The Seminar as a Priest Training

From the time it was first founded in 1922, the Christian Community has spread to many countries in all parts of the world. Both within and also outside of Germany and central Europe there is a great need for people who are willing to take up the tasks of the priesthood.

The tasks of the priesthood

Priests in the Christian Community have a variety of tasks:

  • celebrating of the sacraments
  • forming and pastoral care of the congregation
  • proclamation and teaching of Christianity.

In accordance with these three areas the priest should have at his or her disposal: spiritual capabilities, social competence and a talent for communication.  The cultivation of such qualities is a clear aim of the training:

  • spiritual creativity and integrity
  • the ability to get on with other People
  • a facility in the realm of the spoken word.

As they proceed the students are in close contact with the seminary leaders in order to get a sense for which further steps are necessary and right for their path towards ordination. The course at the Seminary is not dependent on particular maturity or long-standing life experience. Young people can also embark on this path.
The way may indeed lead to ordination and priesthood but it may also lead to a quite different profession following the course. It will however always be a path towards fulfilling our human-ness, as the qualities already mentioned are needed throughout the world in every community of human beings.

Congregational life and the work of the priest

The seven sacraments are the well-spring of congregational life. The central task of the priest is to celebrate the sacraments and to lead people towards an experience of the sacraments. Human encounters of many different kinds are connected with this work, spanning from birth to death. The whole area of pastoral care is closely tied in to this. Interest and indeed love for human beings are essential pre-requisites for this profession.

Modern sacramental life is based on the principle of conscious accompaniment and shared fulfilment from the side of the congregation. The raising of awareness and deepening of knowledge is therefore an important element of the work of the priest. Lectures, sermons and conversation groups serve this aim and purpose. For the children and young people, in addition to the religion lessons in school or at the church, there is a comprehensive programme of holiday trips and camps on offer, regardless of which congregation one belongs to.

The celebration of the Christian festivals runs like a golden thread throughout the year. Children and adults alike can at such times gather precious life-experiences.

Another important aspect of the priestly work is the carrying of consciousness for the congregation as a whole and also for its individual members, as well as giving each the space to find his or her own particular way of contributing to the wider congregational life. For healthy community can only come about when individuals join each other in working together.

A priesthood for women

From its very beginnings, it was taken as a matter of course in the Christian Community that both men and women alike could receive the Sacrament of Ordination and enter the priesthood. Well before his lecture courses on theology which led up to the founding of the Movement for Religious Renewal, Rudolf Steiner made it very clear that women had just as much right as men to hold Services.

There were for example three women amongst the priests ordained in 1922; indeed, Gertrud Spörri even belonged to the first group responsible for leading the whole movement. Since that time, it has been clear that men and women have equal responsibilities within the priesthood not just in terms of carrying the congregations but also in all other tasks within the priests' circle.

If you are interested in the course at the Priest Seminary, we would be glad to hear from you. Feel free to contact us and arrange a time for a personal talk.

Tel: +49 (0)711 166 83 10
Fax: +49 (0)711 166 83 24

Johannes Beurle, who was ordained as a priest on 24th February 2013, writes about his personal experience.

Even if one does not want to become a priest, one can still study at the Priest Seminary.

Kore Brand writes a personal perspective.

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