24 January 2024 |
Friedensau Adventist University, originally established as a missionary and industrial school near Möckern, Germany in 1899, is celebrating its remarkable 125-year journey in 2024, according to the Inter-European Division website. The institution has evolved from its humble beginnings into a prestigious state-recognized university under the Adventist Church.
The university has commenced a series of special events to commemorate this milestone. The festivities kicked off on January 14 in the university library, where church historian Johannes Hartlapp read excerpts from the upcoming Friedensau Chronicle. The chronicle, still in the making, details the university’s storied past.
Continuing the celebrations, on February 11, the university will open the “125 Years of Friedensau” exhibition. This event will feature large display walls divided into decades, showcasing the growth and transformation of the university from its foundation to the present day.
The precursor to the university, the Industry and Mission School, began on November 19, 1899, with just seven students in an old mill on the Ihle River. The next decade witnessed the construction of significant teaching and residential buildings, a sanatorium, workshops, and a food factory, highlighting the school’s holistic pedagogical approach.
During World War I the campus was transformed into a military hospital. After a brief closure during World War II, the institution reopened in 1947, with the help of Saxony-Anhalt’s minister president, Erhard Hübener, making it the first church training facility in the Soviet occupation zone.
The seminary expanded its curriculum post-World War I, adding various courses and receiving state accreditation in 1930. The Nazi era brought significant challenges, leading to temporary closure. However, the seminary reopened and continued to evolve, eventually being recognized as a senior college by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in 1983. In 1990, it gained status as a state-accredited university.
Currently, Friedensau Adventist University is known for its scholarly pursuits and global research collaborations. It offers 10 undergraduate and graduate degrees through its School of Social Sciences and School of Theology.