New Study Option Combines Theology and Social Work

Symbolic photo - Graduates of the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the 2021 Gradu
Symbolic photo - Graduates of the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the 2021 Graduation Walk. Photo: Volker Lannert/Uni Bonn all images in original size .

University of Bonn and katho to introduce mutual recognition of study achievements

The Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn and the Catholic University of Applied Sciences of North Rhine-Westphalia (katho) are to offer their students a new study option. In the future, students on the Magister Theologiae degree program at the University of Bonn will be able to combine it with a bachelor’s in Social Work at katho, ideally on its Cologne campus, making it easier for them to obtain two degrees at the same time.

This collaboration between a university and university of applied sciences is the only one of its kind in Germany and is based on the mutual recognition of study achievements, which reduces the time required to complete both degree programs. Theology students can thus gain the qualifications they need to enter a wide range of both Church and lay professions in the community, charity and welfare sectors and give their studies an even more pronounced practical bent.

Dr. Jochen Sautermeister, Dean of the Faculty of Catholic Theology, says: "With this initiative, the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn intends to offer a new option for interested students that is geared toward society, its welfare and the common good."

katho’s Rector Hans Hobelsberger adds: "By taking this step, the two institutions are helping to open up some important fields of work, link theory with practice and serve the churches’ pastoral and charitable mission."

The joint program will start in winter semester 2023/24 and cover a standard period of study of fourteen semesters. This is instead of ten for the Magister Theologiae and six for the bachelor’s in Social Work, thus saving two semesters-or an entire year of study. Students who are interested should enroll on the Magister Theologiae at the University of Bonn and will become cross-registered students on the bachelor’s in Social Work at katho. They must have completed at least two program-related semesters on the Magister Theologiae by the time they begin the bachelor’s in Social Work. Although a later start is possible, this may affect the scope of the study achievements that can be recognized. Students will need to prove that they meet the criteria for embarking on the Social Work degree program when they apply to katho. The Cologne campus has space for 10 students. The application deadline is August 31, 2023.

Information for editorial teams: the two institutions will be celebrating their new agreement with a joint opening symposium complete with panel discussion and reception to be held in the University of Bonn’s Grand Hall from 2 pm to 5 pm on June 30, 2023. Representatives of the media are warmly invited to attend.