"Christian Churches Facing the Challenge of 'Europe'".
"Die christlichen Kirchen vor der Herausforderung 'Europa'".
In November 2008 the Graduate College "Die christlichen Kirchen vor der Herausforderung 'Europa'" of the Johannes Gutenberg-University in cooperation with the Institute of European History (Institut für Europäische Geschichte) has been approved by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). It started its work on April 1, 2009 and finished it in November 2017.
The central question, which justified the research interest of the Graduate College, was, how the Christian social model has been developed and changed, against the background of the challenge of "Europe", in the period from the Wilheminian era to the present. In a more narrow sense it related to the reaction of the Christian churches as well as their organisations and ownerships within the European states regarding the thought of the European unification, the actual process of Europeanisation and how the challenge of "Europe" changed the churches in their self-placement, in an institutional way and in the clear wording and perception of their responsibilities. Not least, a particular interest was, how the churches tried to introduce their ethical and social ideas into the politics of the European institutions.
The design of the research has been determined as a widely diversified and interdisciplinary access, which included the support of the scholarship holders and which has been completed through the international personnel structure and the involvement of foreign experts into the study program.
The research program has been attended by a study program, that combined, as an analytical frame, the particular research projects. It consisted of four main elements, which were integrated in a module-based structure: a study program, which was specific for colleges and based on different formats, international exchange, individual support and joint work.
The quality of the education has been completed by the conveyance of academical and non-academical key skills due to the cooperation with the "Allgemeine Promotionskolleg" of the Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz and the "Gießener International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture" (GCSC)