The Pastoral Seminary


Here on this site in 1465, a stone house was built as a residence for a school master, who was given the title of lector. A priest, he was responsible for teaching Catholic doctrine to the students, preparing them for work in the church. Most of the teaching took place here in the lectorate, as the building was called. At that time, the priests had already been responsible for training priests for the surrounding parishes for a couple of centuries, and the reason for the new building and the appointment of a lector was probably one of prestige.

The last Catholic lector was Johann Alberdes, who apparently became sympathetic towards Luther’s ideas in the early 1520s. He left Haderslev in 1525 or 1526 when he became court preacher to King Frederik I. Naturally, when the later King Christian III introduced the Reformation in Haderslev from 1525, the training of priests had to change with it. Christian summoned two Protestant theologians from Germany, Johann Wenth and Eberhard Weidensee, who took over the lector’s tasks and adapted the training to the Lutheran school of thought. They were, in addition, responsible for “retraining” the local Catholic priests so that they could perform their duties under the new conditions.

For some years, Haderslev was thus one of the few places in the Nordic countries where priests could be educated in Lutheran theology, so the school attracted students from afar. In 1537, the University of Copenhagen reopened in a Lutheran version, and the seminary in Haderslev closed as there was no longer use for it.

This post is also available in: Danish German

  • The Pastoral Seminary
    The Pastoral Seminary