A special experience was our weekend trip to Torre Pellice and Turin, which we undertook at the beginning of November. Here we learned a lot about the Waldensians and their history, visited the beautiful city of Turin and celebrated two birthdays. On the first day we had a guided tour about the history of the Waldensians in the foothills of the Alps. We visited an old school, a small museum about important women in Waldensian history and an early church. Particularly impressive was the natural rock grotto, which served the Waldensians as a secret place for services and meetings in times of persecution. We also climbed into the cave, where we sang together and felt the atmosphere of this historic and impressive place.


In the afternoon we visited the church and the museum through Torre Pellice. The museum in particular, with its newly designed, innovative and impressive exhibition, impressed us all. At the end of the day, we had gained a good overview of the world of the Waldensian Church. On the second day we visited Turin, partly guided by Tom Siller, partly on our own. The centre of attention was of course the famous shroud, of which we only got to see the copy. We all strongly doubted its authenticity, but it was a remarkable sight nonetheless. At the end of the day, in keeping with the focus of the trip, we visited the Waldensian Church in Turin, then we went back to Torre Pellice, from where we started our return journey to Rome the next day after a service in the church we had visited before.


On the first weekend of February 2019, we had the first of our two block seminars. The topic was the Orthodox Church, its history, its understanding of liturgy and especially its position on and in ecumenism.

Led by Dr Dagmar Heller, we spent two days meeting on this topic, reviewing the preparatory literature and working on some important documents adopted by the Orthodox Church. The interesting seminar was rounded off by a visit to a Russian Orthodox vesper, where we had the opportunity to experience Orthodoxy in practice. Overall, the seminar gave us a good overview of the principles of Orthodoxy and an insight into a rather unknown and new religious world.

– Finnja Hoffmann, student of the academic year 2018/19