What are the flaws of theology

Diakonie RWL

So you describe your job as exciting, challenging and interesting. What then keeps young theologians from applying to Diakonie?

Barbara Monday: The young people who study today are very much fixated on the pastoral office. This is no wonder, because they are urgently needed there. In the next ten years, 40 percent of pastors will retire. In many parishes, diakonia does not play a decisive role, but rather is perceived as a company with which one no longer has much to do. There are no points of contact with diakonia. And they are still rarely taught in theology studies. After all, the vicars of the Rhenish Church now have to do a one-week internship in the Diakonie. That is a step in the right direction. But it would be nice if diakonia could get a more prominent place in the training of theologians.

How important are the theological board members to diaconal companies? Not every work has a theologian at its head.

Martin Hamburger: I think that's a shame. As a diakonia we should emphasize our Christian roots and principles. That’s what defines us. This sets us apart from other charities. Theologians can make an important contribution here, both internally and externally. Our connection to the church should remain visible because together we can create a win-win situation. For me, this is clearly evident in the day-care centers, refugee aid and neighborhood work. Wherever pastors perceive their districts, the gates are open for cooperation with the Diakonie, but also with local politics. We can really make a difference for the needy in our city.

The interview was conducted by Sabine Damaschke. Photos: Sabine Damaschke / Werner Jacken