Pastor of the American Church in Berlin - Germany

    • Job Tracking ID: 512830-601918
    • Job Location: Berlin, DEU
    • Job Level: Any
    • Level of Education: Masters Degree
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: December 22, 2017
    • Years of Experience: Any
    • Starting Date: ASAP
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Job Description:


  • Berlin, Germany

Assignment Includes:

  • Provide pastoral leadership for the American Church in Berlin
  • Lead the strategic mission planning efforts as well as strengthen interactions with local community, interfaith project, and inner city missions
  • Foster personal relations and bonds within the worship community
  • Support and enhance Christian education programs
  • Develop lay leaders for service in these programs as well as liturgy and fundraising efforts.
  • Provide encompassing pastoral care and counseling, develop spiritual formation, and expand multicultural ministries of the church
  • Supervise staff including a communications coordinator and a future Horizon International Intern

Site Information:

  • The congregation is situated in the Northern part of the Schöneberg district of Berlin. It is close to the city center and the immediate neighborhood is undergoing a process of gentrification, as witnessed by new housing and city park developments immediately to the north and east of the church. There is also a new growth of galleries and artist communities moving into the neighborhood.
  • The congregation has lively and well visited Sunday worship services. The congregation is reflective of the worldwide Christian church and this makes for a truly unique worshiping experience. The congregation sees itself as a model for such international ministry in Berlin.
  • Although the congregation has a long and varied history, we have nurtured an historic and close relationship with the ELCA. For the past forty plus years ACB has called its pastor from the ELCA roster or its predecessor bodies. This has been a fruitful relationship and is memorialized in our constitution. We also value the Lutheran liturgy, Lutheran educational materials for our Sunday school, and Lutheran music and hymnals. We are recognized for our ecumenical work in the wider German church and through involvement in ecumenical and inter-religious groups in Berlin.
  • ACB is an old congregation with a colorful history. Throughout its existence, the ACB congregation has undergone numerous radical changes in response to powerful historic forces. The same is happening today. The American community continues to change. For example, the departure of American military forces from Berlin had a major impact on the make-up and size of the American community. Likewise, the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin wall and the reunification of Germany, changed Berlin from an isolated city that was the focus of international conflict to the capital of the most powerful state in the European Union.

    During the Cold War, there was an enormous American community in Berlin, consisting of active duty and retired Military personnel and U.S. government employees from a wide variety of government agencies. The Cold War’s end led to a rapid diminution of the American presence. The character of the American community also changed, as private Americans, many with family and spousal connections as well as those on assignment for their company and educational institution came to predominate.

    As the number of Americans declined, ACB increasingly provided religious services to non-Americans, many of whom speak English as a first language and others who do not. Berlin is a highly cosmopolitan city with persons from practically every country on earth. It attracts a wide variety of people who come to Berlin for a wide variety of reasons, including many refugees and asylum seekers. Unlike a church with a more homogenous congregation, ACB has devised programs to meet the varied needs of its members. These include not only religious worship and religious education, but also practical help to those facing severe economic need. This need has only increased as the worldwide economic recession has thrown more and more persons into poverty.

    Also, unlike a suburban church, the families at ACB tend to be younger, with younger children who require religious education at the lower grade levels. There are not a large number of seniors in the congregation, and the pastor does not spend as much time working with shut-ins and the hospitalized and those in retirement homes as he/she would in other circumstances.

Experience and Skills:

  • MDiv required, with ordination
  • German Proficiency is helpful
  • 4-9 years of experience
  • Previous Experience in Supervising Word and Sacrament Interns is helpful


If Candidate is Married

Both must complete an application for this position, even if the spouse will not be fulfilling a specific role in the ministry. In the context of global mission service, a spouse is seen as a representative of the ELCA and of the receiving church regardless of their actual role. It is important for the ELCA that both members of a couple understand the role of missionary and are comfortable with that reality.


General Qualifications for ELCA Global Personnel

  • Christian faith and a commitment to the mission of the church
  • Openness to various expressions of Christian faith and respect for people of other faiths
  • Respect for beliefs, values and customs of church and culture where assigned
  • Well-developed inter-personal skills demonstrating understanding and compassion
  • Demonstrated ability to carry out the responsibilities and the ability to adapt to different standards and practices
  • Ability to work within the framework of a local administration
  • Adaptable and flexible - sense of humor - good physical and emotional health
  • Live and serve in a way which reflects the vision and expectations of the ELCA