Augustana University in Neuendettelsau

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Augustana College
founding 1947
Sponsorship ecclesiastical
place Neuendettelsau
state Bavaria
country Germany
Rector Heike Walz
Students 155 WS 2018/19
Employee 50, including 18 research assistants, including 8 professors
Augustana University campus
Chapel of the Augustana College
Rectorate and Wilhelm Pechmann lecture hall
Dorothee Sölle House

The Augustana -Hochschule Neuendettelsau is a church university that was founded in 1947 by a resolution of the regional synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria to train theologians in Neuendettelsau ( Middle Franconia ). The college is a Fairtrade University and EMAS certified.

Course offer

The Augustana University offers the "Protestant Theology / Ecclesiastical Degree" course, which prepares students for the pastoral office in one of the member churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) . At the end of their studies, students usually take the examination ("theological entrance examination") at their respective regional church.

Since 1999, the Augustana University has also offered its own classroom course for "Parish administrators" .

The course at Augustana University is shaped by the model of the campus university : lecturers and students live and work together on a park-like campus. This enables short distances, the lecturers can be contacted directly, the effortless organization of study groups and - last but not least - the practice of spiritual forms of community.

The college has six theological chairs ( Old Testament , New Testament , Church History , Systematic Theology , Intercultural Theology , Practical Theology ) and a chair in philosophy , a professorship for feminist theology , two lectureships in classical philology ( Latin , ancient Greek ) and a lecturer in Hebrew . The range of topics is supplemented by various lecturers (e.g. voice training and liturgical singing, Bavarian church history, canon law).

In principle, anyone can participate in the courses as a guest auditor , but the acquisition of performance certificates requires a general university entrance qualification and membership of a Protestant church in Germany ; an exception is the course for parish administrators , which can also be completed without a high school diploma.


The rector heads and represents the university. She is responsible for the proper implementation of the resolutions of the university's organs. The university's organs are the Rector, the Senate, the Lecturers' Board, the Appointments Committee and the Habilitation Committee. The participation of the other organs is based on the provisions in the Augustana University's statutes.


The university's roots go back to autumn 1945, when the church leadership commissioned the theologian Georg Merz to set up theological courses for pastors returning from war and captivity. Half a year after the first pastoral college course, the first course for theology students began in April 1946. At that time, students and lecturers were still housed in the Neuendettelsau deaconess institution and in the former Cistercian monastery in Heilsbronn (used until 1952). It was not until May 1949 that the Augustana University moved to a former barracks area, where it is still located today.

In May 1947 the university was founded (at that time still called Theological University in Neuendettelsau - Heilsbronn ) with Georg Merz as the founding rector. The matriculation statement, which is still valid today, comes from his pen:

Let us eagerly read the Scriptures
practice understanding them
and fraternal (fraternal) fellowship
keep and keep under the word of God.

The founding college included: Georg Merz (rector until 1957, practical theology), Ernst Kinder (systematic theology), Rudolf Stählin (New Testament and Old Church History) and Hans Lauerer as a part-time lecturer (systematic theology). In 1948 this college was supplemented by Eduard Ellwein (New Testament) and Wilhelm Zillinger ( Classical Philology) and in 1950 by Martin Wittenberg (Old Testament).

Since 1950, professors and lecturers from the Augustana University have held Sunday services in the Christ Church (Unterrottmannsdorf), alternating with the Saxon pastor. In return, the university receives annual thanksgiving from the village.

In 1956 a full chair for “Mission Theology and Religious Studies” was added, which was taken over by the then mission inspector Georg Vicedom . This was the first Protestant mission science chair in Bavaria.

In December 1973, the university was granted the right to award doctorates in cooperation with the Erlangen and Munich faculties on the basis of the Bavarian Higher Education Act. Since July 1974, the university has been a member of the University Rectors 'Conference (then still West German Rectors' Conference).

Since December 1990, the university has been legally equivalent to the theological faculties at universities and has the right to award doctorates and habilitation in its own right . In September 1992 a second lectureship in Classical Philology and a Chair in Philosophy were established. Since the winter semester 1997/98 there has been a lectureship for theological women's studies / feminist theology , which was converted into a professorship in the winter semester 2003/04.

In 1998, the lecture building on campus, which had not had its own name, was named after Wilhelm Freiherr von Pechmann (1859–1948), who was one of Meiser's critics during the Nazi era.

On May 3, 2003, an article by theology professor Friedrich Wilhelm Graf was published in the SZ , in which, among other things, the Augustana University was severely attacked ("Unculture Protestantism - The Bavarian State Church is on the way to becoming a sect"). The very polemical article sparked a public debate that lasted for months.

Until July 2006, a building of the university was named after the Bavarian State Bishop Hans Meiser (1881–1956), who is accused of not having opposed the ideology of National Socialism enough.

University professor

Former university professors

  • Hans Lauerer, Lecturer in Systematic Theology (1947–1953)
  • Ernst Kinder, Professor of Systematic Theology (1947–1953)
  • Rudolf Stählin, Professor of New Testament and Old Church History with a focus on liturgy history (1947–1956)
  • Eduard Ellwein, Professor of the New Testament (1949–1965)
  • Georg Merz, Professor of Practical Theology, Reformation History and Church History of Modern Times (1947–1957)
  • Martin Wittenberg, Professor of Old Testament and Liturgy (1950–1973)
  • Georg Friedrich Vicedom, Professor of Mission Studies (1956–1972)
  • Wilhelm Andersen , Professor of Systematic Theology (1956–1976)
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Kantzenbach , Professor of Church History (1958–1965 and 1968–1982)
  • Walter Rupprecht , Professor of Practical Theology (1960–1967)
  • August Strobel , Professor of New Testament (1965–1983)
  • Herwig Wagner, Professor of Mission Studies and Religious Studies (1972–1992)
  • Horst Dietrich Preuß , Professor of the Old Testament (1973–1992)
  • Joachim Track , Professor of Systematic Theology (1976-2005)
  • Richard Riess , Professor of Practical Theology (1979–2003)
  • Wolfgang Stegemann , Professor of the New Testament (1984–2010)
  • Wolfgang Sommer , Professor of Church History (1988-2004)
  • Helmut Utzschneider , Professor of the Old Testament (1992–2014)
  • Dieter Becker , Professor of Intercultural Theology, Mission and Religious Studies (1993–2016)

Current college professor


The university has a reference and lending library with a book inventory of more than 150,000 volumes, mainly from the 19th to the 21st century, and to a small extent from the 16th century, including a collection of pamphlets from the Reformation period. The library belongs to the Association of Church and Academic Libraries .

Partner university

See also


  • Helmut Utzschneider (Ed.): 60 years of augustana in Neuendettelsau: Documentation of the contributions and speeches for the anniversary year. Neuendettelsau 2008, online (PDF; 5.8 MB).
  • Jörg Dittmer (Ed.): Theology on campus. 50 years of Augustana University. Neuendettelsau 1997, online (PDF; 5.6 MB).
  • Gerhard Monninger (Ed.): A think tank of the church. Augustana University 1947–1987 , Claudius, Munich 1987.
  • Gerhard Monninger (Ed.): 30 years of Augustana University - pause for a moment. Freimund, Neuendettelsau 1977.

Individual evidence

Coordinates: 49 ° 17 ′ 0 ″  N , 10 ° 46 ′ 39 ″  E