United Methodist Seminary in Germany
Has New Dean and is Showing Growth
Reutlingen, Germany, July 17, 2007—Dr. Joerg Barthel, a professor of Old Testament, is the new dean, or rector, of the United Methodist Theological Seminary in Reutlingen. He was elected earlier in the month by the trustees of the school.
The new dean has taught at Reutlingen for a decade. He succeeds Dean Holger Eschmann, under whose leadership the seminary was accredited as a university of applied sciences, the academic designation for a theological institution in Germany. Enrollment has increased 30 per cent since the accreditation was received. Dr. Eschmann remains on the faculty as a professor of practical theology.
Dr. Barthel is a graduate of Tuebingen University, and is well known within and beyond United Methodism for his lectures, Bible studies and publications.
Trustees also drafted a mission statement and development plan that takes into account the ecumenical nature of the seminary as an accredited institution. The statement says that the seminary fulfills its mission by holding together living faith, free thought, and active love.
The seminary at Reutlingen is the only German-speaking theological school within The United Methodist Church. It has some 50 students in various categories of study, and draws heavily from Switzerland and other German-speaking areas of Europe. It has a website at http://www.theologisches-seminar.de.
Release adapted from information supplied by Prof. Christof Voigt, public relations officer of the seminary.