Evangelical Church in Baden

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Logo of the Evangelical Church in Baden
Map of the Evang.  Regional Church in Baden in Germany
Basic data
Area : approx. 15,000 km²
Leading clergyman: Regional Bishop
Jochen Cornelius-Bundschuh
Membership: UEK
Church districts : 2
Church districts : 24
Parishes : approx. 495
Parishioners: 1,137,405 (December 31, 2018)
Share of the
total population:
24.5% (December 31, 2018)
Official Website: www.ekiba.de/
Headquarters in Karlsruhe

The Evangelical Regional Church in Baden is one of 20 member churches ( regional churches ) of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and a member of the Conference of Churches on the Rhine . Like all regional churches, it is a corporation under public law . It is based in Karlsruhe .

The church has about 1,137,000 church members (as of Dec. 2018) in about 495 parishes and is one of the United Churches in the EKD.

The main church of the Evangelical Church in Baden is the City Church of Karlsruhe . Other important churches are the Heiliggeistkirche in Heidelberg and the Schlosskirche St. Michael in Pforzheim . The regional church maintains an Evangelical Academy in Bad Herrenalb and is the sponsor of the Evangelical University of Applied Sciences in Freiburg (EFH Freiburg). In addition, there is a special relationship between the regional church and the social working group in Lörrach .

The regional church should not be confused with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Baden , which is a Lutheran free church based in Freiburg im Breisgau .

Territory of the regional church

The area of ​​the "Evangelical Church in Baden" essentially comprises the former state of Baden , which existed until 1945 and since 1952 has formed the state of Baden-Württemberg together with the former state of Württemberg and the former Prussian Hohenzollern lands . In the following years there were minor border changes with the neighboring Evangelical Church in Württemberg . Since the district reform on January 1, 1973, the church area is no longer congruent with the Baden government districts of Karlsruhe and Freiburg .


In 1556 the Margrave of Baden-Durlach introduced the Reformation in his margraviate in the spirit of Martin Luther . The margrave, later the respective Grand Duke of Baden, was also head of the regional church as the so-called " summus episcopus ", d. H. the respective ruler united secular and ecclesiastical power. The previous Catholic bishops no longer had any rights. The neighboring margraviate of Baden-Baden initially also introduced the Reformation, had several changes of faith in the course of history, but remained Catholic since 1622 . In 1771 both lines were (re) united under the rule of Baden- Durlach and in future they were run under the name of Margraviate Baden .

With the margraviate of Baden, the area of ​​the Baden regional church grew accordingly.

In 1803 Baden became an electorate and in 1806 a grand duchy and a short time later it reached its greatest extent, which lasted until 1945. Many Lutheran congregations came to the new state territory from neighboring Württemberg, but also Reformed congregations - areas on the right bank of the Rhine in the Electoral Palatinate - as well as Catholic congregations - especially from southern Baden (Freiburg area). From 1806 the Grand Duke was head of two Protestant churches, a Lutheran church (including the old margraviate of Baden) and a Reformed church (including the newly acquired territories of the Electoral Palatinate). The elector and later Grand Duke, Karl Friedrich and his Privy Councilor Johann Nicolaus Friedrich Brauer prepared the unification of the Protestant churches as early as 1803.

Closing remarks of the Baden Union Charter, July 26, 1821

From 1817 at the latest, the congregations suggested that both churches should be united. This request was taken into account and in 1821 the two regional churches were united to form the United Evangelical-Protestant Church in the Grand Duchy of Baden . She was so after the Evangelical Church in Prussia in 1817 and the United Protestant Evangelical Christian Church of the Palatinate (Palatinate state church) one of the first United regional churches in Germany ( Uniate Church ) and to the Palatinate probably the second church in which a confession Union conducted has been. In Prussia, the two churches were only united administratively, but the individual parishes mostly remained true to their previous tradition (Lutheran or Reformed), only a few became united parishes.

