Stahlmann preaching in Candler's Wesley Teaching Chapel.During my time at Candler in 2016-2017, I profited most from the broad possibilities in the field of Practical Theology, and I was eager to combine that with new experiences back home. At Candler I studied Preaching with Dr. Ted Smith and Pastoral Care with Dr. Karen Scheib, combined with the Contextual Education Program at Lee Arrendale State Prison as a chaplain intern. These experiences especially changed me in many ways—since then I have had the feeling that I would not only be able to be a pastor, but also that I would love serving as one.

Beyond my pastoral interest, I had contact with Dr. Robert Franklin's class about “Faith and Politics” leading up to the presidential election in Fall 2016. This deepened my interest for political observation from a theological-ethical position. I continued this interest in Germany by attending more classes in Ethics (in Göttingen with Professor Christian Polke). Additionally, I broadened my interest in foreign cultures by learning Russian and attending a Summer School about Russian history in St. Petersburg in 2018.

Stahlmann with his Candler Con Ed I group.My time in the U.S. ignited an ongoing curiosity and will to get in personal contact with individuals of foreign cultures. In my opinion, this is the most low-threshold way to do one's part in keeping up positive relations between nations in times of growing political tensions, especially between Europe, the U.S. and Russia. So altogether I look back on my time at Candler as a year of life-changing inspiration, interesting classes, exhausting reading assignments and new friendships.  

While being in Atlanta I experienced so much hospitality from my classmates for which I am still thankful. They took their “George the German Giant” everywhere, showed me so many things and taught me the deep joys of “y'alling” and grits. As they will graduate this year, I wish them best luck for finishing their studies and for the start in their new congregations! My special thanks go to Dr. Ted and Cindy Runyon whom I had the honor to get to know both. It's their effort which makes this whole exchange possible! Thank you so much!

Back in Göttingen, I recommend this exchange as the best that our theology department offers and I hope for many, many German and American students who will continue to go abroad in the future! Warm greetings to y'all from Göttingen!