Photo of Stefan Gärtner
  • Warandelaan 2, Dante Building, room D 141

    5037 AB Tilburg


1991 …2019
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Personal profile

Research interests

In a late modern society, the church, spiritual/pastoral care and practical theology face a new situation. Pluralization and individualization, globalization and standardization, detraditionalization and secularization, necessity of reflection and multiplication of perspectives are key terms to describe the present wave of modernization. It is a fundamental task for spiritual and pastoral care to strengthen religious identity. This leads to a reflection on the identity of the pastor as professional and of practical theology as scientific discourse. My research investigates the typical late modern challenges for both. It focusses on the Dutch context of the Catholic Church in particular, often in comparison with the situation in Germany.




  • 2001-present: Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, Tilburg University.
  • 2008: qualification as a university lecturer (Habilitation and Privatdozent), University of Münster.
  • 1998-2001: researcher for pastoral care of the youth, German conference of bishops, Düsseldorf.
  • 1999: Ph.D.: University of Münster.
  • 1994-1998: research assistant, University of Münster.
  • 1995: MA Theology, University of Münster and University of Bamberg.
  • 1985-1988: training as a bookseller, Bielefeld.


Assigned grants


  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG): Chairman of the international network Practical Theology and late modernity, 2009-2012.


Current courses

Click here for my courses.


  • Pastoral Care
  • Youth And Pastoral Care
  • Practical Theology
  • Religious Communication
  • Pastoral Theology

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1991 2019

G.A. Arbuckle, Fundamentalism at home and abroad. Analysis and pastoral responses

Gärtner, S., 2019, In : Theologische Revue. 115, 1, p. 101-102

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewScientific

Jugend und Sexualität

Gärtner, S., 2019, Handbuch kirchliche Jugendarbeit: Für Studium und Praxis. Kaupp, A. & Höring, P. C. (eds.). Herder, p. 154-164

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

Barrierefreie Kirche? Kennzeichen inklusiver Seelsorge

Gaertner, S., 2018, In : Lebendige Seelsorge. 69, 1, p. 48-52

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

Die Lösung für religiös legitimierte Gewalt

Gaertner, S., 19 Jan 2018, In : Feinschwarz.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlePopular

Open Access

Activities 2005 2018

Wege zum Menschen (Journal)

S. Gaertner (Reviewer)
2018 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activityScientific

Glaubensverdunstung in säkularisierter Gesellschaft

Stefan Gaertner (Speaker)
19 Sep 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific

Narrative Identitätsentwicklung in fusionierten Pfarreien

S. Gaertner (Examiner)
5 Sep 2018

Activity: Examination typesExaminationScientific

Was von einer Volkskirche übrigbleibt. Die Niederlande im Vergleich mit Österreich und Deutschland

Stefan Gärtner (Speaker)
23 Oct 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific

Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen (External organisation)

S. Gaertner (Member)
5 Sep 2018

Activity: Membership typesMembership of PhD committeeScientific