Whether kindergartens or hospitals, old age homes or community health and welfare centres: It is important to us to help people in need. And it is important that diaconic services are as professional as possible. That’s why we’ve initiated the International Diaconia Program. One highlight is our International Master Course (MADM), which is the first one of its kind worldwide.
In the International Diaconia Program, we support education and training measures for employees of the churches’ diaconic institutions. We also support short-term expert support for diaconic institutions.
In cooperation with the UEM scholarship programme, this year for the first time we instituted a “UEM Learning Community for Diaconia" in Germany, in which a group of international students is completing various training programmes and university courses of study in the diaconic services fields.
In May 2011, a new Master Course in International Diaconic Management started in Bielefeld, Germany. Twelve. Meanwhile, course IV (2018-2020) of this innovative study program is open for applications.
The Institute of Diaconic Science and Diaconic Management (IDM/part of the Protestant University of Wuppertal/Bethel) and UEM offer the two-year’s course. I started in 2011, twelve students from Tanzania, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka graduated in 2013. The program, which is subtitled “International Contextual Studies in Normative Governance”, ends with a Master of Arts degree (M.A.). In order to implement a completely international approach, IDM and UEM established contracts with universities in the Philippines, South Africa, Indonesia and Tanzania. The curriculum pursues the integration of the different components that shape contemporary diaconia, thus balancing theological, ethical and management competences.
The program consists of five modules of four weeks each, which are taught at the Jakarta Theological Seminary (STT)/ Indonesia, the University of Stellenbosch (SUN)/ South Africa, the Silliman University Dumaguete/ Philippines,the Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University (SEKOMU) in Lushoto/ Tanzania and at the IDM in Bielefeld-Bethel/ Germany. During the sections students live together as a “Learning Community”. In between sections they remain connected via electronic communication. The close international and trans-cultural exchange with each other enriches and shapes the studies. In between the sections the students continue working in their professions in their home countries – albeit with a reduced workload, since they also do structured field research programs. Thus, the contents of the studies can be directly applied and reflected upon on the basis of professional experience.
Scholarships have been made available by UEM, the World Council of Churches (WCC), the World Council of Reformed Churches (WCRC), the Protestant Development Service/Germany (EWDE/eed) and different churches and organisations. IDM and UEM provide close academic, educational and organisational accompaniment of the students throughout the course. Prof. Dr. Martin Büscher, IDM, and Matthias Börner, UEM-Program International Diaconia organize the program.