamburg, with which the participants become acquainted through excursions, the consequences of a global world can be directly experienced. Christianity from all the world is present in migrant communities; other immigrants have brought their own religions with them.

Currently a model "African Theological Training in Germany" is being tried out . The 2-year training course, which is run in parallel with their jobs, is aimed at community leaders in black African communities in Northern Germany. (See also Background )

In its ecumenical links to people from Churches all over the world, in a global and local context, theological studies and spirituality, dialogue and reflection, the Academy of Mission at Hamburg University is a unique ecumenical laboratory and ecumenical meeting place.



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