Bielefeld – Sarepta Foundation – Sarepta Sisterhood

The Sarepta Foundation was founded in 1869 as the Westfälische Diakonissenanstalt zu Bielefeld, which is part of the von Bodelschwinghschen Stiftungen Bethel today. In 1872, Friedrich von Bodelschwingh became head of the Institute for Epileptics and of the Westfälische Diakonissenanstalt. The construction of the Deaconess Mother House as a hospital, a training center and a residence for the deaconesses began in the same year, and in 1876, the Deaconess Institution was named "Sarepta" (Greek for smelter).

Other important dates were: 1887 - establishment of "Freie Hilfsschwestern" (Free Assistant Nurses) as a reaction on the lack of work force. 1905 - Wilhelm v. Bodelschwingh, son of the head of the institute Friedrich v. Bodelschwingh, was appointed Provost of Sarepta.

Around 1930 - largest Mother House of Protestantism with about 2,500 deaconesses and diaconal nurses. 1953 - founding of the Ravensberg Sisterhood from the Association Sisterhood of the Kaiserswerther Verband. 1955 - founding of the nursing pre-school in Bethel. 1968 - Sarepta withdraws from the fields of work due to lack of new sisters.

Confraternity, celibacy and habit were abandoned in 1996 and a new way of life was introduced for Sarepta: married, single, living in partnership, with or without children. In 2000 began the cooperation of the Sarepta and Nazareth foundations with a joint administration.

2004 - consolidation of the Deaconesses and the Ravensberger Sisterhood into the Sarepta Sisterhood with a common logo as an expression of community. Since 2003 - confirmation of sisters as deaconesses of the new type. Today, sisters come from different ways of life, professions, and ages and they combine diaconal work with a living spirituality.



Educational opportunities within the scope of "Bildungswege im Diakonat" (courses of education)

  Basic course Diakonie Deaconess training

Theological-diaconal education

Rotation/Duration/Hours Annually / 2.5 days per module Next course at the beginning of 2017 / 2.5 years / 650 hours

Periodic / day and evening sessions

External participation upon request upon request yes
Content overview

6 modules

  1. Bible and Theology
  2. Diakonie, church and society
  3. Spirituality and religious service
  4. Pastoral care and accompaniment
  5. Ethics and responsibility
  6. Diaconal identity and community

Enlarging upon the main topics of the basic course Diakonie

  • Bible and Theology
  • Diakonie, church and society
  • Spirituality and religious service
  • Pastoral care and accompaniment
  • Ethics and responsibility
  • Diaconal identity and community
  • Common Divine Office
  • Retreat, meditation and contemplation as ways to find yourself and God
  • Pastoral care and individual accompaniment on the way to contemplation
  • Body perception and relaxation
  • Mutual exchange about the basic topics of the inner path
  • Creative design
  • Pausing in everyday life
  • Joint experiencing and celebrating the events of the liturgical year
  • Encounters with art and culture
Precondition none Basic knowledge such as Basic Course Diakonie none
Certificate yes Certificate Diakonikum no

Information about the Basic Course and Deaconess Training at Protestant Educational Institution of the Sarepta Foundation

Information about other offers at the House of Silence and at Education & Counsel Bethel.

Bielefeld – Sarepta Foundation – Sarepta Sisterhood

Nazarethweg 5
33617 Bielefeld

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