As is common in most faculties of Theology, the Münster Faculty of Catholic Theology differentiates between four different sections of theology, and then considers philosophy as a subject that interrelates with them all.
►Biblical Theology: The biblical texts of the Old and New Testament express experiences of life and of faith. When analysing these ancient texts, we examine their origins and the experiences of their authors and (first) readers. We then apply our findings to modern-day questions of lifestyle and faith.
►Historical Theology: We study the different traditions of Christianity – those present from its origin up to the traditions of today – and analyse them in their cultural, social and political contexts, looking carefully at their formation and their epochally and regionally diverse development.
►Systematic Theology: We unfold the Christian creed in its entirety and consider its consequences for the understanding of the world, of man and of his conduct of life. We also view the creed against the background of the present-day secular culture and discuss it in the context of other religions. These religious studies supplement the Christian-theological perspective with cultural and interdenominational perspectives.
►Practical Theology: We examine how religion and faith motivate the individual and social praxis of Christians and we study the development of models and maxims of action, particularly in the fields of (canon) law, education and learning, pastoral care and church service.
►Philosophy: The four above-mentioned theological perspectives are determined by a number of preliminary philosophical decisions and implications. For that reason, the different study programmes offered by the Faculty of Catholic Theology thoroughly discuss the philosophical questions that underlie theology. Thereby, theology serves as the means by which faith is held accountable to reason.
Most of these sections of theology consist of several different seminars and institutions, some of which are unique to Münster alone. The Institute for Missiology and the Study of Theologies beyond Europe (“Institut für Missionswissenschaft und außereuropäische Theologien”) and the Department of General Religious Studies (“Seminar für Allgemeine Religionswissenschaft”), for example, are the only ones of their kind belonging to a faculty of Catholic Theology in Germany. The Institute of Ecumenism (“Ökumenisches Institut”), which consists of the Department of Churches and Church Communities Originating from the Reformation (“Aus der Reformation hervorgegangene Kirchen und kirchliche Gemeinschaften”) and the Department of Ecumenism, Studies of Eastern Churches and Peace Studies (“Ökumenik, Ostkirchenkunde und Friedensforschung”), are exceptional. The Faculty’s “Institute of Teacher Training for Catholic Religious Education” (Institut für Katholische Theologie und ihre Didaktik), which contains several departments, is particularly attractive for students who seek a career in school education or who wish to obtain didactic skills for a career outside the school system.
Additionally, there are several research centres, such as the “Department of Feminist Theology and Gender Research” (Arbeitsstelle Feministische Theologie und Genderforshung), the “Department for Christian Pictorial Imagery, Theological Aesthetics and Didactics of Imagery” (Arbeitsstelle für Christliche Bildtheorie, theologische Ästhetik und Bilddidaktik / ACHRIBI) and the “Origen Research Centre” (Forschungsstelle Origenes), which offer further study in their specialised fields of research. There are also two renowned research projects funded by the “Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft” (DFG, German Research Foundation), namely the projects entitled “The Roman Congregations of the Inquisition and the Index” (Römische Inquisition und Indexkongregation in der Neuzeit) and “Critical Online Edition of the Nuncial Reports of Eugenio Pacelli ” (Kritische Online-Edition der Nuntiaturberichte von Eugenio Pacelli). These projects are affiliated with the Faculty’s “Department of Medieval and Modern Ecclesiastical History” (Seminar für Mittlere und Neuere Kirchengeschichte). Some faculty members are also a part of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” (Excellenzcluster Religion und Politik) at the University of Münster. In general, our diverse and dynamic research projects always keep the Faculty at the forefront of theological research.
The University of Münster houses several libraries that are well equipped with theological literature. Libraries include the library of the Faculty of Catholic Theology, the library of the Faculty of Protestant Theology, and the University of Münster’s general library. In addition, the library and the multimedia centre of the diocese of Münster are also well worth a visit.