Within the department of Practical Theology the branch Religious Education covers the following tasks and foci:
- Research and study in the field of scientific reflection on religious education
- Enabling students to a theological-communicative competence and to a responsible participation in the social discourse
- Professional training and training in media didactics for future teachers of religion and for students who would like to work in other fields of religious education (adult education, youth work)
How do people learn to believe? What do people believe today?
These and many other questions generate the common thread for our work as can be seen in the lectures and publications of our research staff.
Religious education and socialization are reflected and empirically researched on mainly in the fields of family, preschool, school, youth work and adult education. One survey was done with students in school on how they evaluate their religious education.
In a world where may religions and ideologies exist side by side intercultural learning has become a burning question: What are we able to know and what should we know about another religions? What are uniting or separating elements? How are children able to learn something about their own religion and other religions?
Another research area is psychology of religion: How does the belief in God develop in the life of human beings? How does e.g. the image of God alter? Who do we learn to believe from?
In the field of ecclesiastical community the catechesis of the sacraments are in the centre of reflection: How can children and their parents be guided to baptism, first communion and confirmation while making sure that these sacraments are considered as “holy signs”, as something that is of great importance for their life?
A special focus is put on training in didactics and the teaching practice for our future teachers of religion or other future religious educators: How can I successfully teach religion in the diverse types of school. What do I have to consider? What competences do I have to acquire as religious educator? How to plan a lesson or a longer lasting topic? How to motivate students for a topic? What are questions students have regarding their faith and what answers or further questions can be offered from theology?
Manifold teaching methods and forms of learning are taught at our institute. We train our students on how to guide successful processes of learning in religious education, ecclesiastical youth work and adult education.