About us

Interdisciplinary, International, Contextual

What is the relationship between gospel and culture?

What does a missional and contextual communication of the gospel look like?

Which (fresh) expressions of church show signs of vitality?

What research perspectives does applied theology offer in the context of ecclesial practices and challenges of the present?

Building on theological concepts of Missio Dei, we, as an interdisciplinary team, address questions of missional church development and evangelism, which is the persuasive invitation to Christian faith. We consider these to be fundamental tasks of the church.

Research at the IMK is primarily addressing the German-speaking, scientific and academic context.

The focus is on promoting competence in expressing the Christian faith and in acquiring cybernetic competencies for building Christian congregations. Thereby, we face “the greatest challenge of the present: learning to speak and use the language of faith” (Günter Thomas).

These issues are addressed in and for a specific context,

  • Which reflects a post-Christian society
  • In which different "metamorphoses" (Ulrich Beck) challenge ecclesial practice and theological thinking: secularization, individualization, pluralization, digitalization
  • in dem mit der digitalen Welt neue Räume und Zusammenhänge erschlossen werden.
  • In which religious identity formation is being transformed
  • Which accounts for the circumstances of diaspora.

These concerns are implemented through:

  • Research and teaching on questions of missional church development and evangelistic preaching
  • Further education for students and church staff. They are enabled to take part in missional and contextual church development.
  • Evaluation of fresh expressions of church
  • Interdisciplinary research and stimuli
  • Scientific publications
  • Media presence (newsletter, Social Media)

Research topics

Church development, church theory and corresponding questions of the future of pastoral ministry, for example new forms of church life (Fresh X), system-theoretical aspects of ecclesial practices as well as considerations of innovation theory.​

Questions of Mission and mission theology​

Evangelism and corresponding topics such as transformative transitions of religious individuals (conversion, deconversion, spirituality). That includes questions of religious education in general as well as religious language proficiency, evangelistic hermeneutics and homiletics.

Empowerment. This includes topics such as spiritual leadership, discipleship, volunteer work, autonomous congregations as gifted communities.


Pfarrer Dr. Patrick Todjeras


Maike Ritzer M.A.

social science research associate

Dipl. theol. Wolf Kammerer

theological science research associate

Pfarrer Dipl.theol. Bernhard Schröder

theological science research associate

Elisabeth Jungreithmayr MBA

office assistent

Sarah Wendelin

student assistent

Prof. Dr. Michael Herbst

Senior Advisor


The institute is financed through external funding and supported by the Verein zur Förderung der Erforschung von Evangelisation und Gemeindeentwicklung e.V. (Sponsoring Association for the Research of Evangelism and Church Development), the Deichmann Foundation, the Friedhelm Loh Group, the Werstestarter Stiftung (Foundation for Christian Values Education) and the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Missionarische Dienste, AMD (Association for Missionary Services)


In 2004, the Institut zur Erforschung von Evangelisation und Gemeindeentwicklung, IEEG (Research Institute for Evangelism and Church Development) was founded by the faculty of theology at the University of Greifswald, the Protestant Church in Pomerania and the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Missionarische Dienste, AMD (Association for Missionary Services) under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Michael Herbst.

The work of the IMK builds on the research and projects of the IEEG at the University of Greifswald (2004-2022). 

As a research department, it is part of the Werk für Evangelisation und Gemeindeaufbau, WeG (Association for Evangelism and Church Development) of the Protestant Church in Austria.