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Thomas Schirrmacher

Thomas Schirrmacher

Christian university lecturer in systematic theology and moral philosophy, rector of the Martin Bucer Seminary
Thomas Schirrmacher
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Christian university lecturer in systematic theology and moral philosophy, rector of the Martin Bucer Seminary
Is Religious scholar Theologian Sociologist Professor Educator
From Germany
Type Academia Religion Social science
Gender male
Birth 25 June 1960, Schwelm, Germany
Age 61 years
Star sign Cancer
Residence Bonn, Germany
The details (from wikipedia)


Thomas Schirrmacher is a Christian moral philosopher and a specialist in the Sociology of Religion and Religious freedom. He is known as a global human rights activist and holds a chair in Theology (Ethics, Missiology, World Religions).

Schirrmacher serves the World Evangelical Alliance as Associate Secretary General for Theological Concerns (responsible for Theology, Intrafaith Relations, Inter-faith Religious Freedom) and as Chair of the Theological Commission. Since 2014 he is president of the International Society for Human Rights.

In 2016 he was ordained as bishop of the Communio Christiana (a church in Anglican tradition).



Thomas Schirrmacher was born on June 25, 1960 to the german professor of Telecommunications engineering Bernd Schirrmacher and his wife Ingeborg. His great-grandfather was the historian Friedrich Wilhelm Schirrmacher. Thomas Schirrmacher is married to Christine Schirrmacher who is professor of Islamic Studies in Bonn, Germany.


Thomas Schirrmacher studied theology from 1978 to 1982 at STH Basel (Switzerland) and since 1983 Cultural Anthropology and Comparative Religion at University of Bonn. He earned a Drs. theol. in Missiology and Ecumenism at Theological University (Kampen/Netherlands) in 1984, and a Dr. theol. in Missiology and Ecumenics at Theological University of the Reformed Churches (Kampen/Netherlands) in 1985, a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at Pacific Western University (today: California Miramar University) in Los Angeles (CA) in 1989, a Th.D. in Ethics at Whitefield Theological Seminary in Lakeland (FL) in 1996, and a Dr. phil. in Comparative Religion and Sociology of Religion at University of Bonn in 2007. In 1997 he got honorary doctorates (D.D.) from Cranmer Theological House and in 2006 from Acts University in Bangalore.


Between 1982 and 1986 Schirrmacher was pastor of several church communities in Bonn. From 1996 to 2018, Thomas Schirrmacher was rector of the private Martin Bucer Seminary, a theological seminary seated in Bonn (Germany) with campuses in several countries which he founded, and where he continues to teach systematic theology (especially ethics) as well as missionary and religious studies and is Vice President for International Affairs. From 1994 to 1998 Schirrmacher was professor of missions at the Philadelphia Theological Seminary and since 1995 he is professor for systematic theology at the Whitefield Theological Seminary. He is professor of the sociology of religion at the West University of Timişoara.

Schirrmacher is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Gebende Hände gGmbH (German: Giving Hands charitable Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung), an internationally active relief organisation. He is member of the commission for religious freedom of the World Evangelical Alliance and since 2008 president of the International Institute for Religious Freedom (Bonn, Brussels/Geneva, Cape Town, Colombo, Brasília). He also is their speaker for human rights. According to media he is one of the leading experts on the topic of persecution of christians. Several times he was speaking as expert on human rights in the German Parliament. In October 2015 he was the only evangelical member of the catholic synod on family lead by Pope Francis. He is president of the International Society for Human Rights, manager of the Religious Liberty Commission of the German and the Swiss Evangelical Alliance, and director of the International Institute for Religious Freedom with regional offices for most continents: Brasilia (Latin America), Brussels/Bonn (Europe), Cape Town (Africa), Colombo and Dehlki (Asia), which cooperates with the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Another main focus of the work of Schirrmacher besides religious freedom in the area of human rights is the fight against Human trafficking.

He speaks with church leaders like Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and gives lectures all around the world. He is also consultant of the Faith and Order Commission, the Theological Commission of the World Council of Churches, Chair of the Board of Advisors of the Central Council of Oriental Christians in Germany (ZOCD), and Member of the International Committee of the Global Christian Forum.

He has authored and edited more than 90 books, which have been translated into 17 languages.


Schirrmacher received the following honours:

  • Magister Praetor Order of merit for achievements relating to the planning of a civic central council of Christians in the Near East and Middle East (Oriental Christian Council) and for promoting the House of Ghassan, specifically noting “that he [enabled] the House’s personal contact to Pope Francis and to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew”
  • Knight Grand Cross the highest order of the knightly order “The Sacred Order of Michael Archangel” for his efforts in the cause of human rights and religious freedom in the Near and Middle East


Books (Selection)

Articles (Selection)

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 11 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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