The Department of Old Catholic Studies in Bonn is the only place in Germany to study Old Catholic theology. It offers a Master’s programme in Old Catholic and Ecumenical Theology. The requirement for this programme is a first degree in a Christian theology, at least at Bachelor’s level. This can be obtained at the University of Bonn as well as at other universities. The Department of Old Catholic Studies is an institute of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. In cooperation with the Faculty of Philosophy, a doctorate is also possible. In addition, there is an Old Catholic student residence in Bonn, the Döllingerhaus, where candidates for the priesthood can live and receive an accompanying programme.

After the 1st Vatican Council in 1870, most professors in the Faculty of Catholic Theology protested against the new dogmas. Thus, Old Catholic theology students for the new Catholic Diocese of Old Catholics in Germany were trained at the university in Bonn. In 1902, this became a separate institute for students of Old Catholic theology with a professorship. Today, the Department of Old Catholic Studies comprises a chair for Old Catholic and Ecumenical Theology as well as a staff position. Research focuses on Old Catholic theology and ecclesiology, ecumenical theology, Old Catholic church history, Christian-Jewish dialogue and theology facing climate change and species extinction.

Photo: Frank Luerweg / Universität Bonn / Universität Bonn