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Humanities and Social Sciences

Study Theology, Religion in Germany

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The word theology is of Greek origin and simply put, translates to the "teaching of God”. This alone makes clear what a theology degree is about: namely, studying the subject matter of a specific faith, its (contemporary) documents, and their interpretation. Studying religion, on the other hand, is not about a specific faith, but about the influence religions have had in the past as well as their influence on everyday life today.

Facts

85 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, Final Examination, Diplom, Department Examination, Church Degree, Licence Examination, Magister, State Examination, Theological Examination

German, English

1-12 Semesters

What can I expect?

If you would like to study theology, you need to decide which faith you want to study in advance. In Germany, you can choose between the Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, or Jewish faiths.

You should also decide in advance whether you would like to work as a teacher in a school or in another institution, or whether you would prefer to work in a church or in other areas, such as research.

Depending on your answers to these questions, you can choose between the following offerings:

  • Protestant religious pedagogy
  • Protestant theology
  • Islamic religious education
  • Islamic theology
  • Jewish studies
  • Catholic religious pedagogy
  • Catholic theology
  • Religious studies
  • Theology

Learning languages is typically part of the study of theology or religion. Be it Hebrew, Ancient Greek and Latin for the Christian religions, Hebrew for Jewish studies, or Arabic for Islam: You should be willing to learn languages and work with them.

In addition to private and state higher education institutions, many religious institutions also offer these fields of study.

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What are the requirements to study theology or religion in Germany?

In most cases, you need a general higher education entrance qualification or an equivalent qualification for admission to courses of study in theology or religion. Many degree programmes have no further admission restrictions.

If there are admission restrictions, they are often in the form of institution-specific admission procedures or local admission restrictions (numerus clausus, i.e. a minimum grade). Admission to the respective degree programme may also be subject to denominational restrictions. In addition, some degree programmes – depending on the specialisation – require certified skills in Latin, Greek or Hebrew or a certain level of English language skills. In some cases, however, missing language skills can be made up for during the degree programme. Even if subject-relevant internships are rarely a prerequisite, you may have to complete an internship, e.g. in a parish or social institution, before your studies.

How much does it cost to study theology and religion in Germany?

If you want to study at a public higher education institution, you can look forward to no tuition fees for most degree programmes. However, you will have to pay semester contributions, which are quite low compared internationally. You can expect to pay between 100 and 400 euros per semester. The semester contribution often covers your semester ticket, which you can use for public transport. At church-run institutions, too, the costs are usually similar to the semester contributions. Private higher education institutions and distance learning programmes, however, usually come with tuition fees and thus additional costs.

Please note: Even though there are hardly any tuition fees at state higher education institutions, there may be exceptions. Therefore, it is recommended that you read the conditions of the institutions and the specific degree programmes in advance.

Another item in your budget will probably be your rent payment. Depending on the location, rents can be quite different: While big cities tend to be much more expensive, you can expect lower rental costs in smaller towns. But no matter which city or town you choose, student halls of residence or shared flats are usually the cheapest options. Interim lets are also often cheaper and are usually furnished.

In addition, you will have to pay for living expenses, study materials, internet and possibly health insurance. These depend not only on your place of study but also on your lifestyle and other factors.

To finance your studies in Germany, you should also find out about scholarships. There are many different scholarship programmes and excellent grades are not the only deciding factor. You can learn more about scholarships  and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

What career opportunities do I have with a degree in theology, religion?

Your future career will, of course, be strongly influenced by your major and additional qualifications.

Depending on your denomination, you can, for example, work as a vicar or pastor or become a rabbi. But work in pastoral care is also possible. The field of pastoral care also includes, for example, pastoral work in the military, with the police, and in clinics or counselling centres.

Additionally, the public service and the social sector can also offer you job opportunities. These include, for example, the education sector, development aid, religious and cultural institutions and community work.

You can also find work in publishing houses, the media or in museums and libraries. Science is also available with its research institutions, and political work is another possibility.

In religious institutions, for example in the pastorate, you can usually expect an above-average starting salary. Pastoral workers, on the other hand, tend to earn average salaries in Germany. In social institutions, you can usually expect a somewhat lower salary than in the above-mentioned occupational fields.

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Check your eligibility to study at German higher education institutions (non-binding)

Run a quick and non-binding check to determine whether your certificates make you eligible to study at German higher education institutions. Depending on which educational certificates you provide, you may qualify for all degree programmes or only for certain subjects or types of higher education institutions. It is possible that you do not currently meet the requirements to be eligible to apply to a German higher education institution. In such a case, you may be able to attend a Studienkolleg. Please note that the eligibility check results apply exclusively to undergraduate programmes and are not legally binding.

Once you have completed the non-binding check, degree programmes that match your eligibility will be marked with a corresponding icon.