St. Mauritz Abbey near Münster
St. Mauritz Abbey near Münster
© Wikimedia Commons

The Collegium Americanum at St. Mauritz near Münster

Project lead and contact person: Dr. Andreas Oberdorf

Faculty and Department:

Faculty 06 Educational and Social SciencesInstitut für Erziehungswissenschaft

Project duration and funding agency: 

4/2020 to 7/2023

Research question:

The project focuses on the question of the extent to which the training of future priests at the Collegium Americanum St. Mauritz amounted to pastoral professionalization and ultramontane disciplining, especially under the auspices of the Kulturkampf (cultural struggle) emerging in the Catholic-influenced areas of Prussia in the second half of the 19th century. In order to better understand the work of the 68 priests who emigrated to the USA, digital analysis methods are being tested and their usefulness reflected upon.

Project Abstract:

The Collegium Americanum at St. Mauritz near Münster, which existed between 1867 and 1879, served to train priests who subsequently wanted to work in Catholic communities in the USA. The research project reconstructs and analyzes – at the intersection of recent research in the history of religion and education – the life and educational world of the seminarians, their everyday world and confessional-cultural patterns of orientation, including specific expressions of piety and spirituality. The project pursues the goal of visualizing the personal relationships of the 68 seminarians on the basis of the biographical life data and places of activity extracted at great expense from manuscripts and printed matter, and thus to obtain evaluable results that will provide new insights for the research project.

Digital methods to be used:

Methods of georeferential visualization and evaluation (Palladio, DARIAH-DE Geo Browser)

Role of SCDH in this project: Consulting


  • Research: Oberdorf A (2021) The American College of St. Maurice at Münster, 1867–1879: The Formation of Catholic Clergy for the United States between Seminary Education and Academic Studies. Paedagogica Historica, 2021. doi: 1080/00309230.2021.1987936
  • Twitter: @AndreasOberdorf