History of the Faculty of Theology Part I

Herzog Christian AlbrechtThe Faculty of Theology is one of the four founding faculties of the Christian Albrecht University at Kiel. When in 1665 Duke Christian Albrecht established the university named after him with 17 professors and 162 students in the building block of a former Franciscan monastery, the three professors of theology and their students, numbering about 80, were given the biggest lecture theatre, through the windows of which the students could let their gaze wander through gardens to the water of Kleiner Kiel.

Misgivings about the founding of the university

The building block of the monastery founded in 1242, which had been in communal use since the time of the reformation, was situated at what was then the edge of town – literally and figuratively speaking, because the citizens of Kiel eyed the students suspiciously at the beginning. They had voiced grave concerns about the founding of the university, since students could be “a big nuisance with their scoffing, boozing and all sorts of foolishness”. Today, after the war damage of 1944 only the west wing of the cloister and the refectory of the Franziskanerkloster are left , above which the Protestant student dormitory “Kieler Kloster” has been accommodated since 1950.

Dominance of theology and law 

Based on a privilege granted by Emperor Ferdinand III as early as 1652, the university was funded by revenues of the Augustinian monastery in Bordesholm, used as the sovereign academic school since 1566/67, and received its library. As the state university for the Duchy of Gottorf, which comprised parts of Holstein and Schleswig, it mainly served as an education faculty for the prospective clergy and civil servants for service in the state, who were obliged to do a two-year study programme at Kiel (until 1867). Correspondingly, the faculties of theology and law had a dominating position until the mid-19th century.

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