Catholic Adult Education

Very much in demand: Adult Education Programmes of the Catholic Church. © KNA

The Church offers adult education in order to enable Catholics who have already left school or completed their vocational training to further develop their personality and general education. Catholic adult education wants to promote a comprehensive education of man, which comprises factual knowledge as well as orientation and discernment based on Jesus Christ’s message.

The Catholic Church is the second largest provider of adult education programmes in Germany. Every year, more than 5 million people attend one of the manifold further education courses. Every year, more than 200,000 programmes, seminars and courses comprising a total of 3 million lessons are offered.

In Germany there are about 750 institutions under Catholic direction. In addition to 24 academies and 97 family education centres, 300 educational establishments are run by individual dioceses and religious orders. Added to this must be nearly 260 educational centres (on a regional, district, municipal and diocesan level) as well as approximately 30 educational centres of particular associations.

Nearly 3,000 full-time employees as well as about 50,000 part-time employees as well as volunteers work in these institutions.

Adult education on diocesan level

In most German dioceses there are educational establishments, which do not only carry out their own adult education programmes but in addition assist local parishes and those responsible for further education in the realization of their programmes.

Family education

Catholic family education in Germany is provided above all by the 97 Catholic family education centres (Familienbildungsstätten) and the Catholic pressure groups and professional associations for family and education. The Catholic family education centres are united in the Katholische Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft für Einrichtungen der Familienbildung (BAG FBS).

Catholic social education

In addition to the five German “Catholic social academies”, more than 60 Catholic education centres of the individual dioceses, religious orders, educational establishments, social seminars and associations (Catholic associations for family, youth, employees and university graduates) are involved in Catholic social education. These establishments are united in the Arbeitsgemeinschaft katholisch-sozialer Bildungswerke (AKSB).

Catholic Landvolkshochschulen

The 19 Catholic evening schools in rural areas (Landvolkshochschulen or Heimvolkshochschulen) offer seminars on entrepreneurial ethics and ecological ethics, training courses for responsible positions in agricultural organisations, parishes, politics and associations as well as cultural programmes. These schools are united in the Verband ländlicher Heimvolkshochschulen.

Catholic academies

In Germany there are 24 Catholic academies which are united in the Leiterkreis der Katholischen Akademien Deutschlands.

The umbrella organisation

Katholische Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft für Erwachsenenbildung (KBE)

The Katholische Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft für Erwachsenenbildung (KBE) is the umbrella organization responsible for Catholic adult education in Germany.


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