View of the church steeple in Jena

Protestant Theology

What is faith? Can God allow evil and suffering and still be just? Should creation be ruled or merely preserved by mankind? If you are interested in these questions, this is the programme for you!
View of the church steeple in Jena
Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)
Key facts
Diploma/church board examination
10 Semesters
Teaching language
Tuition fee
Semester contribution
€ 265,60
Start of studies
Winter semester, Summer semester
Part-time possible
Application & Deadlines

Content of the study programme

Do you like to think about God and ‘the bigger picture’? The extremely diverse study of theology lets you do exactly that, as it is more comprehensive and exciting than most academic disciplines.

A large part of the course focuses on historical issues, such as the history of Christianity from its Judaic roots to the present day and the modern-day challenges involved in the practice of faith.

You will need good language skills—and not only for your sermons if you decide to pursue a career as a pastor. After all, your studies will involve Old and New Testament passages in their original language, as well as the history of the biblical tradition, the historical reality of the world’s religions and the contemporary practice and structure of churches.

Studying at the Faculty of Theology at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena [in German]


The study of Protestant Theology is structured into a basic course with 120 credits (ECTS for short; 1 ECTS = 30 hours for attendance, preparation and follow-up work, private study, assessed coursework and examinations), a main course with 120 ECTS and an integration period with 60 ECTS.

Proficiency in Hebrew, Ancient Greek and Latin is mandatory for students. But don’t worry! If you have not learned the languages before university, you can generally acquire the required knowledge during your first four semesters with our young and dedicated language teachers. But don’t underestimate the workload, especially at the start of your studies. You will need to work hard and stick at it! However, students are granted an extension in their basic course of one semester each for Ancient Greek and Hebrew.

The focus of the main course is on deepening your knowledge (in a choice of specialist areas) and developing critical thinking skills.

How might your study programme shape up?

Basic course

The basic course lasts four semesters (plus any additional language semesters for Latin, Hebrew and Ancient Greek). You can set your focus and even attend elective courses from other study programmes.

Study content:

  • Old Testament: Hebrew and Aramaic scriptures of the Bible, introduction to the history of Israel and other cultures of the Ancient Near East

  • New Testament: study of scripture, insight into the movement of Roman antiquity and early Christianity

  • Church History: the emergence and spread of Christian doctrine and life from its beginnings to the present day

  • Systematic Theology: Christian thought and interpretation in dealing with current issues (dogma) and Christian action (ethics)

  • Practical Theology: theory of internal religious practice (e.g. worship, church leadership) and external religious practice (e.g. teaching, diakonia)

  • Religious Education: theory and practice of religious education and discussion of innovative forms of religious education

  • Religious Studies: origin of religions, historical changes and structuring, and critical examination of ideas, texts, social models, etc.

The four-week internship is ideally completed during the lecture-free period between the final semester of the basic course and the first semester of the main course. We will be happy to help you find a (specialist) internship.

An intermediate examination is taken at the end of the basic course.

More detailed information can be found in the module catalogue for the study programmepdf, 225 kb · de.

Main course

The aim of the main course is to become specialized in certain areas within four to six semesters.

  • Old Testament (advanced module)
  • New Testament (advanced module)
  • Church History (advanced module)
  • Systematic Theology (advanced module)
  • Practical Theology / Religious Education (advanced module)
  • Philosophy (module)
  • Interdisciplinary advanced module
  • Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology (module)
  • Elective modules

More detailed information can be found in the module catalogue for the study programmepdf, 225 kb · de.

Integration period

The two-semester integration period comes right at the end of the course, including the exam preparation and the individual components of the final examination.

  • Integration module I and II
  • Academic paper
  • Practical theological draft
  • Examinations

More detailed information can be found in the module catalogue for the study programmepdf, 225 kb · de.

Why study in Jena?

