Vicariate (Protestant)

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The vicariate is the practical preparation for the profession of Protestant pastor or pastor .


The vicariate is a preparatory service , similar to the legal clerkship in the public service; the vicariate is thus the second part of pastor training in Germany. Who goes through the Vicariate, is vicar or curate.

A prerequisite for admission to the vicariate is a degree in Protestant theology that has been completed with the First Theological or First Ecclesiastical Examination , during which one was entered on the list of theology students of the regional church . The first theological exam corresponds to the academic degree of the diploma (Dipl.-Theol.), Which, depending on the regional church and university, can be acquired in addition to the first theological exam (see theology ). At the end of the vicariate the second theological or the second ecclesiastical exam is taken; its successful completion is not to be equated with an academic degree.

Following the second exam, you can be accepted into the church trial service, depending on the regional church as pastor , pastor for employment ( pastor z. A.) or pastor on probation. The ordination as a pastor or priest is usually at the beginning or in the course of this trial service in some regional churches transitional only in the introduction to the first parish in a permanent employment relationship.

During the vicariate, the candidate may administer the Lord's Supper, marry, baptize, etc .; by virtue of the ordination of the pastor who accompanies the formation in the congregation; this is a special regulation in order to ensure the quality of this training, which is partly in conflict with ecumenical agreements. The permission to do this is also regulated in the various regional churches. So z. As in Saxony the vicars only included "bless us ," but not exclusively "bless you " bless . Furthermore, they are not allowed to preside over the celebration of the Lord's Supper. The process and length of the vicariate vary between the individual regional churches.


Elevator of a vicar (in the 19th century), illustration in the book "Scenes from the life of a vicar" by Ludwig August Helvig 1842

The vicariate begins with the award of the employment certificate; In some regional churches the presentation is combined with a divine service. This means that the person concerned is appointed to a public service relationship on revocation.

The timing of a vicariate is regulated by the respective regional church and can therefore only be described here as an example. In some regional churches, for example, there is a phase of ministry in school at the beginning, which can last up to six months. After initially observing only the lessons of a mentor or several teachers, lessons in religion and a further subject must later be given independently. In addition, a religious didactic institution of the regional church concerned is visited during this time.

This is followed by the parish phase, which lasts at least one year, in which the candidate is permanently assigned to a pastor. There it is gradually taught to hold services, baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Finally, there is the final phase with the second theological exam, consisting of some written exams and / or oral exams.

During the vicariate, courses, some of which last several weeks, take place in a preacher's seminary , in which practical work in the congregation is reflected upon and new approaches are tried out. Often there is also a model with monthly phases in the seminary that interrupt the parish vicariate. There are courses on pedagogy, pastoral care, preaching and community development. In most of the vicariate models, a regional group has been added. It consists of vicars from the region in a fixed composition. These vicars meet with their mentor to exchange their own experiences and experiences in order to receive suggestions for their own work.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Parish Service Act of the EKD: Chapter 1 Parish service on probation. In: November 8, 2016, accessed April 17, 2018 .
  2. Parish Service Act of the EKD § 118. In: November 8, 2016, accessed April 17, 2018 .