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Protestant Academy Bad Boll

The Protestant Academy Bad Boll is a meeting place for people from all walks of life interested in topics relating to education, society, politics, religion, economics or the environment. It is located 45km south-east of the city of Stuttgart in the southern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. The aim of the Academy is to build bridges between people and also between traditional ideas and what is new, unfamiliar or perhaps even forgotten.

 

The Academy is an institution of the Protestant Church, but does not seek to lay down specific rules on religious beliefs. In fact the Academy encourages discussion on controversial issues and the awareness and acceptance of differing points of view. Since it was founded over sixty years ago, the Academy has continued to provide an forum for intellectual, intercultural and ecumenical exchange.

 

 

The Academy presents itself

Some of the designations given to the Evangelische Akademie Bad Boll are a »Workshop for New Thinking«, a »Place to Converse with Civil Society«, a »Pillar of Political Culture«, a »Site of Dialogue«. Through its various activities, the Academy aims to provide a forum to discuss urgent issues, strengthen a sense of community and involvement in society, and offer orientation to people seeking answers.

 

Listening – discussing – thinking through

Globalisation, all-day schools, genetic diagnostics – these and other topics have been dealt with at conferences in the Akademie by decision-makers, people effected, experts and committed lay-people. The conferences organised by the Evangelische Akademie Bad Boll constitute meeting-places far removed from the hectic atmosphere of everyday life, opportunities to listen and speak, encounters with people who have something to say, and with those who have no lobby to speak for them.

 

Building bridges

The Evangelische Akademie Bad Boll has chosen a bridge as its symbol because it hopes to build bridges from the familiar and traditional to the new, alien and forgotten. This involves: Seeing ones homeland with the eyes of a refugee; not shutting ones eyes or ears when handicapped people speak about their experiences; perceiving how members of other religions feel about spirituality.

 

Tolerant and Protestant

The Evangelische Akademie Bad Boll attends to the message and consolation of the Gospels. The conferences are guided by a reference to Christian humanity and the spirit of an open-minded, tolerant Protestantism as one possibility in the search for orientation and for clarification of ethical viewpoints. The Evangelische Landeskirche in the state of Württemberg has assigned the Academy the task of participating in »efforts to achieve a Christian way of life and a better sense of community«.

 

Responsibility for society

By founding the Academy in September 1945, the Church was signalling its readiness to assume responsibility in building up a democratic society. According to founder-director Eberhard Müller, the Church was to »render an account of itself not only in the realm of pious inwardness, but also on life's big issues«. And so Heinemann and von Baudissin discussed re-armament, Bloch and Dutschke the student revolts. Solidarity with the victims of Apartheid, co-determination in industry, climate change have all been the subject of vehement debate at the Academy.

 

Affiliates of the Academy

The founding of the Academy in Bad Boll set a precedent. Almost all the state Protestant Churches, and later the Catholic Church, opened their own venues. Today, the association »Evangelische Akademien in Deutschland« (EAD) has 15 member academies. Together with its affiliated academies from the Christian Churches in twenty countries they form the »Oikosnet Europe«.

 

Bad Boll and the Professions

The Evangelische Akademie Bad Boll focuses particularly on work with professional groups. Technological, demographic and social changes are causing widespread insecurity, particularly in the world of work. How does administrative reform effect the organisation of socio-psychiatric services? What are the current changes effecting carers of the seriously handicapped? How are processes of change managed ? For many years, midwives and hospital employees, doctors and architects, lay assessors and debtor advisors, entrepreneurs and conscientious-objectors and community-workers have availed themselves of the Academy’s facilities for the purposes of clarifying such issues.

 

Four thematic areas

The Academy's conference activities are structured around four closely linked thematic areas:

  • International relations and sustainable development
  • Economics, labour, technology
  • Politics, law, public welfare
  • Theology, culture, education

Conferences are not everything

The Academy employees not only organise conferences, seminars and symposia, they are also active on »teams of experts« training, advising and accompanying projects above and beyond the confines of Bad Boll.

