Otmar Schulz

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Otmar Schulz (born May 27, 1938 in Brandenburg an der Havel ) is a Protestant theologian and publicist as well as composer , poet and translator of hymns .


Born in Brandenburg, he moved to the Ruhr area with his family in 1947. At the age of 14 he was baptized and accepted into the Baptist church, which his parents also belonged to.

Otmar Schulz studied theology and psychology at the Universities of Münster , Hamburg and Zurich . From 1965 to 1970 Schulz worked as a theological consultant in the " Ecumenical Center of the Working Group of Christian Churches in Germany ". At the same time he was choirmaster and organist in a Baptist congregation in Frankfurt am Main .

From 1970 to 1979 Schulz was director of studies at the Evangelical Academy in Arnoldshain in the Taunus . Although he was a free church member, he was elected to the broadcasting committee of the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau in 1972, which critically and creatively accompanied the church broadcasts. For several years he was its chairman. In 1979 Schulz was appointed director of the Evangelical Information Center and radio and television representative in Kassel by the Evangelical Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck . He held this office, later also as a member of the board of the nationwide Evangelical Press Service , until 1995. In 1982 he moved to the Evangelical Church.

In 1995 Otmar Schulz was appointed to the position of commissioner for journalistic education and training of the Evangelical Lutheran regional church of Hanover to succeed Siegfried von Kortzfleisch . He continued to do this after retiring in 1998.

In 2002 Schulz obtained his doctorate in theology at the University of Erlangen with a thesis on Robert Geisendörfer and the development of Protestant journalism since the Second World War .

Otmar Schulz is married and now lives in Nienhagen near Celle . He was a choirmaster for over 50 years. Currently (2015) he sings in two choirs and helps out in others. He is the 1st chairman of the outpatient cardiac sports group Wathlingen and holds other honorary positions.


Otmar Schulz sang in the choir of his Baptist congregation as a preschooler . At the age of 15/16 he made his first compositions, which were examined and accompanied by Paul Ernst Ruppel and Herbert Beuerle . In 1956, at the age of 18, he passed the choral conducting examination.

He became active as a journalist after having made numerous articles on ecumenical topics as a freelancer from 1966, including in the Ökumenische Rundschau , the Una Sancta and in the Deutsche Allgemeine Sonntagsblatt . Journalism became his life's work, for example in the community work of Evangelical Journalism , in the Evangelical Media Academy (he initiated courses to introduce journalism for young theologians, among other things) and in the design of journalistic homiletic courses for writing and speaking for church leaders, but not only for she.

His journalistic work was accompanied by creative church music activity. In 1967 the first version of the song " Lord, you have prayed " was written, in 1971 the new version by the lyricist ( Evangelisches Gesangbuch (EG) No. 267). In 1972, together with Sabine Leonhardt, the translation of the English hymn " Christ, the Light of the World " (EG No. 410) based on a template by Frederick Pratt Green followed . In the evangelical hymn book Where we praise you, new songs grow there is the passion song In a distant time you go to Golgotha under the number 164, which was set to music by Andreas Brunion.

During his time in Frankfurt, during which he also designed numerous radio broadcasts as a text author, speaker and musician, the songs " You have me, Lord, called to you " (EG No. 210) were written in 1974 (on the occasion of the baptism of one of his two daughters ) and " O Come, O Come, You Morning Star " (EG No. 19) in 1975 based on an English template by John Mason Neale .

Schulz wrote sentences to his own melodies for choir books on the Evangelical Hymnbook, which is published by the Association of Evangelical Church Choirs in Germany , and in 1994 his own compositions were published under the title " Psalms and liturgical chants ".


  • Commitment without self-interest: Robert Geisendörfer - A life for journalism . Frankfurt am Main 2000, ISBN 3-932194-42-X
  • From Abba to Zion (= Insights. Texts , Vol. 6). Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-932194-34-9
  • Church for the curious . Hanover 2006, ISBN 3-7859-0962-4


In 2010 Otmar Schulz won first prize in a nationwide competition organized by the Evangelical Church for new Passion songs. It is the song: In a distant time you will go to Golgotha .


  • Wolfgang Heiner: Well-known songs - how they came about . Stuttgart 1979, ISBN 3-7751-0391-0
  • Wolfgang Herbst (Hrsg.): Composers and songwriters of the Evangelical Hymnal (= Handbook for the Evangelical Hymn , Volume 2). Göttingen 1999, ISBN 3-525-50318-0
  • Karl Christian Thust: Bibliography on the songs of the Protestant hymn book . Göttingen 2006, ISBN 3-525-50336-9

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Where we praise you, new songs grow - plus , Strube-Verlag Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-89912-211-4
  2. Press release of the Landeskirche Hannover 2010, accessed on April 17, 2020
  3. song list of EGplus (Protestant hymnal) Retrieved on April 17, 2020