© Arne Feldmann

Research at the Centre for Theological Gender Studies

The Centre for Theological Gender Studies initiates, supports and connects the research with a focus on gender undertaken by its members. This way, the research focuses and projects at the centre are as diverse and multidisciplinary as its members.

On these websites you can find …

… insights into current research projects at the Centre for Theological Gender Studies

… publications with a focus on gender that were written or edited by members of the Centre for Theological Gender Studies.

Teach Tank "Lehrbausteine Gender in Theologie"

Projekt picture "brick"
© Theresa Focke

Theological Gender Studies are broadly anchored in research and teaching at the Catholic Theological Faculty of the WWU Münster.

Nevertheless, within the wide field of theological topics, it is still very difficult to introduce ideas that refer to theological gender studies and open up corresponding questions. To handle these difficulties, easily accessible materials and methods are required for academical theological teaching.

Therefore, the Centre for Theological Gender Studies founded the project Teach Tank “Lehrbausteine Gender in Theologie”. It aims at drawing further attention towards the question of gender equality in theological teaching and research.

Using archived as well as tried-and-tested materials, methods and session formats, the Center for Theological Gender Studies develops teaching modules that can be used either digitally or analogously by all faculty lecturers. The aim of the project is to promote discussions about gender (in)equality, feminist approaches, and current developments in theological gender studies, in all four theological sections. The material shall also provide helpful suggestions to related faculties.

For this project, the Center for Theological Gender Studies in Münster was awarded the WWU Münster Equality Price at the New Year´s reception 2020 [de].
Additional information you can find here.

Spiritual Direction/Accompaniment in the German Catholic Women’s Association (kfd)

Prof. Dr. Judith Könemann & Prof. Dr. Reinhard Feiter
Project of the KFD

The German Catholic Women’s Association contributed significantly to women’s participation in leadership functions with the help of the implementation of the ministry of female spiritual director/accompanist. Beside the Catholic spiritual enhancement of the kfd, the ministry includes work in the areas of preaching, social work and pastoral care.
In 2009, a first study evaluated the development and the new structures that resulted from the implementation of this ministry. Now, ten years later, this project reflects on the reception of the spiritual leaders/accompanists on various levels again.
In addition to a quantitative survey interviews will be conducted with spiritual leaders/accompanists. Until the end of April, the following topics will be reflected in more detail:

  • number, implementation and design of the ministry
  • spiritual leaders’/accompanists’ reception and acceptance
  • areas of tension and conflicts
  • spiritual leaders’/accompanists’ self-conception


Theological and Ethical Gender Studie

Prof. Dr. Marianne Heimbach-Steins
Mind the Gap
© Pixabay

In almost all fields of Christian Social Ethics questions about gender relations arise. The ICS focuses on several aspects, especially three fields of research:

Gender – Religion – Nation (together with Dr. Maren Behrensen)

  • conference of the working platform “Religion, Politik und Geschlechterordnung” at the excellence cluster “Religion and Politics” on the topic “Gender – Religion – Nation” (June 2017)
  • book project with the sociologist Linda Hennig (March 2019)
  • analysis of the programme of the party “Alternative für Deutschland” (Early summer 2017)

Gender, Acknowledgement and Law (together with Dr. Maren Behrensen)

  • starting point: Decision of the Federal Constitutional Court on the so-called “third gender” in October 2017
  • elaboration of a research programme that aims at examining the current developments with focus on the aspect of acknowledgement

Gender and Care (together with Dr. Eva Hänselmann)

  • DFG-project on sustainable care for the elderly: Reflection from the viewpoint of social ethics on the meaning and organisation of person-related services, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Bernhard Emunds and Dr. Jonas Hagedorn of the Nell-Breuning Institute (NBI) of Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology (since 2019).
  • DFG-project on care in private households with a focus on acknowledgement, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Bernhard Emunds of the Nell-Breuning Institute (NBI) of Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology (since 2016).

You can find further information on the homepage of the ICS:

On Theological-Ethical Gender Studies in general [de]
On Gender and Care [de]


Working Paper from the ICS

Maren Behrensen, research assistant at the ICS, reflects on the document “Male and Female He Created Them” by the Congregation for Catholic Education.

Here you can find the essay. [de]