In the Magister program in Catholic Theology, students gain an in-depth and theologically and scientifically substantiated approach to the Christian faith and its testimonies, the resulting ethical questions, the practice of the Church, and various aspects of religiosity in history and the present. The 10-semester degree program is divided into a theological foundation phase, a development phase and a consolidation phase. All sub-areas of theology contribute their own perspectives to the program, and students are able to choose their individual specializations. During their studies, students acquire skills for presenting theological contexts in an appropriate manner, for critically reflecting on points of view and for representing positions independently. In this way, they prepare for teaching, research and application-related professional fields.
The program in detail
In the degree program of Theology, we approach the big questions and examine them in detail. The Magister degree program in Catholic Theology is a full theological course of study that, after ten semesters of regular study time, leads to the academic degree "Magister Theologiae" or "Magistra Theologiae" (Mag. Theol.) after ten semesters. The degree is recognized by both the state and the Church and is equivalent to a Master's degree. Individual courses in the degree program are grouped into modules of between 5 and 15 ECTS credits, which are divided into three phases: theological foundation, development phase, and consolidation phase.
In the Magister program in Catholic Theology, students gain an in-depth and theologically and scientifically substantiated approach to the Christian faith and its testimonies, the resulting ethical questions, the practice of the Church, and various aspects of religiosity in history and the present. In lectures and practice courses as well as in seminars and colloquia, students experience and learn theology as a science. Thanks to an extensive range of elective courses, field trips and the final Magister examination, students can set their own individual focus.
In the course of their studies, students acquire comprehensive, networked knowledge and in-depth skills in all disciplines of theology. Students learn to present theological contexts in an appropriate manner, to reflect points of view critically and to take independent positions. In particular, they acquire the ability to analyze and solve even complex problems independently with the help of their knowledge of theological methods and scientific ways of thinking and working. The aim of the degree program is to facilitate the transition into professional practice. Included in this qualification objective is the deepening of personal, spiritual and social skills, which are of particular importance for theologists with regard to the job market.
During the theological foundation phase (semesters 1 and 2), the program introduces important approaches, terminology, methods and principles in the individual disciplines in line with the current state of research. Since all disciplines of theology are already represented in this phase, students gain an overview of the wide range of theology and the interconnection of the individual disciplines between each other. In the first two semesters, the students learn the basic ability to correctly express their fundamental knowledge orally and in writing. In addition, the first application of important methods of theology and scientific work is another skill focus area.
M 0: Theology as Science of Faith in its Unity and Diversity
M 1: Introduction to Theology from a Biblical Perspective
M 2: Introduction to Theology from a Historical Perspective
M3: Introduction to Theology from a Systematic Perspective
M4: Introduction to Theology from a Practical-Theological Perspective
M5: Philosophy: Reason and Faith
In the development phase (semesters 3 to 6), the interdisciplinary discussion between the individual theological disciplines comes more into focus, so that the students' problem-solving and networking skills are honed. Students are expected to make initial assessments and interpretations using subject-specific methods that lead to justifiable personal judgements. In this context, their transfer skills are developed further. In order to achieve these objectives, the development phase mainly includes thematically structured required modules that approach important questions and elementary topics of theology from the perspective of different subjects in an interdisciplinary way. In addition, area M 15 of the development phase includes required modules for professional qualification, for broadening your horizon, and for individual professional specialization.
M 6: Human Beings and Creation
M 7: The Doctrine of God
M 8: Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God
M 9: Ways of Christian Life and Thinking
M 10: The Church as Mystery and as the People of God
M 11: Dimensions and Executions of Faith
M 12: Christian Action in Responsibility for the World
M 13: Becoming a Christian in Contemporary Culture and Society
M 14: Christianity in its Relationship to Judaism and Other Religions
M 15.1: Parish Internship and/or Internship in Categorial Pastoral Care
M 15.2: Key Professional Qualifications I
M 15.3: Theology and Natural Sciences
M 15.4: Specialization as chosen by the student
In the consolidation phase (semesters 7 to 10), the focus is on scientific methodological skills and their differentiation as well as the ability to independently develop strategies in scientific work. Accordingly, the modules are grouped by subject areas in analogy to the Theological foundation. The students' discourse, argumentation and communication skills will be deepened in dealing with more complex subject-specific requirements and points of view, which is additionally supported by manageable course sizes. In this consolidation phase, current topics in theology, the state of research and the relating demarcation between assured knowledge and the (formation of) scientific theories also play an important role. Similar to the development phase, the area of M 23 now includes required and required elective modules for professional qualification and individual specialization. The preparation of a written Magister thesis (M 24) and the preparation of the "Theological Synthesis" in the form of three final oral examinations (M 25), each on freely selectable topics, are also part of this study phase.
