Members & Partners Events

Submit your master thesis to the Anders Bäckström Prize 2018!

posted Oct 31, 2017, 3:33 AM by Antonio eurodiaconia   [ updated Dec 6, 2017, 2:15 AM ]

Professor emeritus in the Sociology of Religion Anders Bäckström (Uppsala University) has founded a fund to support research on diaconia, Christian social practice, welfare and religion, and in particular young researchers in this field. The Anders Bäckström Fund is placed at Diakonhjemmet foundation in Oslo/Norway. The board of the Anders Bäckström Fund announces this year for the first time an award for an excellent master thesis in the field of diaconal studies and welfare and religion. This prize, the Anders Bäckström Prize, will be awarded for the first time during the conference of the International Society for the Research and Study of Diaconia and Christian Social Practice (ReDi) on 12.-14th September 2018 in Berlin/Germany.


What type of theses can apply?

All post-bachelor theses and master theses (but no PhD theses) that relate to the field of diaconia and Christian Social Practice or welfare and religion in a broad sense are eligible. There are no limitations with regard to length or grade of the thesis. A precondition is, however, that the author of the thesis must have passed the program connected to the thesis.


Has the thesis to be in English?

It is the ambition of the Anders Bäckström Prize not to limit itself to master theses written in English. Only an abstract and a short recommendation letter (max. one page) of the supervisor have to be in English. However, it cannot be guaranteed that the evaluation committee is able to recruit evaluators in all possible languages. But please do not hesitate to give it a try!


Who can apply?

Either the candidates themselves or their supervisors can apply.


What does the prizewinner get?

The prizewinner receives 1000 € and a certificate. Since it is awarded at the Biannual Conference of the International Society for the Research and Study of Diaconia and Christian Social Practice (ReDi) the prize covers also all expenses that are related to the participation in this conference (including conference fee, travel and accommodation).


Timetable and process

Deadline for submitting the masters thesis is 1st February 2018. The masters thesis should be sent to together with an abstract and a short recommendation letter (max one page) of the supervisor.

By Mid-February 2018, the board of the Anders Bäckström Fund will appoint an evaluation committee with three experts from different disciplines and contexts. The task of the evaluation committee is to prepare a ranked list of the submitted theses and to suggest a prizewinner until mid-May 2018. By mid-June 2018, the board of the Anders Bäckström Fund will nominate and contact the prizewinner.

Save the date: Bi-annual ReDi conference, 12-14 September 2018, Berlin

posted Sep 4, 2017, 3:15 AM by Antonio eurodiaconia   [ updated Dec 6, 2017, 2:23 AM ]

The Seventh Biannual ReDi Conference will take place from 12-14 September 2018 in Berlin hosted by Diakonie Deutschland, the Institute for the Study of Christian Social Serviced at the University of Heidelberg, Eurodiaconia and ReDi. The conference theme will be “Beyond Services Towards Justice”. Please find a save-the-date flyer here.

Planned sub-themes are
  • Justice in Theological Perspective
  • Justice and Gender
  • Justice and Capitalism/Economics
  • Justice and Public Witness
  • Justice and Sustainability
  • Justice and Digitalisation

An official invitation and a call for papers for the conference will be published soon on the ReDi website. We will update you continuously.

Diaconia & Development conference in South Africa: Diaconia, community and development: Exploring new theories for social justice and inclusion

posted Sep 4, 2017, 3:12 AM by Antonio eurodiaconia   [ updated Dec 6, 2017, 2:27 AM ]

On 3-5th July 2018, the first Africa Conference with focus on Diaconia, Development and Integral Mission will take place in the Western Cape region. Hosts are the University if Stellenbosch, the University of the Western Cape and the Huguenot College. Under the theme “Diaconia, Community and Development: Exploring New Theories and Practices for Social Justice and Inclusion” African and international scholars and practitioners in diaconia are invited to discuss the social challenges of the African continent and the possible contribution of diaconia. The conference will work with the following thematic approaches:

1.      Community and gender justice;

2.      Community, politics and the state;

3.      Community, environment and sustainability;

4.      Community, economic inequality and poverty;

5.      Community in the context of global South – global North dialogue;

6.      Community, citizenship and civil society;

7.      Community and faith-based organisations.

Abstracts (max 200 words) that pick up on the thematic approaches should be submitted before 1 March 2018 to Please also cc More information about the conference and the call is available here.

Nordic Conference in the Study of Diaconia

posted Sep 4, 2017, 3:11 AM by Antonio eurodiaconia

Nordic Conference in the Study of Diaconia and Christian Social Practice in Uppsala, 23-24 November 2018

The Nordic Network for the Study of Diaconia and Christian Social Practice is associated to ReDi. Its fourth Biannual Conference takes place on 23-24 November 2017 in Uppsala/Sweden. Hosts of the conference are the Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre and the Impact of Religion Research Programme at Uppsala University together with the Nordic Network Conference for the Study of Diaconia and Christian Social Practice, the Church of Sweden and VID Specialized University. The theme of the conference is Exhausted Women – Exhausted Welfare. Please have a look at the interesting program
It is already possible to register for the conference.
The deadline for submitting papers is 1 October 2017.
The whole conference program is in English. We hope that many researchers and practitioners from the Nordic and other countries will participate in the conference. 

