Tasks and focus of the Institute of Practical Theology

Practical theology is “practical” because it deals with the religious practice of people – individually, in church and in society. Practical theology asks how people today believe, hope, doubt, love and ask about the meaning of life.

It attentively perceives the present forms of religion and religiousness and looks for ways to support and foster them. This is possible only in close contact with other sciences, particularly psychology, sociology, communication science, literary science and media science.

Practical theology does thus not only refer to how the church acts, but it reflects all ecclesiastical fields of action. The practical-theological partial disciplines of liturgy, homiletics (doctrine of preaching), poimenics (doctrine of pastoral care), science of religious education, science of diaconia and Christian journalism pertain to them. Religious education is an important issue for practical theology, too: In the didactics of religious education the conditions of today, the concepts and the contents as well as the methodological forms of religious education are reflected and taught.

The lectures of Practical Theology offer those studying to become clergywomen/clergymen or teachers or to obtain a Diploma an opportunity to take a look at religious practice of people today, but in particular also future professional fields of action in church, school and society. They obtain subject-related, analytical and methodological competences as well as the ability to speak and act in their future professional practice.

Practical Theology is taught by two professors, two assistants and several part-time lecturers at Kiel. They each define their own focus and priorities.