The United Regional Church in Baden received a prelate as the “spiritual” leader of the regional church and a “secular” leader as the “director of the Evangelical Upper Church Council”. On September 5, 1861, the constitution was amended. After that, the director of the Evangelical Upper Church Council received the title "President of the Evangelical Upper Church Council".

At the end of the First World War , the Grand Duke of Baden had to abdicate (elimination of the sovereign church regiment ). The regional church therefore passed a new constitution on December 24, 1919 (in force since April 4, 1920), according to which the prelate and the president of the Evangelical Upper Church Council would lead the church in future. The regional church gave itself the changed name of the United Evangelical Protestant Regional Church of Baden . A new law of June 1, 1933 abolished the office of President and Prelate. The regional bishop assumed both functions in the future .

In 1945 a prelate office was reintroduced. However, this should not be confused with the office of prelate until 1933, since since 1945 the prelates have only had an advisory role, not a managerial one.


As a Protestant church, the Baden regional church, as evidenced by Paragraph 2 of the preamble to its basic order, regards the word of God witnessed in the Bible as the "sole source and supreme guideline of its faith, its teaching and its life" ( sola scriptura ) and teaches that only by grace, only in faith in Jesus Christ ”( sola gratia , sola fide ). She testifies to her faith in divine service with the Apostles' Creed . It also refers to the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed (para. 3).

The regional church "recognizes [...] in particular and expressly the Augsburg Confession as the common basic confession of the churches of the Reformation" (para. 4). As Uniate Church recognizes them both the (reformed) Heidelberg Catechism and the Small Catechism of Luther, the differing catechism apply to the sacrament opinion by the Union charter of 1821 to be revoked.

There it is stated under § 5 ("Doctrine") that there is no dividing difference between Reformed and Lutheran doctrine - apart from the sacrament controversy. This question is then answered in eight catechism pieces for the Baden regional church, "without, however, wanting to bind the conscience with regard to the special ideas therein". For example (Question 1) the sacrament is defined as “a holy and ecclesiastical act, founded by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in which invisible graces and goods are presented and given to us under visible signs.” Since 2001, all those who have been baptized have been so also children, admitted to the Lord's Supper after appropriate preparation.

The Evangelical Regional Church "affirms the Theological Declaration of Barmen as a scriptural testimony of the Gospel against false doctrines and encroachments by totalitarian violence" (para. 5).

Official costume

Beffchen (uniert)

As in the entire German-speaking area, the black gown with a white collar is the official costume of the evangelical clergy in Baden . The little cup consists of two strips of white fabric which, depending on the minister's denomination, diverge or are sewn together.

While the stripes in the upper half of the parish priests of United Churches outside Baden are firmly connected, but not in the lower half, there is a difference in the Evangelical Church in Baden. Here the two strips are unconnected, but arranged so that they overlap slightly so that it splits in the middle when worn.

Head of the regional church

At the head of the Evangelical Regional Church in Baden is the regional bishop (until 1933 “prelate”, who at that time was still assisted by a “president of the upper church council”), who is elected by the regional synod . His term of office was basically for life until 2012. As a rule, however, the regional bishop retired after reaching the age of 65, so that a new regional bishop had to be elected. In October 2012 the regional synod decided to limit the term of office of the regional bishop to 12 years without the possibility of re-election. This regulation was first applied with the election of bishops in July 2013.

Spiritual leader of the regional church (prelates until 1933 and regional bishops since 1933)

Secular leaders (directors until 1881 and presidents of the Evangelical Upper Church Council until 1933)

State Synod

As a "parliament", the regional church has a regional synod . Its members, the synodals, are elected by the synodals of the 24 district synods, i.e. not directly by the congregation members, as in Württemberg. It meets twice a year in the "House of the Church - Evangelical Academy Baden " in Bad Herrenalb . Their tasks are similar to those of political parliaments.

The chairman of the regional synod is the president of the synod. The lawyer Margit Fleckenstein was chairman from 1996 to 2014 . The church parliament has elected Axel Wermke , who has been a regional synodal since 1990 and a member of the presidium since 2010, as his successor .

