Neues aus dem IDWM

Current cohort of the International Master's programme at intensive on-site seminar in Bielefeld

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From 12 February to 1 March, we welcomed the new cohort of our International Master's Programme at the University of Bielefeld.
After a series of digital sections in the winter semester, the sixth class of the International Master's Programme in Diaconal Management (IMADM) finally had its first block of study in Bielefeld. The students from Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Namibia, Rwanda and Tanzania started their stay in Germany with a one-week field research in Wuppertal.

Supported by our co-organising partner, the United Evangelical Mission (UEM), they were able to explore diaconal work at different levels and in different organisational forms by visiting UEM, Diakonie Wuppertal, the von Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel and church congregations.
In the following three weeks, we evaluated and analysed these experiences, focusing in particular on diaconal theory and practice from a European perspective and against the background of the German welfare model. The students analysed the challenges that churches and diaconal institutions are currently facing in order to prepare themselves for the challenges of the 21st century. In addition to the study seminars, emphasis was also placed on experiencing the local contexts of Christian social practice in Germany.
The programme was enriched by visits to "Brot für die Welt" in Berlin and the Evangelical Church of Westphalia in Bielefeld. Accommodation on the campus of Bielefeld University helped to foster the course community and allowed for intensive dialogue outside the seminars.
The German academic section also included a full-day visit to Signal Iduna in Dortmund, where students were able to explore the topic of risk management. This was followed by an exciting tour of the Signal Iduna Park football stadium.
Still another highlight at the end of the programme was the cohort’s participation in the farewell service of Rev. Volker Dally and the induction of the new General Secretary of UEM, Rev. Dr. Andar Parlindungan, in Wuppertal.
In addition to the IDWM lecturers, Prof Dennis Solon, Prof Michael Wittland, Prof Christian Oelschlägel, Prof Matthias Benad, Rev. Félicité Ngnintedem and Damian Ostermann, other members of staff and lecturers from Bielefeld University as well as guest lecturers also taught during these three weeks. Dr. Jens Rannenberg, member of the board of Diakonie Dachstiftung, who had taught the course online earlier in the year, joined the course for a cosy get-together after an intensive day of exams.
The next on-site meeting of the study programme will take place in June 2024 at Tumaini University Dar es Salaam College in Tanzania.