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.

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.

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.



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