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSION Empowering Mutually: Advocacy, Charity, Spirituality

posted Apr 3, 2017, 7:52 AM by Antonio eurodiaconia   [ updated Apr 3, 2017, 8:15 AM ]

The Institute of Diaconal Sciences and Diaconal Management (Wuppertal/Germany), the United Evangelical Mission (Wuppertal/Germany), and the v. Bodelschwingh Foundations Bethel (Bielefeld/Germany) are organizing an international symposium on "Empowering Mutually: Advocacy, Charity, Spirituality".

The aim of this international conference is to bring various concepts of diaconic work worldwide into dialogue and reflect their position in the field of advocacy, charity, and spirituality from different contexts. The focus is on where and how forms of work and cooperation can lead to mutual enrichment and shared learning. Experts from diaconic institutions all over the world and representatives of diaconic science will report on current challenges and professional developments at their institutions. Students and alumni from the international MA Diaconic Management will present their research and respond to these questions:

  • What is the role of human rights approaches in diaconic work?
  • How are individuals, churches and communities empowered through diaconic work?
  • What are the transformative aspects in diaconic work in different contexts?

Date: 12 May 2017
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Assapheum, Bethelplatz 1
33617 Bielefeld-Bethel

More information and the full programme can be found here

International Conference for PhD-Students in Diaconia

posted Nov 4, 2016, 6:30 AM by Antonio eurodiaconia   [ updated Nov 4, 2016, 6:33 AM ]

International Conference for PhD-Students on Research in Diaconia

Diaconic Science as an Emerging Interdisciplinary Approach to Diaconia

June 21st- 22nd, 2017, IDM Bethel/Bielefeld Germany

Diaconic Science (the study of Diaconia) is a young discipline. It is grounded in theology and has developed an interdisciplinary approach to engage with a wide range of topics, derived from social work and social services provided by church-based organizations. In many European countries these organizations operate in pluralistic societies under the conditions of the European markets for social services.

In several European countries universities offer PhD-programs with a focus on diaconic research. The objective of this conference is to connect students working and studying in these programs, in order to help them connect with each other, develop forms of mutual cooperation, discuss methodological questions, and explore different approaches to the theoretical background of the study of Diakonia.

Prof. Dr. Johannes Eurich, Heidelberg (Institute for the Study of Diaconia)

Prof. Dr. Beate Hofmann, Bielefeld (Institute for Diaconic Science and Management)


Participants: Students from PhD-Programs in Germany (Bielefeld, Heidelberg, etc.), Norway (Oslo), Finland, Czech Republic (Prague), Switzerland (Bern), Austria (Vienna). People from other continents are welcome as well as people from ReDi and Eurodiaconia.


Draft Program

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

13.00 Arrival, Tea and coffee

13.30 Welcome and Introduction of program and participants

14.00 How Do We Approach “Diaconic Science/the Study of Diaconia” as a Science within Our Program?"
(3-4 statements by professors in charge of the PhD-Programs, followed by discussion)

Possible Contributors:
Heidelberg, Bethel, Oslo, Bern, Wien, Others?

15.30  Coffee break

16.00-18.00  "Introducing Research on Diaconia: Presentation of Research Projects"
(poster presentations and forum for discussion, see call for Posters)

19.00 Dinner at “Neue Schmiede”
After-dinner speeches to introduce the represented programs and institutions

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

9.00 Devotion

9.15 "How We Do Research: Methodological Approaches to Research Projects" (presentations) Presentation of completed research/ published dissertations

10.45 Coffee break

11.00 "Developing Diaconic Methodology: Impressions and Comments Based on the Projects" Roundtable discussion with responses from those in charge of programs:  How do we design research on diaconia? A methodological summary

12.30 Outlook on further cooperation and fare well

13.00 Lunch

After the program there will be an opportunity for a guided tour through Bethel, one of the largest social service organizations in Europe, and for conversations with members of the Board of Directors or an introduction to one of the social service agencies. Please check and indicate your interest

The conference will take place at the Institute of Diaconic Science and Management, Bethelweg 8, 33617 Bielefeld

For further information please contact:

The conference will be held in English

Conference fee will be around 50 € (Dinner in Neue Schmiede at your own expense)

Accomodation: We have reserved rooms in the “Haus der Stille” across from our University. It is a retreat center, run by the Sarepta deaconesses.  Accommodation costs 56,50 € including breakfast per night. There are a few smaller rooms for 47,50 €. Please contact Elke Rabbe,

For financial support for travel please apply for Erasmus funds through your own university


Call for Posters/ Presentations

During the International Conference for PhD-Students on Research in Diaconia: Diaconic science as an emerging interdisciplinary approach to Diaconia there are two time slots for presentations of projects:

Presentation of current projects/dissertations: June 21st

On June 21st we invite doctoral students to present a poster with their current project. There will be a 5-10  min time slot for presentations (depending on the number of presentations) followed by 30 -45 min for discussion in an open forum. The forum will be organized in several rounds like a market to create space for exchange


If you are interested in presenting your project, please send an application till March 1st,2017 to

The application should contain:

Title of project

Abstract (2000 characters)

Name, address, email address, university/program of the presenter

We will inform you by the end of March 2017 about the number and timeslots for the presentations.


Presentation of completed research, published dissertations

On June 22nd, we offer space for the presentation of 4-5  completed research projects. Especially methodological and epistemological questions are of interest, but also the main findings.

Timeslot for presentations 15 min with Power point presentation

If you are interested in presenting your project, please send an application till March 1st,2017 to

The application should contain:

Title of project

Abstract (2000 characters)

Name, address, email address, university/program of the presenter

We will inform you by the end of March 2017 whether your project was accepted for  presentation.

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