Incoming: Studying at the Faculty of Theology in Paderborn

Welcome to the Faculty of Theology in Paderborn!


The Faculty of Theology in Paderborn is a small university in the midsize city of Paderborn in North-Rhine Westphalia. It offers the internationalley established degrees of Magister/Magistra Theologiae, doctorate and licentiate as well as the post-doctoral lecture certification (habilitation) in Catholic Theology. With 15 professorial chairs and an intensive guidance of its students, it provides an outstanding learning environment, particularly for foreign students. The Faculty is located in the historic centre of Paderborn, a city which lives in continuity with its Christian roots while at the same time being among the scientific and economic leaders of its region.

The study program Catholic Theology enables students to critically reflect on christian faith and its various forms by giving them a fundamental understanding of the history, central dogmas and practical questions of religion and christianity. In this way, students do not only learn how to communicate the contents of christian faith, but also how to justify it in terms of theology and philosophy.

The Faculty of Theology Paderborn is a state-recognised university under the auspices of the Archiepiscopal See of Paderborn. It educates priests for the archdiocese of Paderborn as well as lay theologians. Currently, about thirty students are registered in the Magister program and 40 students in postgraduate studies.


The city of Paderborn


With a population of almost 150.000 inhabitants, Paderborn is a midsize city with good shopping opportunities and a variety of restaurants and bars that is still located close to nature. Not only the idyllic wellspring of the small river Pader (which gives the city its name) right in the city center offers a spot for relaxation and hangouts – around the city, you can find many spots for leisure acitivites, sports, hiking, sailing and much more. The city is strongly rooted in Christian faith and the cathedral in the city center is one of the most iconic buildings in Paderborn, but Islamic and Jewish communities are also thriving.


Your study visit

What to Do

If you are interested in a study visit at the Faculty of Theology in Paderborn, you should contact the Erasmus coordinator at your home university. Once your university has nominated you for a visit in Paderborn, both universities have to agree on the details of the exchange.


Nomination/application deadlines:

  • May 1st for the winter Semester
  • November 1st for the summer semester


After successful application you will receive a letter of acceptance.

For your Learning Agreement, you choose your courses with your home university and the Erasmus+ advisor of the Faculty of Theology in Paderborn. You can find details on our course offer here:


There are no special registration forms needed for any course. However, it is helpful if you contact the teachers in advance in order to make sure that you can participate and to discuss possible requirements.

As soon as all your studies and exams at the Faculty of Theology in Paderborn have been confirmed, your Transcript of Records will be issued and later send to your home address.



The main language of the theology study program at the Faculty of Theology Paderborn is German. However, our teachers can always adapt their courses for students from abroad and we can offer individual forms of bilingual (German/English) or English courses as well. Just ask the respective teachers or the Erasmus coordinator.

The Faculty of Theology in Paderborn does not offer any German language courses, but students can choose courses offered by the University of Paderborn.

At the University of Paderborn, you have many different options to improve your German language skills. The courses at a variety of levels can be chosen as a crash course (some weeks before the lecture period) or a regular course within the semester (new start every quarter). For more information see the website of the University of Paderborn.

Please also check out the Online Language Support of the Erasmus+ programme. Your home university can give you further information about this special opportunity to learn German before your stay in Paderborn.



At the Faculty of Theology in Paderborn no tuition fees are to be paid, just a students fee (AStA-Beitrag, currently 244 €) each semester, which includes the semester ticket. This ticket enables you to use all busses and regional trains in Paderborn and other public transport (e.g. trams, subways) in Northrhine-Westphalia for free (so you may visit cities such as Münster, Dortmund, Köln or Bonn).



Please note: In order to enroll as an international student in Germany, you are required to have a valid health insurance for the duration of their stay.

Students from EU member states who are already insured in their home country need no additional insurance in Germany (to prove that you are insured sufficiently for your study visit, please bring your certificate of health insurance or the European Health Insurance Card with you).

Students from Non-EU member states first need a visa for Germany and then have to take out an additional German public or private health insurance (travel insurances are unfortunately not sufficient).

In addition to the adequate health insurance, a liability insurance is recommended to all students, just as to open a German bank account while your stay in Paderborn.



Any questions about an international stay at the Faculty of Theology Paderborn can be directed at:

© ThF PB

Svenja Schumacher, M.A.

Referentin Studienangelegenheiten
Telefon: +49 5251 121-737


The Faculty of Theology in Paderborn is the oldest university in Westphalia (see internet home page). The institution was founded in 1614 by the prince-bishop of Paderborn, Dietrich IV. von Fürstenberg (1585-1618), as a Jesuit university with two faculties, philosophy and theology. It was confirmed by Pope Paul V. and Emperor Matthias who granted all academic rights. On June 11th, 1966 Pope Paul VI. conferred the legal status of Faculty of Theology to the university and confirmed its rights to award all academic degrees. This legal status persists to this day. According to § 74 (1) of the North Rhine-Westphalian law on higher education from September 16th, 2014 „the Faculty of Theology in Paderborn [is] a state-approved university in the sense of this law”. The Faculty of Theology in Paderborn, therefore, has the same status as the equivalent faculties or departments at state universities in Germany.