1st World meeting of professional lay ministers


Because of the World Synod of Bishops, professional, theologically educated and theologians who work in pastoral ministries from all continents will meet in Rome on the initiative of the Professional Association of Pastoral Advisors in Germany.

These professional lay ministers should get to know about each other, meet and hear from each other. The world meeting will manifest that there are lay ministers in various countries of the world and thus non-ordained professional theologians. The aim is an empowerment for this already long given reality of and in the Roman Catholic Church, which still seems to be overshadowed.

This ministry of lay ministers in itself reveals an ecclesiological alternative to the “classical” dualism between clergy and laity. The plurality of ministries would become blatantly visible at a time when the first period of the World Synod of Bishops will disclose the reports for the multitude of countries. This will clarify the profoundness of the issue of lay participation for many Catholics.

The outcomes of this space for reflection, which the world meeting will offer, will inform and influence the processes of the World Synod of Bishops. Therefore, in addition to the exchange of lay ministers from the different continents, there will also be discussions with representatives of the lay dicastery and the Synod Secretariat, as well as bishops of the universal Church.

The target is to assemble about 20 lay ministers from different countries, including the Congo, India, the Philippines, countries in South America, Western and Eastern Europe, as well as representatives of academic theology from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe.

The initiator is the independent association of pastoral ministers in Germany, which might be the numerously largest grouping of full-time lay theologians in the world at this moment.



preparation team is the Theological Advisory Board of the "Berufsverband":


university members:

Prof. Dr. Christian Bauer, University of Innsbruck, Austria - Professor of Pastoral Theology
Prof. Dr. Norbert Köster, Univerity of Münster, Germany - Professor of Historical Theology
Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Sander, University of Salzburg, Austria - Professor of dogmatics
Prof. Dr. Hildegard Scherer, University of Essen, Germany - Professor of  Biblical Theology
Johannes Frenz, University of Münster, Germany - doctor edge

lay ministers (Pastoralreferenten) in Germany:

Thomas Bergmeister, Geretsried and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, working in the youth pastoral and a parish

Dr. Konstantin Bischoff, Munich - working as parish leader 
Esther Goebel, Berlin and Greifswald - working in the projekt "Surf ans soul" and as a church organizational consultant
Isabelle Molz, Freiburg - working as theologian in a deanery 
Susanne Schuhmacher-Godemann, Hofheim - working in social pastoral
Karoline Wilkens, Hamburg - working in the pastoral care in a psychiatric hospital