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Important Information on Corona and impacts of Corona on teaching (as of 05.05.2020)

Cases of infection with the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) have been confirmed in all federal states of Germany, including Lower Saxony, here inter alia in Celle district. In order to protect yourself and others, the following information and instructions must be observed:

1. Teaching in times of Corona:
     FIT starts Online Teaching

  • For the time being, NO PRESENCE EVENTS such as lectures or seminars will take place ON THE PREMISES OF FIT. Instead, the courses will be held DIGITALLY. Online Teaching via MS Teams begins these days.
  • @ ALL
    Lectures will be held through online/digital tools and channels.
    Modules, lectures and seminars will be held through a programme called MS Teams. MS Teams is part of your Office 365. Your lecturer already contacted you these days to invite you to the diverse study groups and to give you further information and instructions how to use the programme.
  • @ ITDG 1 and ITMGC 1
    ... will start their Module 20/18, "Preparation of a BA thesis", next week, beginning on April 20 (you will receive a specific mail with further information).
  • @ ITDG 2 and 3 and ITMGC 2 and 3
    ... your modules will start with a "test phase" of 7-10 day, starting on April 20, in which the online tools and teams will be constituted and tested, in order to guarantee that each and every student has access to it. In case you have technical problems, we will eagerly work to sort these out and resolve them. Regular online presence will be expected for time slots to be communicated as of April 27. Study material will be put online and will be accessible via designated channels on your MS Team platform.
  • @ ALL
    Please, check FIT Homepage for further information on a daily basis. All current information is provided in English (https://www.fh-hermannsburg-eng.landeskirche-hannovers.de/) as well as in German  (https://www.fh-hermannsburg.de/).

2. Important rules for contact reduction:

  • Everyone is urged by German law to reduce contacts with other people outside the members of their own household to an absolutely necessary minimum.
  • In public, a minimum distance of 1.5 m must be maintained wherever possible.
  • Staying in the public space is only permitted alone, with another person not living in the household or in the company of members of the own household.

Follow the instructions of the local authorities.


3. Important Hygiene instructions to be followed:

Protection against the corona virus follows general recommendations on influenza and other respiratory diseases. It is important to

  • Follow rules with regard to coughing and sneezing:
    When coughing and sneezing, keep your distance
    and turn away; hold the crook of your arm in front
    of your mouth and nose or use a handkerchief that
    you should dispose immediately (respiratory
    hygiene).
  • Practice a good hand hygiene:
    Wash your hands regularly with soap and water (min. 20 seconds) and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Refrain from shaking hands, huggings and close body contact.
  • Keep a distance to sick people (about 1,5 to 2 meters)

For detailed hygiene instructions (in English) from Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung (BZgA) and other institutions, please check the links in the Infobox on the right.

4. Masks compulsory in shops and public transport:
According to the regulation of the state of Lower Saxony in the version valid from 27 April 2020, the following applies:
It is compulsory to cover nose and mouth with an ordinary (non-medical) mask when using public transport (bus, train, taxi). It is also compulsory to cover nose and mouth when in shops. Violation of this obligation is an administrative offence and may result in a fine. The same applies in almost all federal states in Gerany.
Rector Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Richebächer presented the students currently on campus with appropriate mouth-nose-masks  sewn by Prof. Dr. Drea Fröchtling. Many thanks to Prof. Fröchtling for this great support!

5. Information on the current situation from Robert Koch-Institute (RKI) and Federal Ministry of Health:

Please keep yourself informed about the ongoing development.

The RKI and the Federal Ministry of Health inform daily about the current situation and issue recommendations how to act and how to control the further spread of the virus on the following homepages:   

https://www.rki.de/SharedDocs/FAQ/NCOV2019/FAQ_Liste.html

https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/en/press/2020/coronavirus.html?fbclid=IwAR2J9OE8QNkJHph_lXqvrxvtiWaWl5Uxw7fa3nzPzE89J-k2jdqq2l1ZXBM


6. Special information for students who are currently staying abroad or are planning a trip abroad (as of 05.05.2020):   

(a) General information on travel within Germany and abroad:

The Federal Foreign Office has issued a worldwide travel warning. It is recommended that travellers obtain information on the current situation, possible entry restrictions and travel restrictions from the embassy or consulate of their destination country before starting their journey. The Federal Government also warns against unnecessary tourist travel abroad - and also within Germany.

In view of the current situation, it is advisable to generally avoid trips that are not necessary.

