Foreign Applicants

About Elstal

Elstal Theological Seminary is the theological college of the Union of Evangelical Free Churches in Germany. Our approach is biblically-based, practically orientated, and scientifically well founded. Many students and most professors belong to the Baptist denomination, but we understand ourselves in an open evangelical tradition.

Elstal continues a rich tradition as one of the oldest evangelical theological schools in Europe, founded by Johann G. Oncken and formerly located in Hamburg. The Seminary maintains an excellent library that includes archives and numerous periodical subscriptions. The Seminary has cordial relations with the Union of Evangelical Free Churches in Germany, whose headquarter is located on the campus.

Courses of Study

Elstal Theological Seminary offers various courses of study: Evangelical Theology: Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, and Diaconia and Social Theology: Master of Arts.

1. Evangelical Theology, Bachelor of Arts

Elstal offers a state-approved, three-year course of study in Evangelical Theology. The course is designed to enable students to interpret biblical texts in a well thought-out and responsible way and to understand and deal with matters of theology. In the B.A. program, you learn the biblical languages, Hebrew and Greek, you participate at seminars on the interpretation of texts and at introductory and advanced seminars on the different subjects of theology (Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, Systematic Theology, Practical Theology, Missiology, Church ministry and Social Theology. At the end of the course the student will draw up a bachelor’s thesis.

2. Evangelical Theology, Master of Arts

This state-approved two-year course of study is designed for graduates with a B.A. in Evangelical Theology. Its goal is to qualify students theologically for the role of a pastor or for continuing advanced studies toward a doctorate. In this program theological issues will be reinforced. To complete the Master of Arts, students must pass oral exams and submit a master’s thesis.

3. Diaconia and Social Theology, Master of Arts

This state-approved two-year program of study is designed for graduates with a degree in the area of social education or social sciences. The course offers a deeper understanding in the study of social welfare in the church context as well as advanced theological knowledge and abilities. It aims at enabling students to work in the field of social welfare and as a recognized minister for social work in the churches.


In Germany, study at a theological college requires holding an appropriate college entrance qualification. Usually this is the graduation certificate. For further guidance, please visit Graduation certificates issued in the EU are usually valid in Germany. Certificates issued outside the EU may necessitate individual examinations. The faculty is pleased to evaluate graduation certificates upon request.

The language of instruction in all lectures and seminars at the Theological Seminary in Elstal is German. All papers and assignments are submitted in German. Therefore, one must master the German language to an effective degree (DSH2  or C1). The Theological Seminary at Elstal does not offer German language courses; however, but there are various language institutes in the vicinity of Berlin. Further Information is provided by TestDaF Institute or the Goethe Institute.

Campus Life

The village of Elstal lies just outside Berlin, which can easily be reached via public transport, trains or buses. Most of the theological students live in one of the 14 residences on the campus. For many, the community is supportive in academic studies as well as personal growth and development. The campus includes lecture rooms, the seminary library, and the dining hall, all connected by landscaped walks. Unmarried students live in shared apartments with two or five other residents. Each has his/her own furnished room, with shared kitchens and baths. Married couples and families may rent reasonably-priced unfurnished apartments.  The average rental fee for a room in a shared apartment on the campus is 200€/month, utilities included. The actual fee depends on the size of the room and the actual utilities. The dining hall offers two different lunch meals each day. 

Contact Us!

Prof. Dr. Joshua T. Searle
Dean of International Affairs

Registrar’s Office

Application Documents

For your application we need the following documents from you:

• A completed questionnaire with details of your person (for the download please see further below)
• A passport photo
• A certified copy of your diplomas
• A qualifying school leaving qualification (Fachhochschulreife)
• A tabular curriculum vitae
• A certificate of membership in a Christian church
• A certificate of volunteer work in a Christian church
• A 2-3-page presentation of why you want to study theology or diaconia and social theology.
You can conveniently download the document and either send it via post to our Office (Theologische Hochschule Elstal, Johann-Gerhard-Oncken-Str. 7, 14641 Wustermark, Germany), or you can send it via e-mail to

Please download the questionnaire for your application form here:
QUESTIONNAIRE Theological Seminary Elstal

Your application to study at the Theological Seminary Elstal must be in a written form. Please leave us your application until 15th of July of the respective academic year. In exceptional cases, we also accept later applications.

Glauben, Denken, Handeln