Heidelberg University

The Institute for the Study of Diaconia/Christian Social Service (DWI) and the Centre for Social Investment (CSI)


The Institute for the Study of Christian Social Service (Diakoniwissenschaftliches Institut der Universität Heidelberg - DWI) is part of the Faculty of Theology of Heidelberg University, Germany, and focuses on research and teaching concerning basic principles and the practice of the variety of Christian Social Services.

DWI is also a member of the European Diaconia Research Network. The institute has already successfully participated in the 6th Framework programme as member of the research project “Welfare and Values in Europe: Transitions related to Religion, Minorities and Gender (WaVE)”which was financed by the European Commission 2006-2009. (FP6-2004-CITIZENS-5, cf.http://ec.europa.eu/research/social-sciences/projects/249_en.html).

Through its advisory board, which consists of 20 representatives of the most important faith based social work associations in Germany, DWI is closely connected to service providers and therefore not only committed to academic excellence but also to practical applicability. Located at the heart of the old town of Heidelberg, the Institute for the Study of Christian Social Service provides a library specialized on Diaconia and social welfare with more than 20.000 volumes as well as offices for the 19 full time and part time staff members. It offers three master study programmes for further vocational trainings and two doctoral programmes.

The DWI serves as the InnoServ-project coordinator and takes part in literature research, defining criteria of innovation and the selection of innovative practices.


As the director of DWI, Prof. Dr. Johannes Eurich is the head researcher of the institute. He has published widely in national and international journals on social welfare topics. His research focus lies in the fields of:

  • poverty (f.e. international conferences on poverty organized by DWI in 2008 and 2010)
  • disability studies
  • social politics (member of the national social board of the Protestant Church in Germany and chairperson of the advisory board of the Social Sciences Institute (SI) of the Protestant Church in Germany)

Recent publications (examples):

Johannes Eurich/Ingolf Hübner (eds.): Diaconia against Poverty and Exclusion: Challenges and Perspectives in Europe, Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt (forthcoming)

Johannes Eurich: Justice for People with Disabilities. Philosophical and Theological Arguments, in: Religion and Theology19 (2012) 1-17

Johannes Eurich: Marketization and Social Work with People with Disabilities: Ethical and Theological Reflections, in: Diaconia: Journal for the Study of Christian Social Practice 1/2010, S. 32-46.

Contact: johannes.eurich@dwi.uni-heidelberg.de

Website: http://www.dwi.uni-heidelberg.de/index_en.html


Anika Strifler is a research associate at DWI and holds a diploma degree in Sociology from Heidelberg University. Her scientific interest mainly includes organizational development, social politics and education. Anika is supporting the InnoServ project in coordinative functions and has mainly organizational tasks within the project.

Contact: anika.strifler@dwi.uni-heidelberg.de


Centre for Social Investment (CSI)

The Centre for Social Investment is a central academic institute of the University of Heidelberg cooperating with the economics, social science, law and theological faculties. CSI provides expertise in the areas of civil society and nonprofit research as well as in the hybridization of structures and organizations across sectoral spheres. Overarching themes of CSI’s prevalent research agenda are social entrepreneurial acting, (social) impact measurement and social innovation.

Georg Mildenberger heads the research department of CSI. Georg holds a doctoral degree from Darmstadt University, and a masters degree in philosophy and political science from Tübingen University. He has widely published on issues of civic engagement and impact measurement and led research projects on hybridity, social entrepreneurship and social innovation.

Contact: georg.mildenberger@csi.uni-heidelberg.de


Gorgi Krlev is a research associate at CSI and holds a masters degree in business administration with intercultural qualification (anglo-american studies) from the University of Mannheim. Gorgi’s main research interests include social impact measurement as well as governance, leadership and strategic aspects in hybrid organizations. Social innovation is a unifying element across these fields.

Contact: gorgi.krlev@csi.uni-heidelberg.de

Lukas Nock is a research associate at CSI and holds a masters degree in social work from the SRH Hochschule Heidelberg. His research has focused on fields like the economization of social services and the conception of the ‘enabling state’ on the background of the German welfare state conception as well as on the examination of clinical social work.

Contact: lukas.nock@csi.uni-heidelberg.de

Website: https://www.csi.uni-heidelberg.de/index_e.htm


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