(b) Entries from abroad:

(1) The Federal Government has ordered travel restrictions and temporary checks at the German borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Denmark and for passengers arriving by air from Italy and Spain. The regulations on travel restrictions and border controls will initially apply until 15.05.2020.

- There are no entry restrictions for German citizens.
   They are permitted to enter Germany.

- Travellers without German nationality may only enter Germany
   with valid need for travel. Proof of this should be available if possible.
   Travellers with no valid need for travel will not be permitted.

Exceptions:

  • Citizens of EU Member States and countries associated with Schengen and their family members and citizens of the United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and their family members are allowed
    - to travel through Germany to reach their home country if no other travel connection is possible
    - to enter if their home or legal residence is in Germany.
  • Third-country nationals with a long‑term right of residence in an EU Member State or the countries mentioned above (residence permit or long‑term visa, e.g. for study or work purposes).
  • Third-country nationals with urgent reason for entry (Evidence should be carried). The decision is taken by the official on the spot.

For details and current information please refer to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community: https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/kurzmeldungen/EN/2020/03/corona-ein-und-ausreise-en.html

(2) Introducing of border controls:
The temporary border controls successively reintroduced at the borders between Germany and Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Denmark, Italy and Spain will be extended until 15 May 2020.

(3) Quarantine obligation for travellers:
All persons entering the Federal Republic of Germany by land, sea or air, from another country - including Germans, EU citizens, citizens of a Schengen-associated state or persons who have been resident in Germany for many years and enter Germany - will be required to pass a two-weeks mandatory quarantine when they return to their residence in Germany after having been abroad for several days.
They are currently required to isolate themselves by domestiv quarantine. They must proceed directly to their own home, or other suitable accommodation, immediately after their arrival and remain there exclusively for a period of 14 days after their entry into the country.They are also required to contact their competent public health office (Gesundheitsamt) without delay and inform the latter of their entry into the country.

(4) So called risk areas:
Since 10.4.2020, the Robert Koch Institute has no longer identified any international risk areas or particularly affected areas in Germany.
COVID-19 is now spread worldwide. In a considerable number of countries there are outbreaks, some with large case numbers; the exact case numbers of other countries are not known. There is therefore a risk of transmission both in Germany and in a vast number of regions worldwide.

c) Travel from Germany to other countries:

The Foreign Office warns against unnecessary tourist travel abroad, as strong and increasing drastic restrictions on international air and travel, worldwide entry restrictions, quarantine measures and restrictions on public life in many countries are to be expected. This will continue to apply until further notice, for the time being - at least until June 14, 2020 inclusive.

Some countries have imposed entry bans or special controls on certain groups of people or flights from certain regions. Changes to the entry and quarantine regulations are sometimes made without prior notice and with immediate effect. Some of these measures also affect travellers from Germany. Travellers should therefore obtain information from the embassy or consulate of the country they are visiting in Germany before starting their journey.

7. What to consider when returning from risk areas

With reference to the general disposition of the administrative district Celle of 11.03.2020, which is binding also for FIT, the management of FIT hereby orders the following:

  • For all students arriving in or returning to Germany from abroad, a 14-day domestic quarantine will be ordered at a location off campus. This also applies if no coronary symptoms (cough, rhinitis, neck scratching and fever, possibly diarrhoea) have currently occurred. Contact with other people should be avoided as far as possible. 
  • If you do not have a suitable place to stay off campus, please contact the Student Secretariat.
  • In general: Only if after 14 days no symptoms (cough, cold, neck scratching and fever, possibly diarrhoea) have appeared, you can return to the FIT campus.
  • If possible, please contact the Student secretariat or the university management by telephone 1 week before your departure from your current place of residence and especially before you arrive on campus.
  • Please consider the following when planning your trip:
    A quarantine due to a corona infection or suspected infection on the FIT campus would not only affect you personally, but could possibly spread to the entire university community. Only the responsible actions of each and every one of us can prevent this from happening for the university community.

8. If coronary symptoms occur or there is a suspicion of a corona 
    infection:

If you show typical corona symptoms ((cough, colds, sore/itchy throat, and fever, possibly diarrhoea)) or assume that you have been infected with the virus, please

  • DO NOT visit your doctor's surgery,
  • but contact your doctor by telephone.
  • If he or she is not available, please call the emergency service of the health insurance company at 116 117.
  • Stay away from other people and follow the instructions of the doctor or emergency service.

