9th International Summer School German (and) Theology 01.–19.07.2024

Registration for the 9th International Summer School “German (and) Theology” is now open!

From Martin Luther to Friedrich Schleiermacher, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Rudolf Bultmann and Karl Barth, theology in German has been hugely influential in the Protestant tradition. The protestant faculty of theology of Mainz university invites postgraduate students and young international scholars to attend a three week summer school taking place in July. The summer school is an opportunity for theologians (even with hitherto little knowledge of German) to immerse into language, thought, and the intellectual world of German theology.

The curriculum consists of three one-week modules and daily classes:

  • Week 1: German theologians from Luther to Pannenberg; classic texts of German theology
  • Week 2: German biblical scholarship
  • Week 3: The making of intercultural theology in Germany
  • Daily: Theological German

It is the aim of the summer school that all participants will be able to read and understand important German theological source texts upon completion of their courses even if they have not had the chance to study German in depth before. International doctoral and postgraduate students will thus become familiar with the thought processes and dynamics of German theology which may prove to be immensely fruitful for anybody striving to pursue a career in theology or related fields.
In addition, there will be several excursions to places significant to German ecclesiastical history in and near Mainz.


Academic theology has had an institutional place in the heart of Mainz for almost 1000 years. The theology faculty of the kurfürstliche Universität was established in 1477 and soon became one of the largest theology faculties in Europe. At that time the talmudic school had long been an important part of the rich intellectual world of the Jewish communities in Mainz, Worms and Speyer in the middle ages. Today, the university is named after the local inventor of the printing press Johannes Gutenberg. Over 100 theologians teach more than 1300 students in one of the largest schools for theological education in Germany.
The diverse cultural heritage of the region, the central location (only 20 minutes from the largest German airport Frankfurt), but also the attractive setting and Lebensart on the river Rhine has made Mainz a favorite destination.

Accommodation for the participants in the summer school will be provided by German host families or student housing in Mainz and is organized by the university's own Zentrum für Wissenschaftliche Weiterbildung/Center for Continuing Education.


The 2024 course will be mainly taught by

  • Professor Ulrich Volp (Ecclesiastical History and History of Doctrine)
  • Professor Sebastian Grätz (Old Testament)
  • Professor Esther Kobel (New Testament)
  • Professor Ruben Zimmermann (New Testament)
  • Professor Volker Küster (Intercultural Theology)
  • Christina Ersch, Katarina Hirt, Henriette Reiche and Nina Jehle from the department of Deutsch als Fremdsprache

As the 2024 course will commence during term time, all participants are entitled to visit the regular lectures of the faculty of theology in order to gain an insight into the teaching at one of the leading theological schools in Germany. They will also have unlimited access to all the libraries and campus facilities.

All successful participants will be awarded a certificate from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.



Applications are invited from postgraduate students and other scholars with an interest in German theology.

Applicants should

  • have a first degree in theology, divinity, religion or related fields
  • be proficient in English
  • have some basic knowledge of German

Candidates should not hesitate to contact the organizers if in doubt as to meeting the requirements (e.g. the exact level of advisable current language skills).

The total costs are EUR 1280.- and include:

  • Teaching equivalent of 6 certifiable ECTS
  • Accommodation in host families or student housing (meals are typically not provided and not included)
  • Excursions (tour guide and entrance fees)
  • Certificate of Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz after successful completion

A limited number of grants are available to help covering the costs.