 

The »Church Service in the World of Work« (KDA) focuses on issues to do with creating appropriate economic, social and political framework conditions
in businesses and enterprises, on making links between the Church and the economy, and on the training and further education of vicars and pastors.

 

The »Academy for Management and Responsibility« (AFV) targets people in management positions and, on the basis of a Christian image of man, offers support through coaching and supervision, and advice on questions relating to organisational development and team formation.

 

The »Study Programme for Students from Africa, Asia and Latin  America« (STUBE) is the only programme in Baden-Württemberg which provides this group with a platform for reflecting on and exchanging their views. STUBE helps students to cope with an alien university and everyday culture, and later to reintegrate in their home countries.

 

For more than 25 years, the »Seniors Meeting Point« has been mediating the services provided by the Offene Altenhilfe in Stuttgart. These include »education, encounter, advice and participation« for elderly people.

 

Through its special courses for vicars, the Evangelische Akademie Bad Boll makes a solid contribution to the training of up-and-coming vicars.

 

The »Socio-Political Youth Education« programme addresses themes and questions relevant to young people at the interface between society and individual, school and vocation. Its aims are to strengthen young people's social competence and equip them for participation in a democratic society.

 

The »Sports Official of the Regional Church of Württemberg« is responsible for organizing the dialogue with the sports institutions. For him, the important
issues are the preservation of Sunday as a holiday, integration, and voluntary work. His tasks include lobby work and the coordination of sports projects.

 

The Academy is also active in the field of further training, for example, with a certified training course to qualify as a »Children's Champion«. In addition to its programme of conferences, it organises well-prepared trips and offers a  multifaceted holiday programme.

 

Facts and figures

The Evangelische Akademie Bad Boll currently employs 130 people, of whom almost 35 are involved – some of them part-time – in the selection of themes for conferences or in teams of experts. On average, the programme involves about 400 events per year, in which about 18,000 guests take part. Course fees cover only a small part of the related costs. Almost half of the Academy's resources are provided by the Evangelische Landeskirche in Württemberg.

Your conference in Bad Boll

The Academy has three large halls with modern conference technology and interpreter cabins. These are complemented by a further 17 larger and smaller rooms. A total of 135 guests can be accommodated and 250 guests can be catered for. There is a spacious cafeteria with a sun terrace available for rounds of talks during the breaks and in the evenings. The refurbished Wilhelminianstyle Villa Vopelius and the Academy restaurant »Symposion« are worthy of particular mention. The latter has received several architectural awards. All these facilities can be rented for your conference. Feel free to make contact with us!

 

Sustainable hospitality

The concept behind the catering and housekeeping at the Evangelische Akademie Bad Boll is to harmonise service, hospitality and the best of ingredients with environmental awareness. Chef de cuisine Wolfram Siebeck personally awarded the Bad Boll catering team the silver Biostar Prize, which acknowledges creative organic concepts for large scale catering. The slogan which guides our purchase of ingredients is »seasonal, regional, fair«. The Academy also makes its contribution to the environment through its use of rain water, thermal power and photovoltaics. In the context of a European pilot project, the Academy is also developing certified sustainability management in the areas of economics and social welfare.

Art and culture

The Academy is also an exhibition venue, presents artists and their works, and is itself a site for art, with its own sculptures and reliefs. Villa Vopelius houses Blumhardt's Literature Salon, set up in cooperation with the Marbach Literature Archives in memory of Johann Christoph and Christoph Blumhardt, who as pastors and through their links with Eduard Mörike, Ottilie Wildermuth, Effi Briest and Hermann Hesse influenced the ‘genius loci’ of Bad Boll before the Academy was founded.

Further information

The Academy documents select conference projects through its publication series »edition akademie« and »Bad Boller Skripte«. Often manuscripts and audiofile of lectures are available as online documents on the Internet. The Academy magazine SYM publishes news about the Academy four times a year. The free monthly newsletter »themenüberblick« carries information on highlights, VIPs and projects.

 

 


 

 
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