Administration of the regional church

Upper church council and administrative hierarchy

The regional bishop has his official seat in Karlsruhe. On the one hand, he is the chairman of the Oberkirchenrat, the permanent governing body of the church (“government” of the church), which meets weekly. It includes the heads of the respective departments of the church administration (which confusingly have the title Oberkirchenrat ) and the two prelates. However, the latter is only advisory. Furthermore, the regional bishop is chairman of the regional church council, a kind of committee of the regional synod, to which the college of the upper church council, the synod president, the two prelates and twelve other elected members of the synod belong. This body meets once a month. The staff of the Oberkirchenrat college manage the regional church in the Oberkirchenrat, i.e. the administrative authority of the regional church. The term Oberkirchenrat thus has its third meaning.

In the administrative hierarchy, the regional church is expressly built up from bottom to top according to § 5 Basic Order, as follows:

At the base are the parishes. If they are legally competent as corporations under public law , they are called parishes . Otherwise, several legally dependent parishes together form a joint parish. The parish is led by an elected group of elders. If the parish is also a parish, the group of elders is also called the parish council, but if several parishes form the parish, there are several groups of elders whose representatives form the common parish council.

Several parishes together form a church district ( comparable to a rural district in general administration ), headed by a dean . That is why the church district is also called the deanery . The church districts are also corporations under public law and have the district synod as a body, the members of which are appointed by the respective groups of elders. There is also a district council of churches, which consists of a dean, a school dean and synodal delegates. The district church council takes care of the day-to-day administrative work and decides on legal remedies against the decisions of the elders.

Several church districts together form the church district (in general administration comparable to an administrative district ), at the head of which is the prelate (hence also called the prelature). The regional church consists of two such church districts. This administrative level has no body and is not legally competent.

The parish of North Baden is headed by Prelate Traugott Schächtele , the parish of South Baden by Prelate Dagmar Zobel .

Church districts

The church districts are North Baden with headquarters in Schwetzingen and South Baden with headquarters in Freiburg im Breisgau . From 1969 to 2003 there was another church district in Mittelbaden , based in Ettlingen . This was dissolved in the name of austerity measures. The prelates support the regional bishop in the spiritual direction of the congregations and the pastors. You can hold services and other meetings in the parishes of your parish. Their activities are not as extensive as in Württemberg. There they are also referred to as regional bishops, which would not be the case in Baden.

The current office of prelate was only introduced after 1945. The former prelates had leading positions in the entire regional church, which is now the responsibility of the regional bishop.

Church districts

The two church districts are divided into a total of 24 church districts , which are congruent with the deaneries. The church districts are corporations under public law and as such can be responsible for institutions and employ employees themselves.

  • Church district of North Baden (seat: Schwetzingen):
    • Adelsheim-Boxberg (seat: Rosenberg)
    • Badischer Enzkreis (seat: Neulingen; until February 15, 2020 Pforzheim-Land)
    • Bretten-Bruchsal (since January 1, 2015, previously Bretten and Karlsruhe-Land)
    • Heidelberg
    • Karlsruhe
    • Karlsruhe-Land (seat: Ettlingen, since 2014, formerly Alb-Pfinz and Karlsruhe-Land)
    • Kraichgau (seat: Sinsheim; created on January 1, 2005 through the unification of the church districts Eppingen / Bad Rappenau and Sinsheim)
    • Ladenburg-Weinheim (seat: Weinheim)
    • Mannheim
    • Mosbach
    • Neckargemünd-Eberbach (seat: Eberbach)
    • Pforzheim city
    • Southern Electoral Palatinate (seat: Wiesloch; created on April 1, 2008 through the merger of the church districts Schwetzingen and Wiesloch)
    • Wertheim
  • Church district of southern Baden (seat: Freiburg im Breisgau):
    • Baden-Baden and Rastatt
    • Breisgau-Upper Black Forest
    • Emmendingen
    • Freiburg
    • Upper Rhine (seat: Waldshut-Tiengen)
    • Constancy
    • Markgräflerland (seat: Lörrach)
    • Ortenau (currently based in Offenburg, Kehl and Lahr; created on April 1, 2008 through the merger of the church districts of Kehl, Lahr and Offenburg)
    • Überlingen-Stockach (seat: Überlingen)
    • Villingen


