Germany: New Principal for Friedensau University

Germany: New Principal for Friedensau University

Mario Brito (right) presented Prof. Dr. Roland Fischer (left) to the newly elected to office

In 1899 the Theological Seminary was founded in Friedensau, and in 1990 was recognized as a state university.

July 01, 2016 | Bern, Switzerland. | APD, CD-EUDNews.

After a year of vacancy, a new principal was chosen for the Theological College of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Friedensau near Magdeburg. On June 25, Professor Dr. Phil Roland E. Fischer (55), was inducted to his new office by Pastor Mario Brito (Bern/Switzerland), President of the Adventist Church leadership in Western and Southern Europe (Inter European Division).

A Principal Is Not Alone

Portuguese Pastor Mario Brito, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Western and Southern Europe, had a prayer of blessing before Professor Fischer's inauguration to office. He stressed that even though a principal carries the responsibility for the balance of strong local community ties between the Adventist university and the academic advancement, he is not alone. He has a highly dedicated team of employees that, as Christians, could also be trusted to lean on God's help.

Professional and Academic Career

After high school from 1979-1983, Roland Fischer studied at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Marienhöhe in Darmstadt. He subsequently became a youth pastor in Augsburg and in Neunkirchen for seven years, where he was ordained as pastor in 1988. From 1990 to 1992 he studied at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA, and graduated with a Master's of Divinity. He then spent 13 years as senior pastor in Kassel. During this time he studied part-time and in 2001 earned a degree in Theology at Friedensau University. From 2002 to 2004, his further experience was in mentoring pastors. From 2005 to 2012, he was appointed head of the Institute for training at the Adventist Church in Germany. Again studying part time in 2003-2007, Fischer graduated with doctoral studies at the University of Bayreuth. He studied "Religious Socialization and Adult Education" and received his doctorate on "Education in Worship. Adventist Bible School" with magna cum laude as Doctor of Philosophy. Since 2009, he was also a lecturer in Practical Theology at Friedensau. From 2011 he lectured in the fields of Homiletics, Catechistics, Liturgy and Pastoral Theology. In May 2016, he was called to be a Professor of Practical Theology at the Theological College Friedensau.

Heinz Schlumpberger also mentioned Heike, Fischer's wife, a mother of three children, and with whom the new principal has been married for 35 years. She has supported her husband in the course of his work, including the time-consuming training and specific qualifications ''supporting him all the way''.

A Lot of Experience with Foreign Students

Professor Dr. Armin Willingmann (SPD), State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy, Science and Digitising of Saxony-Anhalt, pointed out in his address that Professor Roland Fischer is the fifth principal of Friedensau University following Professors Baldur Pfeiffer, Udo Worschech, Johann Gerhardt and Friedbert Ninow and thereby being part of the German Principals' Conference of Saxony-Anhalt. Although the training centre was recognized as a university by the state only 26 years ago, there is no other university that has as much experience with foreign students as Friedensau. Here interculturalism is alive. The university is well positioned internationally. That shows our commission as reported by the former principal, Professor Ninow last year to the dean of Theology at the Adventist La Sierra University in Riverside, California / USA.

Programs and Institutions

In 1899 the Theological Seminary was founded in Friedensau, and in 1990 was recognized as a state university. There are about 200 students from over 30 different countries currently enrolled in Theology and Christian Social Services. Dr. Stefan Höschele is the Dean of Theology. Professor Horst F. Rolly is the Dean of Christian Social Work. At the University one can successfully complete a Bachelor's/Master's in Theology and Bachelor's Degree programmes in the following: Social Work, Social and Health Management, Counselling, Theological Studies, Music Therapy, International Social Sciences and a dual Bachelor's degree in Health and Nursing as well as a course in "German as a foreign language".

Friedensau Department of Theology features the Scientific Institutes Old Testament and Biblical Archeology, Adventist History and Theology, Historical Archives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Europe, Institute of Mental Health in Children and Adolescents, Church Music, Science of Missions, Religion, Languages and Further Training. The field of Christian Social Work include the institution's evaluation in development cooperation and in humanitarian aid, the Institute for the Protection of ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities, development cooperation, families and social research, addiction and dependency issues, culture-related communications and values education and music therapy.

Other Adventist Educational Institutions

Besides Friedenau University, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany maintains other educational institutions: the "Marienhöhe" school centre in Darmstadt with high school, college, secondary, primary and boarding schools; the Oberhavel Adventist School (primary school) and the Immanuel School in Oranienburg-Friedrichsthal, the Andrews-Advent primary school in Solingen, the Daniel-School (elementary) in Murrhardt, the Elisa School (primary and junior high) in Herbolzheim-Tutschfelden, the Josiah School (primary and Secondary with a College branch) in Isny, the Advent School (primary) in Heilbronn and the Solomon School (primary) in Rastatt. In addition, four kindergartens (Berlin, Munich, Fürth, Penzberg) and Heilpädagogische Daycare for preschoolers in Neuburg/Donau.

Worldwide, the Seventh-day Adventist Church maintains a total of 7,579 schools - from primary to university - the largest Protestant educational network.

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