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Interested in studying in Finland and studying research about DIAKONIA (church social work, charity)


School of Theology

The School of Theology of the University of Eastern Finland is located in the town of Joensuu, in the cultural transition zone between East and West, less than 100 km from the Russian border. Joensuu region lies at the easternmost part of continental EU. The university campus is compact with modern building stock. Theology has been among the disciplines taught in Joensuu since 1988. In 2010, the University of Eastern Finland was formed by merging the former multidisciplinary Universities of Joensuu and Kuopio. Half of the faculty members of the School of Theology work in the degree program of Western Theology and the other half in Orthodox Theology. It is quite customary for students to include both the western and orthodox perspectives in their studies.

Our library gives even more opportunities for independent study. As the School of Theology is still young, our library is  our library is limited to a certain extent, yet, but it has an especially wide selection of orthodox and patristic literature. In addition, we have been collecting international diakonia-related literature for several years.


To study diakonia in Joensuu

During the autumn semester the emphasis of our teaching is on diakonia and related themes. Practically all faculty members in western theology have conducted research on diakonia-related issues within their own disciplines (more here). As a result, these issues are dealt within almost all of our disciplines in autumn semester: in Biblical Studies, Church History, Systematic Theology (dogmatic) and Practical Theology.

Teaching about diakonia is mostly but not only immersed in the other courses. Usually, the lectures are in Finnish but an English translation is provided. Discussions can be conducted in English. Each lecture series usually yields I ECTS;   nevertheless writing an essay or completing a written examination based on literature the total amount of credits can be up to 4 ECTS.


About the Autumn 2017

In 2017 an international seminar on diakonia will take place in Joensuu. Participation in the event offers a valuable opportunity to gain a wide view on international themes in diakonia research. We also have a lecture cursus about International discussions about DIAKONIA.

If your previous knowledge about theology is limited,  you can deepen it through participation in  Approaches to Theology non-degree program, in each of the disciplines in English. The lecture series in this program usually yield 1 ECTS/discipline but, again, up to 4-5 ECTS are available with written essays or examinations. It is possible to obtain up to 30 ECTS per semester relatively easily by participating in lectures and writing essays. More than half of this can be related to diakonia studies.

The autumn semester in Joensuu begins on September 1 and ends shortly before Christmas (December 18). The period for applications in the ERASMUS-program is in spring (2016: March 1–April 30). More information on UEF's pages: Studying at UEF and How to apply an exchange student.

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