from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rector (from Latin rector 'head') is the name for a church, academic or school leadership position.

Church offices

Roman Catholic Church

As Ecclesiae Rector (Rector Church) is called in today's canonical language the priest , who acts as head of a church that does not parish or monastery church is. He is usually appointed by the diocesan bishop or, if someone else has the right to propose or vote, appointed or confirmed by him.

In older usage, namely in the Codex Iuris Canonici from 1917, rectores ecclesiarum usually refers to the officiating parish priest. In the even earlier, medieval linguistic usage, the rector ecclesiae usually still referred to the church lord or parish patron , i.e. the owner of the parish priests ( praebende ), who in many cases was not exactly identical with the parish priest ( pleban ), but merely the income ( church tithe ) from the community and gave only part of it to the resident parish priest. Kirchherr could therefore also be a minorist or even a layman . The fourth Lateran Council forbade in 1215 the hitherto common practice that parish cartridge only one-sixteenth of tithing (called the usually Vicar) to the actually acting as parish pastor clergy passed on, and committed them to ensure the livelihood of the clergy ( can . 32).

A diocesan priest appointed by the bishop who acts as superior of a female congregation under episcopal law ( religious order ) is also referred to as rector . The rector or superior, as the representative of the bishop, has the task of instructing and supervising the leadership of the women's order and is authorized to issue instructions to the superiors of the community. Nowadays this facility is rarely found, one example is the long-time vicar general of the diocese of Regensburg , Wilhelm Gegenfurtner , who works as a superior in the motherhouse of the Mallersdorfer sisters . As a rule, however, the top management of women's religious communities today is in the hands of the nuns themselves. The rector is not to be confused with the spiritual or house chaplain of a women's order, who acts as a confessor and spiritual advisor, but does not perform any leadership tasks in the order.

In the Jesuit order the heads of grammar schools or seminaries are also called rectors.

Anglican Church

In Anglican churches is between Parishes (parishes) that are financially independently and emission (emission) that are subsidized by Bistum distinguished. In the parishes , the highest ranking priest ( pastor ) is appointed by the parish council (with the consent of the bishop) and is usually designated with the title "rector" (head); In missions, the priests are called by the bishop and act as his representative, which is why they are called " vicar " (representative).

Old Catholic Church

In the Old Catholic Church , Rector ecclesiae is used as in the Roman Catholic Church , but only since the name Jesus Church was used as a cathedral .

Academic offices

At most German universities , the rector is the elected academic head. A rector can be a professor , but is released from the usual activity for the time of his activity (unlike most deans or prorectors ). In contrast to the Chancellor, he takes care of representative tasks and the orientation of teaching and research. More recent university constitutions also use the term president . In the federal states of Berlin , Brandenburg , Hamburg , Hesse , Lower Saxony , Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein , the academic heads of the universities are all presidents , while in Baden-Württemberg , Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , North Rhine-Westphalia , Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt the designation is mostly rector is common. In Bavaria , Bremen , Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia there is no uniform regulation regarding the management bodies. The university constitution defines the decision-making powers of rectors or presidents. With the elimination and assumption of the duties of the chancellor, presidents generally have more decision-making powers than rectors, who traditionally depend on decisions made by the university's academic senate.

The Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich is an example of a multiple system change; the original rectorate constitution was replaced by a presidential constitution in 1976; 14 years later a rector was re-elected, and in 2006 the rector went back to a president.

The traditional form of address for rectors at universities is: " Magnificence ". This form of address is still used at traditional universities on official occasions.

In the early modern times , the nominal rector of a university could also be the sovereign or a nobleman enrolled at the university, whom the university honored in this way.


In the German-speaking countries, rector is the official title of the headmaster at elementary, secondary and secondary schools; his deputy is called the Vice-Rector or Vice-Rector . In Austria the designation director is common, which in Germany is only used for the headmasters at schools of the upper secondary level (grammar schools, comprehensive schools and vocational schools) with the official designation Oberstudiendirektor . A director of studies is (except in exceptional cases such as in schools in the making or in the case of temporary school administrators) not a school director. He is one official and salary level below the senior degree director and usually has special tasks such as deputy school management, senior level coordination or specialist supervision.

Web links

Wiktionary: Rector  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Rectors  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. CIC 556 Codex Iuris Canonici , Canon 556
  2. CCEO 304 Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium , Canon 304
  3. CIC 557 Codex Iuris Canonici, Canon 557
  4. CCEO 305 Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, Canon 305
  5. ^ Constitutional development of the LMU. In: Retrieved September 21, 2019 .