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Protestant Theology

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Application: not required
Course commences: winter semester / summer semester
Standard course duration: 6 semesters (+ 2 semesters for each ancient language learned on the course)
Focus options: 50% (with and without Teaching Degree option); 25%
Format options: full-time / part-time
Language requirements: certified proficiency in Latin and ancient Greek (Latinum, Graecum) by the 6th semester
Language of instruction: German and English


Faculty of Theology

Note for prospective students interested in coming to Heidelberg University to take the Teaching Degree course qualifying its graduates to teach at higher secondary (grammar) schools (Gymnasien) in Germany:

In accordance with the statutory provisions laid down by the State of Baden-Württemberg, students wishing to embark as of winter semester 2015/2016 on a Teaching Degree qualifying them to teach at higher secondary (grammar) schools (Gymnasien) in Germany can only do so by enrolling in two-tier courses with a Bachelor/Master structure (polyvalent two-subject (50%) Bachelor programme with a Teaching Degree option; Master of Education course scheduled to start in winter semester 2018/2019).

As of winter semester 2015/2016, the subject described on this page can be studied in a polyvalent two-subject (50%) Bachelor course with a Teaching Degree option. It has to be combined with another 50% subject of relevance for secondary-school education.

For more information, go to

Note for students already enrolled in a Teaching Degree course in the framework of the Examination Regulations for Teachers at Higher Secondary Schools (GymPO I):

In the winter semester 2015/2016 and later, students enrolled by 31 July 2015 in a Teaching Degree course regulated by the provisions of GymPO I (2009) are entitled to switch to a different main subject under the conditions set out in said GymPO provided that the change is in accordance with the statutory provisions.

In this case, the following transitional regulations apply:

For more information, go to

Course outline

The B.A. course in Protestant Theology offers a broadly conceived introduction to all disciplines constituting the subject. The subject matter discussed in the base modules is dealt with in greater depth in a consolidation module chosen by the students from among the five disciplines on offer (Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, Systematic Theology, Religious Studies). The course can be studied with or without a Teaching Degree option.

Another course offered by the Faculty of Theology that enables students to specialise in one theological discipline is the B.A. course Christianity and Culture.

For information on the Faculty examination for the priesthood, go to the website for the Magister degree in Theology.

Course structure

The theology course divides up into the following subjects:

  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Church History and History of Dogmatics
  • Systematic Theology (dogmatics, ethics, ecumenical theology, philosophy)
  • Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology
  • Practical Theology (part of the Teaching Degree option)

Greater details on course structure can be found in the recommendations of the Study Guide available from the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Theology.

Old Testament

The classes on the Old Testament (OT) provide students with foundational knowledge of the origins and original intention of the Old Testament alongside an introduction to the history and religious history of ancient Israel and its environs. The theology of the Old Testament is dealt with in all its canonical diversity and with comprehensive coverage of the history of its impact on Judaism and Christianity. Appropriate attention is also given to its societal and cultural influence in the present-day world. The objective of the classes is to enable students to embark on their own individual interpretation of the OT with the aid of scholarly methods, critical hermeneutic reflection and important secondary literature. In addition, students are expected to gain an appreciation of the significance of the OT for the theology, churches and culture of the present day.

New Testament

Engagement with the New Testament (NT) requires knowledge of the Origins and Content of the Books of the New Testament and the corresponding canon as well as the History of Primal Christianity and its connections with contemporaneous religious, social and political history, notably that of Judaism. First-hand knowledge of the relevant sectors of Jewish religious history and the religious history of antiquity is derived from the original sources. The objectives in this sector of the course are to familiarise students with the theological thought-world of the New Testament, to enable them to reflect on the problems involved in achieving a true understanding of it in the present, and to equip them with the knowledge and skills required for independent interpretation of NT texts.

Church History and History of Dogmatics

Church History encompasses the history of the church, the history of dogmatics and the history of theology alongside denominational studies, Christian  archaeology, history of Christian art and (in the specifically German context) the history of territorial churches.

The main lectures set out to provide an overview of the five ages in the history of the church, dogmatics and theology (antiquity, Middle Ages, Reformation, modern age, contemporary church history) focusing on structures, outstanding events and central problems. In the lectures on the respective periods, the history of the church, dogmatics and theology are discussed integrally.

In-depth knowledge is supplied by longitudinal perspectives or engagement with selected problems of a given epoch. The main epochs focused on are the 4th/5th century, the Reformation, pietism, the Enlightenment, and contemporary church history.

Systematic Theology

The disciplines involved here are dogmatics, ethics, ecumenical theology and philosophy.

In dogmatics, students are acquainted with Biblical, historical and contemporary topics and ways in which these topics can be integrated into theological teachings. Further, they are given the opportunity to practise the argumentative presentation of the content on which Christian faith is based.

In ethics, students are supplied with knowledge of, and insights into, problems involved in Christian-motivated action past and present and equipped with abilities enabling them to make ethical judgements of their own.

Ecumenical theology deals with the relations between the Christian churches, their theological grounding in their different traditions and their significance for social and political cohesion in communities.

The aim of religious philosophy is to enable students to engage independently with philosophical issues and essential philosophical texts.

Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology

Religious Studies communicates the essential features of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, modern religious movements and esoteric religions and discusses theoretical approaches to these religions.

Intercultural Theology revolves around the history of theology and Christianity in Asia, Africa and Latin America and homes in on basic issues in intercultural theology (interreligious dialogue, theology of the religions, missiology, contextual theologies, etc.).

Practical Theology

Of the disciplines constituting the subject religious pedagogy is studied in B.A. course in Protestant Theology.

Religious pedagogy proceeds from present-day religious attitudes in schoolchildren and adolescents and develops an appropriate profile for religious instruction in schools that takes the expectations levelled at Christian religion seriously, accepts inquiries and disappointments in critical discourse and defines religious education in a new and contemporary context with a theological profile of its own and with reference to empirical and qualitative concerns. It elaborates structures for preparing religious instruction lessons, reflects on the history of endeavour in the interests of religious education and engages with forms of ecclesiastical religious education (children’s services, confirmation classes, adult education) outside the school context. In all this, a clear awareness is maintained of the difference between instruction and religious exhortation.

Formal requirements


There are no restrictions on admission to the Teaching Degree course. Click here for information on how to enrol.

International applicants

There are special regulations for international applicants. For more information, apply to the International Relations Office of Heidelberg University (Seminarstraße 2).

Subject combinations

Possible subject combinations are listed in the Catalogue of Subjects.

Study and examination regulation

Examination regulations Bachelor (22 April 2015, last change 28.09.2016)
Examination regulations Bachelor (22 April 2015)

Module Handbook

Please click here to find the latest Module Handbook.

Examinations board

Issues arising in connection with examinations, credit transfer and academic credential recognition are dealt with by the relevant examinations board/office. For more information, consult the academic advisor(s) indicated below.


Tuition fees at Heidelberg University are payable at the beginning of each semester.

Academic advisor

Dr. Dirk Schwiderski
Kisselgasse 1, Office 123
Monday 11:00 - 11:30 am and Tuesdays 11:00 - 11:30 am
phone: +49 (0)6221 543394 (Monday and Tuesday 11:00 - 11:30 am)


The Dean

Faculty of Theology
Hauptstraße 231
D-69117 Heidelberg

Geschäftsführung:  Franziska Röthig
Office 102
phone: +49 (0)6221 543334
fax: +49 (0)62221 543372

Student representation:
Kisselgasse 1, basement
D-69117 Heidelberg

E-Mail: Seitenbearbeiter
Letzte Änderung: 2018-07-18
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