The 24 church districts are in about 495 parishes divided (2015). This number was probably somewhat lower when the parishes were formed. In the course of the following years, however, the number increased, as the parishes in cities became so large as a result of influxes that they were divided up, creating new parishes. In addition, after the Second World War , new parishes emerged in predominantly Catholic areas through the influx of Protestants, the area of ​​which can occasionally extend to several places.

In individual cases - especially in cities - smaller parishes have meanwhile been merged (again) into larger parishes. Since the interest of the parishioners in the church or church structures is waning, it is likely that parishes will continue to merge, so that their number is likely to decrease further.


The Evangelical Church in Baden maintains various facilities, institutes and centers:

  • Evangelical Academy Baden - Bad Herrenalb
  • Center for Pastoral Care - Heidelberg
  • RPI - Religious Education Institute of the Evangelical Regional Church in Baden - Karlsruhe
  • Center for Communication (ZfK)
  • Regional Church Archive - Karlsruhe
  • Regional church library in Karlsruhe


The “Administrative Court of the Evangelical Regional Church in Baden” with its seat in Karlsruhe has been set up for disputes in the area of ​​church administration. The court has five members. The chairman and two assessors must be qualified to serve as judges, one assessor must be a pastor of the regional church. The members are elected by the regional church council for eight years. The Ecclesiastical Administrative Court Act recognizes actions for rescission , obligation , declaratory judgment, and performance actions as well as disputes between church bodies. The Administrative Court of the Union of Evangelical Churches decides on revisions and complaints .

The disciplinary chamber, whose members are also appointed by the regional church council, decides on disciplinary matters against pastors and church officials. The procedure is based on the disciplinary law of the EKD in conjunction with the implementation law of the regional church. The second instance is the ecclesiastical court of the Evangelical Church in Germany , United Senate.

A church court arbitration board has been set up for disputes in the area of ​​the Employee Representation Act. In the second instance, the ecclesiastical court of the Evangelical Church in Germany , the Senate for employee representation disputes, decides .

Hymn books

The parishes of the Evangelical Church in Baden have been singing or singing in the last few decades mainly from the following hymn books:

  • Christian hymn book for the promotion of public and domestic devotion for the Evangelical Protestant Church in the Grand Duchy of Baden , Karlsruhe, 1837; introduced with Synodalrecess of May 26, 1835 edition Geiger, Lahr 1860, online in the Google book search
  • Hymnal for the Evangelical-Protestant Church of the Grand Duchy of Baden or with the later title “Hymnal for the Evangelical-Protestant Church in Baden”, Lahr, 1883; introduced by order of the Evang. Upper Church Council of Nov. 24, 1882; an appendix was added later; after 1945 another appendix with 56 songs was added ( 6th edition, Lahr 1900 in the Internet Archive )
  • Evangelical church hymn book , edition for the United Evangelical Protestant Church of Baden; introduced by resolution of the regional synod of April 27, 1951 for the 1951 Reformation Festival
  • Evangelical hymn book , edition for the Evangelical Church in Baden and pour l'Eglise de la Confession d'Augsbourg d'Alsace et de Lorraine (ECAAL) and pour l'Eglise Reformée d'Alsace et de Lorraine (ERAL), Karlsruhe, 1995; introduced on the 1st of Advent 1995. The regional song part wasrevisedtogether with the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate .
  • Where we praise you, new songs grow , this songbook has been supplementing the Evangelical Hymnbook since the 1st Advent 2018, it was developed together by employees of the regional churches of the Palatinate, Alsace-Lorraine, Baden and Württemberg

