About usIn the autumn of 1899, the Seventh-day Adventist Church bought a centuries-old mill together with the farm, meadows and fields that belonged to it and founded its first school in Middle Europe. On November 19, 1899, lessons began for the first group of seven students under very simple conditions.
Within the next ten years, a collection of large school buildings and living quarters emerged on the campus that still characterise the appearance of Friedensau today. Based on a holistic pedagogic concept, a sanatorium, workshops and a health-food factory were added, providing opportunities for both practical work experience and income for the pupils at the same time. In this way, Friedensau grew quickly to become a Missions and Industrial School and was attended by up to 250 pupils each year until the beginning of the First World War.
During the First World War, the War Department set up a military hospital in the buildings. It was 1919 before training could begin again. In the following years, new courses like home economics, preparatory courses for nursing, 10th grade secondary education, business and child care were offered. In 1923, the school was renamed as "Mission Seminary Friedensau". The Seminary was awarded state approval for the courses in home economics and business in 1930 from the Chief Administrator of the government for the region of Magdeburg.
The Nazi-era brought many restrictions, and finally the school was closed again during the Second World War. Once more, the buildings housed wounded and sick soldiers, first for the German Wehrmacht and then for the Soviet Army.
It was through the recommendations of the Chief Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, Erhard Huebener, that the Soviet military administration permitted the Seminary to reopen in 1947. This made Friedensau the first church-run educational institution in the Soviet Occupied Zone that was allowed to take up educational activity again. During the GDR-regime, the Socialist Government allowed the training of church employees only. Besides the training of pastors, there were one-year social welfare training programmes. The quality of the training led to another name change from "Ministerial Seminary" to "Theological Seminary Friedensau". Two years later, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists accredited the Seminary as a senior college. At this time it was possible for the Seminary to offer training to pastoral students from other Socialist States in Eastern Europe and Africa.
On September 15, 1990, the Theological Seminary received the status of a state-recognized university after a resolution was passed by the GDR Council of Ministers. Since then, in addition to the Theological Faculty which has been offering a Diploma in Theology since 1992, a School of Social Science has been established. Presently, besides the BA courses in Theology and Social Work, MA courses with major subjects in Biblical-Systematic Theology, Social Work, Counselling and International Social Science can also be taken as well as a preparatory course for musical studies. At present the University has about 220 full-time students registered in both faculties.