If you are already on campus, also inform the Student Secretariat or the university management by phone or email; they will assist you.
 

9. Further helpful information can be found on the following internet pages

Internship Presentation ITMGC 1 and ITGD 1 students

Präsentation Praktikum 2020

Commitment to church communities, refugees, children, education and voluntary work -
the internships of FIT students are manifold!

At the end of the winter semester 2019/2020, eight FIT students returned to the campus in Hermannsburg after their 3-months full-time or 6-months part-time  internship in Germany and abroad to reflect and report on their experiences and findings. They worked for church communities, refugees, children, education and volunteer work. It was exciting to hear what they experienced, learned and implemented.

The internship offers the students the opportunity not only to apply the knowledge they gained during their studies at FIT, but also to prove themselves in possible professional fields. Several FIT students have now been employed by their former internship company after completing their studies. Administration and lecturer of FIT are very pleased about this.

A detailed report (in German) can be found here: Bericht Präsentation Praktikum 2020

FIT celebrated WORLD INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK

Künstler Anubihs Khan

From Febr 3 to 7, 2020 the FIT celebrated the World Interfaith Harmony Week. This initiative is based on the proposal of the United Nations to annually observe this event. The week is an occasion to reflect upon the common values which are shared between different religions and all persons of faith. Religious communities must recognize their special role in contributing to mutual understanding and a sustainable peace in society.

The prelude to the World Week of Interreligious Harmony at the FIT was a Christian devotion with various multi-religious elements led by Rector Professor Wilhelm Richebächer on 03.02.2020. 

Afterwards, the guests of the devotion gladly accepted the invitation to the subsequent Vernissage of the artist and FIT student David Romero Mazzini from Peru (see photo), who - under his artist name Anubihs Khan - exhibited some of his works with interreligious references in the FIT Mensa as part of the World Week of Interreligious Harmony.

On the following days, the theme "interreligious harmony" was taken up in several devotions. Also the students created a theme-related devotion with multi-religious prayer.

All in all it was a varied and inspiring event, which - according to Rector Professor W. Richebächer - marked a highlight of the winter semester for the entire FIT community.

Find out the programme of World Interfaith harmony Week here: Plakat World Interfaith Harmony Week

A  detailed report in German about the World Interfaith Harmony Week at FIT is published on the German homepage.

Invitation to an Ecumenical Evening with Pfarrer Martin Bräuer

Flaming fishes zentriert

The Rector of FIT, Professor Dr. Wilhelm Richebächer, cordially invites to the Ecumenical Evening with a lecture by Pastor Martin Bräuer D.D. from Bensheim and a contribution by a Master student from Brazil.

WHEN: 22.01.2020, 19.30

WHERE: FIT Auditorium

TOPIC: Observations on the Amazon Synod

Pastor Martin Bräuer is a Catholica expert and deputy director of the Institute for Confessional Studies in Bensheim. He deals intensively with questions of ecumenism. In October 2019 he visited the Amazon Synod of the Roman Catholic Church.

In his lecture (in German; English translation available!) he will talk about the preparation, the course and the consequences so far of the Amazon Synod, also with regard to the Pope's theological concept of "synodality".

Fabiano Soares, a student of the Master's program from Brazil,will give an introductory report in English on his previous work in the Church in the Amazon region.

10th Anniversary Symposium MA Intercultural Theology

Zehn Kerzen

In December 2019, the MA programme "Intercultural Theology" (ICT), jointly organized by the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and the University of Applied Sciences for Intercultural Theology Hermannsburg, celebrated its tenth anniversary with a symposium on the topic 

"Dialogues and Dynamics -
Interculturality in Theology and Religious Studies".

Information on the event, which has already taken place, can be found at the following link:

Further information on the Symposium

Public Inaugural Lecture of Dr. Moritz Fischer

MF bei der Antrittsvorlesung

Since 01.04.2019 Dr. Moritz Fischer is a lecture at the University of Applied Sciences for Intercultural Theology Hermannsburg (FIT) and holds the professorship for "World Christianities and Mission History". On 09.11.2019 he gave his inaugural lecture at FIT. 

After an introductory service led by Pastor Michael Thiel, Director of the Ev.-luth. Missionswerk in Lower Saxony, and Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Richebächer, Rector of the FIT, and musically framed by the students Eri Yoon (piano) and Viktar Niachayeu (guitar), Dr. Fischer gave a lecture to colleagues and students of the FIT as well as about 35 guests from Hermannsburg and all over Germany on the topic "Mission: Distanced from the evil power".

