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Friedensau Adventist University Officially Recognized for 20 Years

Friedensau Adventist University Officially Recognized for 20 Years

Exactly 20 years ago, September 15, 1990, Friedensau Theological Seminary, located near Magdeburg (formerly in the German Democratic Republic), received the status of a state-recognized university. The school was founded in 1899 by the Seventh-day Adventi

September 28, 2010 | M. Böttcher/CD EUD

Exactly 20 years ago, September 15, 1990, Friedensau Theological Seminary, located near Magdeburg (formerly in the German Democratic Republic), received the status of a state-recognized university. The school was founded in 1899 by the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a seminary to train church workers.

During the school's 1983 educational reform period, the University's Board of Directors aimed at achieving state-level academic standards for their theology courses while maintaining an Adventist identity.

With state accreditation, the academic year at Friedensau Theological Seminary was divided into trimesters, which made it possible for students to complete some of their courses much faster. In consultation with the University of Halle (formerly part of the German Democratic Republic) and Andrews University (Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA), Friedensau's teachers were given the opportunity to work on post-graduate studies for a trimester, thus enabling systematic continuing education.

During the last decade of the German Democratic Republic and after several negotiations, 15-20 foreign students from “socialist brother countries” were admitted to take theology courses at the Seminary every year. Considering the conditions of the former German Democratic Republic, this was indeed extraordinary!

After enlarging the curriculum by adding other courses and after a thorough evaluation through a commission, Friedensau Theological Seminary was eventually given accreditation as a degree-granting higher education institution through Andrews University in 1984. Again, accreditation granted by an American university in those times was a unique venture! Normally, this was not possible.

Due to the political changes that took place in the fall of 1989, state recognition was promised to all church-run educational institutions, which were tolerated but not recognized by the German Democratic Republic. The condition for state recognition, however, was that courses would meet the required standards. So in June 1990, the Board of Directors submitted an application for state recognition along with comprehensive documentation of the school’s curriculum. On September 15, 1990, Friedensau Theological Seminary received the status of a state-recognized university by a resolution of the Council of Ministers of Education and Science of the East German transitional government and the Conference of University Rectors.

Over the past 20 years, Friedensau Adventist University has provided high-quality education. A state-recognized university degree can be obtained that qualifies students for doctoral programs. Two of the courses are taught in English only, which is of great help to foreign students. New research institutes have been created. This year, students can sign up for a course in health and nursing care that is run in cooperation with Berlin Acute Hospital Waldfriede.

Currently, around 170 students from over 20 different countries are attending courses in theology and Christian social sciences. The following degrees can be obtained:

  • Bachelor (B.A.) and Master (M.A.) in theology
  • Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.)
  • Bachelor (B.A.) in Social Work and Health Care Sciences
  • Master (M.A.) in Social and Health Management
  • Master (M.A.) in Counselling

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