  • an internationally renowned degree: The Friedrich Schiller University Jena is one of the few universities in Germany where you can still obtain a diploma in Protestant Theology. But you are not tied to that option, as you can also take the ‘ecclesiastical examination’ at the Faculty of Theology de.
  • research focus: Due to its Lutheran roots, the Faculty of Theology de plays a pioneering role in the preservation and research of Reformation heritage. The work of theologians at the University of Jena is characterized by research on key topics like ‘The Bible in the context of antiquity and the Orient’, ‘Reconciliation from a theological and ethical perspective’, ‘Religious education in the context of social change’, ‘Reformation and modernity’ and ‘Biblical and Lutheran theology in the church and society of today’.
  • excellent supervision: small seminar groups, great student commitment and teaching staff who are (almost) always available to answer questions in one-to-one conversations
  • close interdisciplinary cooperation, e.g. with the Faculty of Catholic TheologyExternal link in Erfurt, the Department of Ancient Near Eastern StudiesExternal link and the Ethics CenterExternal link in Jena
  • quick internship placements: close cooperation with churches in Thuringia and the ecclesiastical province of Saxony
  • adventures abroad: global network of partner universities, e.g. São Bento (Brazil), Stellenbosch (South Africa) and Sibiu (Romania)
  • important historical sites are not far from Jena, such Eisenach and Wartburg CastleExternal link, ErfurtExternal link and WeimarExternal link.
Before starting university, everyone has certain fears and wonders what it will really be like at the university. In this video, you can find out how our students look back on the time before and at the beginning of their studies.

Behind the scenes

Change of perspective
Your studies will fully immerse you in foreign cultures, eras, languages and reasoning in small seminar groups. Some of your classes may be held outside in summer, such as here at the Frommannscher Garten in Jena.

What can you do after your studies?

Gottesdienst in der Jenaer Stadtkirche St. Michael Gottesdienst in der Jenaer Stadtkirche St. Michael Image: Jürgen Scheere (University of Jena)

Areas of employment
for graduates

  • in the member churches of the Protestant Church in Germany (e.g. as a pastor, parish worker, etc.).
  • in non-school education (adult education centres, ecclesiastical academies, etc.)
  • at charitable institutions
  • at specialist editorial offices
  • at libraries, museums, foundations, cultural institutes, etc.

What are the personal requirements?

  • basic knowledge of religious and ecclesiastical history
  • a keen interest in social affairs and church issues
  • enjoyment in reading and interpreting texts
  • interest in foreign cultures, eras, languages and reasoning
  • membership of the Protestant Church before the first intermediate examination (First Ecclesiastical Examination / Diplom) or another member church of the World Council of Churches (Diplom)

Admission requirements

University entrance qualification

A university entrance qualification, such as a general secondary school leaving certificate, is required for admission onto the study programme.

More information on university entrance qualifications can be found here.

Language requirements

The study programme is taught in German. You must therefore have a very good command of German at the start of the study programme.

You will require knowledge of Latin, Ancient Greek and Hebrew to study theology. If you do not have the necessary language skills at the start of your programme, you can learn the languages at the Faculty of Theology during your studies (except German—see above).


Subject-specific academic advisory service — Tommy Drexel
Examinations Office of the Faculty of Theology
Central Student Advisory Service
Office hours:
We offer consultations and the handling of your concerns in person, via video chat or telephone. Appointments can be made by phone or via service desk.

Consultation hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 to 12:20, Tuesday 14:00 to 18:00 and on Wednesday and Thursday from 14:00 to 16:00.
Video chat:
Videochat Zeiten
Monday to Friday 12.30 to 13:00
Videochat Passwort
Student Service Centre
Opening hours:
Monday 10 - 12
Tuesday 13 - 15
Wednesday 10 - 12
Thursday 13 - 15
Friday 10 - 12

Updates / adjustments may occur at any time. Thank you for your understanding!

We currently provide advice and handle your concern solely also via phone and service desk.

You can reach us by phone
Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 11:00
Postal address:
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
07737 Jena
International Office - Stay abroad
University Main Building
Fürstengraben 1
07743 Jena