A photo report and a summary of the lecture can be found on the following links:

Warm welcome to the new students at FIT

Erstsemester WS 2019-2020

On 21 October 2019 Rector Professor Dr. Wilhelm Richebächer and the team of the FIT welcomed a total of 30 new BA and MA students from 15 countries to the start of the courses in the winter semester 2019/2020. They come from Ethiopia, Bangladesh, China, Germany, Georgia, Ghana, India, Iran, Kenya, Korea, Nepal, Nigeria, Belarus and the USA to study in the South Heath. 

During the orientation week from 15.10. to 20.10.2019, the "newcomers" got to know the campus and the FIT team as well as the towns of Hermannsburg and Hannover. 

On an "evening of encounter", the new students returned the favor for the warm welcome by presenting themselves and their home country with its cultural peculiarities in various presentations. The entertaining programme ranged from an Indian poem, picture presentations and songs from Korea, India, Belarus, Ethiopia, Egypt and Ghana to a Chinese tea ceremony, a Nepalese dance and the serving of culinary delicacies from Ethiopia and Germany. The audience was enthusiastic about the creativity of the participants and the sometimes very touching contributions!

The students now face exciting, but also challenging years of academic education, for which Rector Richebächer gave them the following: "We are very pleased that you have decided to study intercultural theology and want to enter a profession that practically helps people to overcome hatred, exclusion and disrespect. On the basis of our faith and in the richness of the various spiritual traditions that you all bring with you, it is possible here in Germany, as in many other places, to prevent violence and wars between worldviews and religions, but also wars between insatiable people against creation".

What is FIT? FIT is an intercultural family with a strong vision

Graduates 2019 with lecturers

On 21.09.2019, FIT solemnly graduated this year's graduates of the Bachelor programmes "Mission Science and International Diakonia" as well as "Intercultural Theology, Migration and Congregational Leadership". In addition, a student of the Master's programme "Intercultural Theology" was congratulated.

After a communion service conducted by the FIT lecturers Prof. Dr. Drea Fröchtling and Dr. Moritz Fischer, the speech of the Rector Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Richebächer on the topic of "Strengthening Vision" and greetings from Mr. Detlef Kohrs (Managing Director of the Ev.-luth. Missionswerk) and Mr. Rainer Vogeler (Südheide congregation), the graduates finally received the Bachelor certificates in front of around 100 relatives, friends and guests. For this award, the graduates had worked hard, partly 6 semesters (full-time studies), partly 8 semesters (part-time studies).

Sanjog Patro took the floor for the graduates from a total of 6 nations and asked himself and those present: "What is FIT?" His conclusion: FIT is an intercultural family with unique, weak and at the same time very special members from many countries of the world.

Please find the detailed report of the graduation ceremony under the following link:

"Time to say good bye" - On his farewell Dr. William Obaga emphasizes the importance of FIT for the churches

Dr. William Obaga_2

At the end of the summer semester, students, lecturers, co-workers and supporters of the FIT as well as representatives of the ELM bid farewell to lecturer and choir director Dr. William Obaga with a moving celebration. 

In his "end-of.semester-devotion" Principal Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Richebächer thanked Dr. Obaga for his commitment for FIT both as lecturer for church music with focus on Africa and as director of FIT choir. "With the FIT choir you brought up a new tradition and inspired the choir members". 

Also the members of FIT choir paid tribute to the work of Dr. Obaga. "He succeeded in bringing the choir to a new musical level - but not to forget the pure joy of singing", they said. 

Dr. Obaga was pleased with all the appreciation and thanked for being part of the FIT community. "I go back to Kenya enriched", he said.

Dr. Obaga`s moving conclusion after 7 semesters at the University of Applied Sciences: "In times of globalization FIT is a unique and important place. Here, students learn to better understand people from other backgrounds. By this the FIT also has an important function for the churches, which are also confronted with the consequences of globalisation and have to find answers."

Farewell for Students of MA ICT (group 9)

On Juli 4th, 2019 the students of MA Intercultural Theology (group 9) met some of their lecturers from University of Göttingen (Dean Prof. Dr. Bernd Schröder, PD Dr. Fritz Heinrich) and University of Applied Sciences for Intercultural Theology Hermannsbrug (Principal Prof. Wilhelm Richebächer, Prof. Ulrike Schröder) for a last get-together in Göttingen, before they finish their studies soon and disappear into different directions.The group of guests was completed by the new inspector of the Theological Seminary (Theologisches Stift) Dr. Benjamin Apsel and the coordinator of the MA programme in Göttingen, Dr. Cornelia Schlarb.

