Wooden signposts to lecture halls 1, 2 and 3 as well as to virgin soil

Pioneer Ministry

Study information
Wooden signposts to lecture halls 1, 2 and 3 as well as to virgin soil
Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)
Key facts
Master of Arts
4 Semesters
Teaching language
Tuition fee
Semester contribution
€ 272,80
Start of studies
Winter semester
Part-time possible
Faculty of TheologyThis link requires a login
Application & Deadlines

Programme summary

The Pioneer Ministry master's programme is the first and so far only programme of its kind in the German-speaking world. Building on concepts from the UK and the Netherlands, the programm aims to enable students to communicate the Gospel outside of existing congregations and traditional church-based milieus and to find ways of living Christian community.

The programme is:

  • very practical: Working in practical projects such as the Erprobungsräume pilot project of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany is an important part of your studies.
  • interdisciplinary: Perceptions and experiences from practice are reflected upon through the perspective of different disciplines (theology, geography, psychology, philosophy, etc.) and brought into relation with the process of theory formation.
  • interdenominational and ecumenical: The specialization modules allow you to explore different theological topics such as cybernetics (church leadership), social environments and communication, as well as ethical issues from multiple perspectives. The programme is offered in cooperation with midi (a protestant centre for missionary church development and the development of diaconal profiles), the Research Institute for Evangelism and Church Development at the Faculty of Theology in Halle, the Michaeliskloster Hildesheim, the Faculty of Catholic Theology of the University of Erfurt, the Reutlingen School of Theology, the Theologische Hochschule Elstal (theological university of applied sciences), the Theologisches Seminar Erhausen (theological seminary), the Theologische Hochschule Ewersbach (theological university of applied sciences), the Evangelische Hochschule Tabor/Marburg (protestant university of applied sciences), the ERF in Wetzlar (German evangelical media cooperation), and Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI).

The programme includes

  • core modules (60 ECTS credits) in which you are going to learn key theological knowledge and skills, including pastoral care, cybernetics (leadership), pedagogy and social area analysis. The practical modules (20 ECTS credits) are also included here.
  • specialisation modules (30 ECTS) where you can specialise in the fields of cybernetics (leadership), social area-adequate communication and ethics/theology from an interdisciplinary and interdenominational perspective.
  • the master's thesis (30 ECTS credits).

The programme includes student advisory services and spiritual guidance and also provides the necessary space to discuss and reflect on one's own faith, experiences, thoughts and doubts.

Special features

  • a unique programme of its kind in Germany; graduates of all backgrounds (including different denominations and disciplines) are expressly encouraged to apply;
  • a vibrant student community;
  • spiritual guidance and personal mentoring during your studies;
  • working in Christian projects alongside your studies; reflecting on your practical experiences;
  • highly interdisciplinary;
  • access to and networking with international and ecumenical churches and Christian organisations (affiliated with the Communion of Protestant Churches in Europe, the Catholic Church, the Church of England, Free Churches) has been planned for the future;
  • in the specialisation modules, you can chose from a wide range of different classes and thus customise your studies to suit your own individual professional specialisation;
  • in the future it will also be possible to acquire certificates.

Career opportunities

Pioneer Ministry as a profession has not yet been established in Germany. This programme does not not only qualify you for employment in the service of church organisations (Landeskirchen), but also enables you to found you own start-up as an entrepreneur, which will bring forward local communities and support people socially and practically. Equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills in religious communication, you will be able to communicate theological content in a target group-oriented manner and to engage in a dialogue with diverse lifestyles. You will also be also to pass on the knowledge you have acquired in training courses to adults and children from different cultural backgrounds.

Admission requirements

  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent

    This master's programme requires a successfully completed first academic degree with the title Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science or some other equivalent academic degree with a "good" or better CGPA. Applicants that do not meet the required grade may be admitted if the application documents show that they are particularly well qualified for the Pioneer Ministry programme. Relevant professional experience will be considered. It is possible to be admitted conditionally.

  • Language requirements

    The following language skills are required for this master’s degree:

    • International applicants: knowledge of German at the minimum level DSH-2 (or equivalent)

    For more information, please see section "Application documents > Proof of language proficiency"!

Application documents

  • CV

    Your CV should have a tabular form, containing key information on your school record and academic career.

  • Motivation letter

    A motivation letter should not exceed the size of two DIN A4-pages and normally, it should contain information on your motivation for taking up this course of studies. You should  elaborate on the following essential questions:

    • Why do you desire taking up this specific course of studies?
    • What are - in your opinion - the main features that this course of studies excels in?
    • Which features of this course have inspired your application? 
    • Why Jena?


