Faith, Education and the Relation between them.
Education is regarded as a prime task of the Evangelical Church. According to the Reformation’s view faith and education belong together at any rate. In parishes, day nurseries and schools as well as in adult training Evangelical education connects life, learning and faith. For we believe that faith and reason belong together. Our independently operated schools play an important part in the public school system. They are open to all children, regardless of their religious, social or ethnic origin.
The Evangelical Church offers various types of schools: Progressive teaching elementary schools, often founded at the initiative of parents or parishes; »Realschulen« (intermediate secondary schools) pursuing practical aspects and putting emphasis on craftsmanship and natural sciences and »Humanistische Gymnasien« (A-level secondary schools, proposing classical languages training). Furthermore there are comprehensive schools, interdenominational schools and there is a new type of school, Evangelical elementary and comprehensive schools with the motto »From ABC to A level«. Other formats include special-needs schools and integration schools testing new forms of learning and vocational schools training social pedagogues and day nursery teachers. Evangelical schools consider themselves to be school congregations. Together they devise rites, celebrate worship and observe the feasts of the Christian year.
Schools have to equip children with the knowledge to orientate themselves in all spheres of life. Religious education wants to offer world views which can also be valuable for non-believing children. Therefore, it aims at taking on these four tasks:
- Understanding the world - Religious education illustrates how our world, be it architecture, culture, literature or the media, was shaped by Christianity and other religions.
- Searching for the meaning of life – Where do we come from and where do we go? Religious education helps to approach these questions and seeks to help pupils develop a distinct attitude towards these subjects.
- Pondering on faith - Religious education tells pupils how people search for God or how they deny Him, and how faith in the Lord resists humans fancying themselves as omnipotent beings. They reflect on happiness and responsibility, on doubt and limitation, and they learn to treat living religions with tolerance and respect.
- Advocating the dignity of mankind – Advocating that the dignity of a person does not depend on their performance and drawing attention to the misery and injustice are a main part in religious education.