Corporate holdings / media

Church closings

The churches that have been closed , de-dedicated or rededicated in recent history include the following places of worship:

  • Karlsruhe , Nordweststadt district , Jakobuskirche: inaugurated in 1970, divested and demolished in 2017, new construction and inauguration (2017) of the Petrus Jakobus Church
  • Karlsruhe , Nordweststadt district , Petruskirche: inaugurated in 1961, dismantled and demolished in 2014, new construction started
  • Mannheim , Kreuzkirche : built 1956–68, demolished in 2011, demolished in 2012
  • Mannheim, Rheinau district , Immanuelkirche: inaugurated in 1982, sold in 2010, divested in 2011, demolition planned
  • Mannheim, Sandhofen district , Jakobuskirche : built 1965–69, closed in 2010
  • Mannheim, Schönau district , Stephanuskirche : built 1965–67, dismantled in 2011, re-use open
  • St. Blasien , Menzenschwand district , Church of the Redeemer: Taken over and consecrated by the Catholic Church in 1978, declassified and sold in 2013
  • Waghäusel , Friedenskirche: Dedicated in 2005, supported by a support association
  • Weinheim , Lukaskirche: built around 1977, demolished in 2013, demolition planned
  • Freiburg im Breisgau , Luther Church : the destroyed church was replaced in 1953, deedicated in 2016, converted into a lecture hall


  • Johannes Ehmann: History of the Evangelical Church in Baden . Evangelical Publishing House, Leipzig
    • Vol. 1: Reformation movements in the south-west of the empire (1518–1557). From Luther's Heidelberg disputation to the Peace of Augsburg and its aftermath . 2018.
  • Karl Friedrich Vierordt : History of the Protestant Church in the Grand Duchy of Baden. Edited from largely handwritten sources . Braun, Karlsruhe
    • Vol. 1: Until 1571 . 1847.
    • Vol. 2: From the year 1571 to the present time . 1856.

Web links

Commons : Evangelical Church in Baden  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Evangelical Church in Germany - Church membership numbers as of December 31, 2018 EKD, January 2020
  2. s. also the article History of the Reformation in Markgräflerland
  3. Lucian Hölscher : History of Protestant Piety in Germany . CH Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-53526-7 , p. 210.
  4. ^ Gerhard Krause, Gerhard Müller: Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Volume 13, p. 165.
  5. Wermke is the new President of the Baden Synod , ekiba.de, message from October 21, 2014.
  6. http://www.kirchenrecht-baden.de/showdocument/id/7617/section/100.100.00116  ( page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.kirchenrecht-baden.de
  7. a b Prelatures on the website of the Evangelical Church in Baden at ekiba.de, accessed on February 11, 2017.
  8. https://badischer-enzkreis.de accessed on March 4, 2020
  9. https://www.strube.de/shopnavigation/wo-wir-dich-loben-wachsen-neue-lieder-plus.html?tx_eshop%5Baction%5D=sview&tx_eshop%5Bproduktlinie%5D=4&tx_eshop%5BproduktUid%5D=3193&cHash = 3f7c0909c2
  10. https://ka.stadtwiki.net/Petrus-Jakobus-Kirche
  11. http://www.ka-news.de/region/karlsruhe/Nicht-barrierefrei-Karlsruher-Kirche-estand-vor-dem-Abriss;art6066,1469010
  12. http://www.ekma.de/?seite=45&back=397&id=26524
  13. http://www.immanuelpfingstberg.ekma.de/Immanuelkirche.html
  14. http://www.badische-zeitung.de/st-blasien/die-kirchengemeinde-ist-auszüge--73600902.html
  15. https://rolandliebl.wordpress.com/
  16. Archive link ( Memento from January 15, 2015 in the Internet Archive )

Coordinates: 49 ° 0 ′ 25.7 "  N , 8 ° 23 ′ 56.3"  E