M 16: Consolidation in the Field of the Old and New Testament
M 17: Consolidation in the Field of Ancient, Medieval and Modern Church History
M 18: Consolidation in the Field of Dogmatics
M 19: Consolidation in the Field of Fundamental Theology and Philosophy
M 20: Consolidation in the Field of Moral Theology and Christian Social Ethics
M 21: Consolidation in the Field of Pastoral Theology, Religious Education, Christian Spirituality and Homiletics
M 22: Consolidation in the Field of Church Law and Liturgical Studies
M 23.1: School Internship
M 23.2: Key Professional Qualifications II
M 23.3: Specialization as chosen by the student
M 23.4: Specialization as chosen by the student
M 24: Magister Thesis (topic is chosen by the student)
M 25: Theological Synthesis with Final Examinations (topics are chosen by the student)
Students generally enroll for this program in the winter semester, however, it is also possible to start studying in the summer semester. For students who start their studies in the summer semester, we have created an adapted ideal program structure plan that brings all modules into a sensible order, ensures that there is no overlapping of courses, and thus enables students to complete their studies within the standard period of study.
For completion of the Magister degree program, students require language skills in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. If students cannot proof these language skills before the start of the program, they can be acquired concurrently during the program. For this purpose, the Faculty of Theology offers language courses by trained lecturers, which conclude with exams for which a certificate is issued. These language courses can be taken in the first semesters without overlapping with other courses at the Faculty and are specifically designed to meet the needs of Theology students. In addition, the faculty offers its own practical reading courses that support the language acquisition in the form of small group reading and prepare for the exams with the help of specially developed didactic handouts.
Facilities and extras
The Departmental Library 1 at the KU keeps an extremely well-stocked reference collection that is open to all students. Since the academic literature in theology is continuously kept up to date with the latest research, students have the opportunity to access standard works and current specialist texts quickly and easily. In addition, a teaching and school book collection was set up in recent years, in which important works are available in multiple versions and can be borrowed. Other sources of information, such as online resources, daily newspapers, magazines, etc., are also available. The Library is equipped with several workstations that allow focused reading, learning and writing. In addition, there are several public computers that are accessible for research and text work. The Library also offers copying facilities and free scanning and recording facilities.
One of the advantages of the degree program are field trips, which are co-financed by tuition fee compensation grants. The scientific preparation and post-processing takes place in corresponding courses of required elective modules. The scope of the field trips varies greatly; longer trips, such as to Rome, Lebanon, Israel or the Ukraine, take place exclusively during the lecture-free period. In shorter daily trips, students visit educational institutions, art exhibitions or community centers of other religious communities.
Rankings and assessments
KU students and alumni have voted for their University to be Germany's most popular university in the 2022 ranking of the online portal StudyCheck. This is the second time in a row, as KU was also voted the most popular university in 2021. The ranking was based on over 70,000 evaluations for more than 500 higher education institutions and universities. 97 percent of students questioned for the ranking would recommend studying at the KU to others.
"There is no better praise for a university than almost 100 percent of students and alumni agreeing: I can only recommend studying at the KU! That is why we are very pleased with the ranking’s outcome, because it expresses the high level of satisfaction of our students," says KU President Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gien.
All modules of the Magister degree program are offered in a two-semester cycle. Since there is a very large selection of required modules that can be taken each semester, the Faculty of Theology offers its students an attractive opportunity to spend a semester or year abroad without having to worry about delays after returning home.
The study plan is designed in such a way that students can spend a semester abroad, especially in the 5th and 6th semester. The previous modules of the development phase end in the 4th semester, so that there is a clear cut here as regards contents. When returning to Eichstätt, the credits earned abroad will be credited and the program can be continued with the modules still to be completed.
The Faculty of Theology offers intensive advice in advance, makes clear agreements on the academic achievements to be acquired abroad and ensures that these achievements are credited to the Magister program as flexibly as possible.
In the context of a parish internship and/or an internship in categorial pastoral care (M15.1, 5 ECTS) as well as a school internship (M23.1, 5 ECTS), students get to know two essential fields of future professional practice, namely pastoral care and religious education, and develop their individual social skills here. The internships are guided by pastoral staff and teachers with practical experience. The students’ practical experiences are reflected from a theological perspective in the accompanying university courses.
In the modules "Key Professional Qualifications I" (M15.2, 5 ECTS) and "Key Professional Qualifications II” (M23.2, 5 ECTS), students expand their skills independently in the areas of liturgical-pastoral training, spirituality and personality development, communication skills or participation in professionally relevant committees. Students can also have further internships credited to these modules. This means that students are also free to explore different occupational fields in addition to the pastoral or educational sector and/or to prepare themselves for taking up qualified employment through continuing education.