  • University entrance qualification certificate

    Please upload at the online application system your university entrance certificate/school leaving certificate. Usually, this means the school graduation diploma (German "Abitur"), i.e. the diploma that makes you eligible for studies at an University or other institution for higher education. Be mindful of the fact that here, we do not need any University diploma but a High School diploma! 

  • Previous university degrees earned

    All previous University degrees (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, etc.) if available before the application deadline - if not, please make a note of the anticipated date of issue of your degree certificate. Please upload your University degree or the most actual, detailed transcript of records/ mark sheet of all semesters available to you, should you not hold your degree certificate at the time of application. The main document is the degree/ transcript based on which you apply for the master programme.

  • Detailed transcript of records

    Detailed transcript of records/ mark sheet of your first, subject-specific University degree, with which you apply for the master's programme. This transcript MUST contain an overall cumulative grade point average or average mark.

  • Proof of relevant work experience

    Should you have obtained subject-specific work experience, you can upload corresponding certificates in order to support your application. 

  • Proof of subject-specific practical experience

    Should you have obtained subject-specific practical experience (e.g. by internships etc.), you can upload corresponding certificates in order to support your application. 

Additional application documents for international students

  • Proof of German language proficiency

    For German taught master's programmes, i.e. programmes with (predominantly) German as language of instruction, a sufficient German language proficiency proof is mandatory. Please see the information on the language requirements for the master's programme of your interest on the corresponding website.

    The Friedrich Schiller University Jena accepts the following certificates as German language proficiency proof exclusively:

    • the Goethe-Zertifikat C2 (GDS),
    • the Deutsche Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz (DSD II),
    • the TestDaF, minimum TDN 4 in all four parts of the examination,
    • Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH), min. level 2 (= DSH-2),
    • Certificate telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule (min. level "befriedigend"),
    • a German language examination in the framework of an assessment test at a preparatory college.

    Please note: If you do not have the required mandatory German language proficiency proof at the time of applying, you may only apply if you can provide a certificate attesting your German language skills at least at level B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) as well as a confirmation that you have either registered for the DSH examination, the TestDaF or an equivalent examination or that you have sat it and are going to receive the results before the end of the current semester.

    There is also the possibility to apply for the (chargeable) "German Language Course Preparing for the German Language Examination (DSH)" at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Please note: Prerequisites for the application for the preparatory course are language skills at least at the certificate level B1 / GER (e.g. Goethe-Zertifikat B1, TestDaF at least 4x3 and/or 800 teaching units from a recognized language school). For detailed information on the application and further information, please visit the website of the International Office or contact the International Office directly via Mail.

    Shortly before taking the DSH-2-Examination or after successfully passing it, you are welcome to apply for a German taught master's programme!

    The following applicants are exempted from providing proof of their German language skills:

    • Applicants, who have obtained a German taught bachelor's degree within one of the following countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. This applies only to degrees that were awarded by a university in the relevant country (no satellite campuses or international branch campuses in other countries, no correspondence course degrees, no joint- or double-degrees with institutions in other countries);
    • Holders of a German, Austrian or Swiss (from school where the language of instruction is German) university entrance qualification.
  • Translation of foreign/external application documents

    Every mandatory application document from foreign/external countries must also be available in either English OR German translation. Such a translation has to be conducted by officially acknowledged/ sworn translators or translation offices.

  • Proof of grading system

    External/foreign degree certificates/ transcripts of records must contain information on the grading system (= description of the maximum grade possible and the minimum passing grade) used at the respective University. 

  • Certificate APS

    Applicants with degrees from India, Vietnam or China must submit the original APS-certificate issued by the German Embassy.

  • University entrance exam

    Applicants from the following countries must submit a certificate of their university entrance examination/college entrance examination:

    • Iran (College entrance examination certificate or certificate of pre-university course/year)
    • Republic of Korea/South Korea: SAT (Scholastic Ability Test)
    • People's Republic of China: College entrance examination certificate ("Gaokao")
Subject Advisor - Tommy Drexel

Opening hours:
by arrangement

Vice Dean and Dean of Studies - Univ. Prof. Dr. Katharina Bracht

Opening hours:
by arrangement

Student Representatives Theology
Academic Office for Student Affairs and Examinations

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Master Service Centre

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We offer consultations and the handling of your concerns in person as well as by Service Desk (ticket system), Zoom, live chat, post and telephone.

Telephone consultation:
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Live chat:
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Master Service Centre
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