For all, who are involved in the Master Programme, it is a great joy every year anew to see the positive development of the students in the course of their studies.

FIT wishes all Master students every success, happiness and God's blessing in their future academic and personal lives.

You can find Dr. Schlarb`s report of the happy get-together in the info box on the right.

First dies academicus 2019 at FIT

On the 21.05.2019 the University of Applied Sciences for Intercultural Theology Hermannsburg invited its graduates of the previous three years to a first dies academicus, thus giving graduates, current students and interested guests the opportunity to get together to exchange thoughts on academic topics.

The topic chosen by the university governance for the discussions was:´Migrants, “Ossis” and Religion: Religious Changes in Germany since the beginning of the 21st century`. Two lectures and a workshop provided a platform for discussions on contemporary religious developments in Germany, i.e. the changes the two mainline churches are facing as a result of a dramatic and continual reduction of church membership numbers as opposed to the growth of religious diversity due to the immigration of people to Germany.

Prof Alexander K. Nagel from the University of Göttingen, who has analysed and studied the migration of refugees, lectured on a whole series of social issues. Empirical research for example has shown that within the Muslim groups there is great potential for mobilizing support for the migrants. Prof Dr Daniel Cyranka from the University of Halle lectured in detail on the situation of the Protestant churches in eastern Germany today and critically analysed the perceptions the different social groups have of one another.

During a panel discussion graduates of the University of Applied Sciences (Francis Abdelmassieh, MA und Evet Bebawy, BA) and the university’s predecessor, the Mission Seminary (Pastor Ulrich Storck, Diesdorf) reported, from a practical perspective, on religious pluralism in their fields of work. Their reports highlighted the development of ambivalent religious streams in Germany and the difficulties faced preventing  east German church membership from dwindling any further while arabic speaking church congregations grow. FIT graduates‘ work experience has however shown that intercultural work greatly helps to improve communication between all groups and break down religious rigorism.

At the joint lunch students, graduates as well as lecturers and staff members had the opportunity to network and exchange information.

Prof Dr Wilhelm Richebächer, FIT Rector, thanked all the organizers of the first successful dies academicus  and said: „The dies academicus showed that all participants are very interested in keeping in contact and exchanging ideas on socially relevant topics. The dies academicus should thus be a permanent fixture on the FIT curriculum.“

Save the date: Dies Academicus 2020 on 05.06.2020

Dear Friends of FIT, dear Alumnae and Alumni,

we would like to express our desire that you all are doing well.

Even if we cannot make some binding declarations about official events for the next weeks in these days of turbulences, the FIT would like to inform you about the current state of the preparations for our dies academicus on 5 June 2020.

At present, we cannot see and decide if the realisation of the project will we possible. It could happen that public events like our dies academicus will not be allowed because of the restrictions or the recommendations by the authorities of the state.

Nevertheless, the dies academicus is a very important date for the academic life of our university. It plays an important role to intensify the communication between the University and our former students and our friends. For this reason we would like to invite you, to keep the announced date open for the next time. 

If we will have more informations about our opportunities for the next weeks we will come back to all of you as soon as possible. I think that we will have a final decision about the dies academicus for this year within the coming week.

In the certainty that we will see us again in a near future, I remain with cordial greetings and wishes for God‘s blessings,

Prof. Dr. Andreas Kunz-Lübcke
on behalf of FIT

Cancellation of the dies academicus planned for 05.06.2020

Halbes Logo blau

Dear alumni, alumnae and friends of FIT,

In consequence of the spread of the COVID-19 virus extensive restrictions applied in recent weeks. The consequences have been and still are deep and challenging - also for universities in Germany, so at FIT.

Although some measures and bans are now being eased step by step. However, it is still valid that physical contact with other people who are not members of one's own household must be reduced to an absolutely necessary minimum. Also events with larger numbers of people remain prohibited.

Under these circumstances, it is unfortunately not possible to prepare and carry out the dies academicus, planned for the beginning of June at FIT. It is with great regret that we have to cancel the dies academicus 2020. However, we do not want to hang our heads, but are already looking forward to the dies academicus in 2021!

Until then: Stay healthy and confident!

With best regards

Management of FIT