Career possibilities and professional fields
Our Magister degree program in Catholic Theology ideally prepares our graduates for application, teaching and research-related professional fields. In addition to pastoral careers as priests or pastoral advisors, theologists work in the teaching profession, in educational institutions, in the media or in human resources. Beyond that, there are also fields of employment in the area of consulting or administration of social and charitable organizations or Church or public institutions.
The completion of the Magister degree program also qualifies students to work in the field of theological, philosophical and religious studies research, for example as research associates at research institutes, higher education institutions and universities. Graduates holding the degree Mag. Theol. also have the possibility to pursue doctoral studies in Catholic Theology (Dr. theol.) afterwards.
Short distances on campus at the KU save time and avoid stress. The KU is a campus University with modern facilities. The buildings on campus are located close to the Eichstätt old town. Although the University and its campus has grown, it is still characterized by short distances: In Eichstätt, everything can be reached within ten minutes’ walking distance. On campus, green spaces such as the Hofgarten are the perfect places to relax. The garden of the Kapuzinerkloster is also used by different student initiatives for their projects. The canteen is located at the heart of the Eichstätt campus and has a sun deck and cafeteria that leave nothing to be desired.
What sets the KU apart
Studying at the KU is more than just acquiring specialist knowledge. We broaden our horizons together and take on responsibility in and beyond the individual degree programs. The KU has a particular focus on topics such as personal development, sustainability, social skills and social commitment.
It offers its students the possibility to study and work in a welcoming atmosphere and benefit from outstanding support and comprehensive service offers, a well-stocked library, a broad range of sports and leisure activities and a large global network of approx. 300 partner universities. Our team at the International Office helps you to plan your semester abroad and the KU Career Service provides comprehensive advice and support for embarking on your professional career.
Do I have to be Catholic in order to study at the KU? Do I have to deal with Catholic contents during my studies?
No, the KU is open to students of all faiths and beliefs.
At the KU, just as at all state universities, there is freedom of research and teaching. This means that our degree programs focus on the subjects for which you have enrolled – free from external influences.
As a student at our University, you will notice what our understanding of being a Catholic University means for us in one thing in particular: The University’s focus is on the individual person. The talents and potential of all those who teach, study, work and carry out research at the KU form our most important foundation – regardless of their religion or beliefs, nationality, ethical, cultural or social background, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation or age.
This is why we promote your best possible academic education through personal support and an ideal staff-to-student ratio. At the same time, the KU is more than just a place for earning your degree: We attach particular importance to imparting social skills and advancing our students’ sense and value orientation in addition to providing them with a high level of academic and methodical qualification.
Our aspiration for our University is to build bridges between science and society and to make knowledge available for society as well as to integrate impulses from outside the University into our research and teaching practice. We aim to make a valuable contribution to social coexistence, to the free democratic basic order and to preserving creation.
Isn’t Eichstätt quite small for a university town?
With a population of around 15,000, it is probably the smallest university town in Europe. For our students, this means living and learning in a friendly and informal atmosphere. Whether it is on the way to a lecture in the morning, at the canteen for lunch or in the pub in the evening, you will often come across people you know. It is easy to meet people in Eichstätt! By the way, the KU’s “living room” is the Theke, a bar run by students for students. Here, people meet for parties, jam sessions, karaoke evenings or a cozy round of table football.
A small town also means short distances: The library, the swimming pool, the cinema or the supermarket – everything can be reached in a few minutes on foot or by bike. The town is located right in the heart of the Altmühltal natural park – a real paradise for climbers, canoeists, hikers and cyclists just around the corner.
Should you still reach a point when you feel too cooped in, you can breathe big city air easily near Eichstätt. Ingolstadt with its 135,000 inhabitants is only a few kilometers away and offers a variety of shopping and nightlife options.
Eichstätt and the surrounding Altmühltal natural park are not only a popular destination for culture enthusiasts and nature lovers, but also for cyclists, climbers, canoeists and fossil collectors. Located between Munich and Nuremberg, the city impresses with its Baroque setting and southern flair combined with modern and prizewinning architecture as well as a broad variety of cultural offerings and leisure activities.
The Baroque park at the heart of the campus and the nearby banks of the Altmühltal river are the KU’s “green living room”. Another big advantage: all University facilities are just a short walk away from each other.
Some offers and study conditions are different for international students – our International Office is happy to provide help and support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our team. We are happy to accompany you on your way to the KU and hope that we can welcome you in person soon!
The application process for international applicants is now completely digital. You can register online in our application portal and carry out and submit your application. After you have carried out the application and uploaded your documents, you do not need to send your documents to us again by post. You do have to submit certified true copies only if you are admitted at the time of enrollment.
Depending on the course of study, you may be asked for information on internships, professional experience, etc. Please upload the relevant documents in the upload area for all the information you provide, even if these are not mandatory fields!
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