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The Church as an Intercultural and International Community in a Pluralistic Society

The participants of the international study program with exchange pastor Favor Bancin (far left), pastor Dr. Andar Parlindungan (head of department Training & Empowerment, 3rd from right), Dina Kipker (head of department Evangelisation, 2nd from right) and pastor Dr. Claudia Währisch-Oblau (head of department Evangelisation, 1st from right). (Photo: UEM)

In the summer semester 2019 at the Theological School of Theology (Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal/Bethel) there will be a joint international study program with UEM. Six students from Asia and Africa have come to Wuppertal for an exchange semester and together with three German students are taking part in this programme, which the university has developed together with UEM. The theme of the programme is: "The Church as an Intercultural and International Community in a Pluralistic Society".

For this programme, the Theological School of Theology in Wuppertal offers five courses in English, which can also be attended by all other students. They cover Systematic Theology, New Testament, Church History and Mission Science/Ecumenics/Religious Studies. In addition, the group meets every week for a reflection round. Various excursions, for example to the Kirchentag, to new church projects and interreligious encounters round off the programme. At the end of the semester, the international group will participate in the UEM Summer School on "Conflict Resolution, Mediation and Protection of Human Rights".

The students from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Indonesia are currently completing their master's and doctoral studies. The semester in Wuppertal is credited to their respective degree programmes. Together with their German fellow students, they live in the student dormitory on the "Holy Mountain" and share everyday life with each other. In this way, the students experience up close what it means to be part of an intercultural and international community. At the end of the programme, the participants should pass on their experiences to their fellow students at their respective study locations.

The students are: Rose Marie IBYISHAKA (Rwanda), Maria Niester Insoraki KOMBOY (Indonesia), Paschal MATUNGWA (Tanzania), Norita Novalina SEMBIRING (Indonesia), Teddi Paul SIHOMBING (Indonesia), Alain Sivyolo MUHINDO (Democratic Republic of Congo), Christa SPRINGER (Germany), Joline MARMÉ (Germany), Dung Bich Nhi DANG (Germany).


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