The Bavarian Bible Centre’s Board of Directors
Prof. Dr. Stefan Ark Nitsche
Chair of the Board of Directors
Prof. Dr. Stefan Ark Nitsche was born in Salzburg in 1955. After studying at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, he worked as a director, dramaturge and author from 1974 to 1985. From 1985 to 1990, he studied Protestant Theology. From 1993 to 2000, he served as a pastor and Academic Assistant at the Augustana University in Neuendettelsau. From 2000 to 2006, he worked as a Theological Planning Officer for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bavaria (ELKB) together with his wife. From 1 March 2006, he served as a Regional Bishop in the Nuremberg church district, sharing the position with his wife. Both were re-elected to the office of Regional Bishop in 2015.
Since 2011, Prof. Dr. Stefan Ark Nitsche has been an adjunct Professor of Old Testament Studies at the Augustana University of Applied Sciences in Neuendettelsau. He also teaches, among other places, at the Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuremberg. From 2013 to 2016, he was the Head of the “Vocational Profile: Pastor” process. Since 2017, he has been the Head of the “Vocational Church Groups Together (MdB)” process, as well as the Head of the Protestant Campus Nuremberg’s Project Steering Committee.
He retired as Regional Bishop on 1 January 2021.
In addition to chairing the supervisory board of the Rummelsberger Diakonie, he has served as the Chair of the Bavarian Bible Centre’s Board of Directors since 24 June 2021.
Helga Jakob-Stralka is a religious education teacher with over twenty years of leadership experience in personnel management. She worked for many years in the teacher training sector, and built up extensive professional experience in religious education in all types of Bavarian schooling. She also collaborated on a series of textbooks for secondary schools.
Helga Jakob-Stralka has been a member of the Bavarian Bible Centre’s Board of Directors for 15 years, and is currently its Deputy Chair.
Members of the Board of Directors
Dr. Johannes Friedrich
Former Regional Bishop
Dr. Johannes Friedrich was born in 1948. After graduating in 1967, he studied Protestant Theology in Erlangen and Tübingen, and subsequently worked as a Research Assistant for Tübingen’s Chair for the New Testament. From 1979 to 1985, he served in Nuremberg as a parish and student pastor. From 1985 to 1991, he was a provost of the Protestant German language congregation in Jerusalem. From 1991 to 1999, he was the City Dean of Nuremberg, and from 1999 to 2011 the Regional Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria. During the same period, from 2005 to 2011, he served as the Presiding Bishop of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany (velkd). In 2001, he became a member of the Evangelical Church Council in Germany (EKD). From 2009 to 2021, he served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the German Bible Society.
Dr. Johannes Friedrich was the Chair of the Bavarian Bible Centre’s Board of Directors from 2011 to 2021.
Prof. Dr. Heiner Aldebert
Prof. Dr. Heiner Aldebert was born in Munich in 1960. After studying Protestant Theology in Munich, Göttingen and Berlin, he was subsequently awarded his doctorate at the Theological Faculty of the Friedrich Alexander University (FAU) in Erlangen-Nuremberg. From 1992 to 1993, he served as a school pastor at Grafing grammar school. From 1993 to 1999, he worked as a Research Assistant in the Faculty of Education at Friedrich Alexander University. He completed his habilitation at the same university’s Faculty of Theology in 2000. From1999 to 2004, he served as a parish priest in Icking, and was a Commissioner for Youth Work in the parish as well as serving as the School Commissioner in the Deanery of Bad Tölz. From 2004 to 2010, he held the Coordination Office for Medical Ethics (KStME) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bavaria (ELKB) at the TTN Institute of the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich.
Since 2010, Prof. Dr. Heiner Aldebert has held the Regional Office for Upper Bavaria at the RPZ Heilsbronn.
Dr. Michael Henker
Retired State Conservator
Dr. Michael Henker received his doctorate in History after studying History and Art History at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. From 1983 to 2008, he worked in public relations and as the Head of the Science Department at the House of Bavarian History. He also served as its Deputy Director from 2001 to 2008, where he became known as the ‘inventor’ of the Bavarian State Exhibitions. From 2008 to 2013, he served as the Head of the State Agency for Non-Governmental Museums in Bavaria, and from 2014 to 2021 as the Head of Planning and Development Staff of the Sudeten German Museum in Munich.
Dr. Michael Henker is the author and editor of numerous publications on museums, history, art and cultural history. He has served as the head of nationwide research projects and exhibitions of all sizes throughout Germany and abroad. He has also helped to plan and advise several museums, and is a director and member on numerous committees and scientific boards of trustees. Dr. Michael Henker is the 1st Chair of the Historical Society of Neuburg an der Donau.
Dr. Jürgen Körnlein
Dr. Jürgen Körnlein studied Theology in Erlangen from 1980 to 1985. He received his doctorate for the work Church Services in a Complex World in Neuendettelsau in 2000. His vicariate in Kulmbach-Mangersreuth was followed by a first pastorate in Plößberg (Deanery of Weiden) from 1987 to 1992. He enjoyed many encounters throughout Bavaria and Germany during his time in the Office for Community Service between 1992 and 2001. This type of work, spent in building up congregations, organising house groups, providing expert advice to church boards and meeting with those who had become distanced from the Church, helped to substantially broaden his horizons. From 2001 to 2006, as the pastor of Schwanberg, he placed spirituality, church services, pastoral care and educational seminars at the foreground of his work. From 2006 to 2011, he served as the dean for the Deanery of Nuremberg Mitte and was first pastor of the St. Lawrence Church in Nuremberg.
Dr. Jürgen Körnlein has been the City Dean in Nuremberg since 2011.
Born in 1955, Eckehard Roßberg was for many years the Deputy Director of the Evangelical Lutheran Community Academy in Rummelsberg. He collaborated in the founding and development of various museum projects in Central Franconia such as the ‘Limeseum’ in Ruffenhofen and the Diakonie Museum in Rummelsberg.
Dr. Jürgen Schefzyk
Dr. Jürgen Schefzyk is a Lecturer and Doctor of Theology at the Gutenberg University in Mainz. After studying Theology in Bielefeld and Bonn, he served as a pastor of the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau (EKHN) from 1980 to 1999. In 2003, he became a Founding Director of the Bibelhaus Erlebnis Museum in Frankfurt am Main and subsequently served on its board. Up until 2019, he was the Director of the Association of German Bible Museums. He has written numerous publications focusing on museology and the archaeology of the Bible, and has taught at both the University of Mainz and the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main.
Dr. Jürgen Schefzyk has been retired since 2020.
Gunter Wissel trained as an architectural draughtsman, specialising in structural engineering. He completed his civilian service at the YMCA in the Palatinate, after which he trained to be a deacon. From 2006, he served as a deacon in the Bavarian Regional Church of Bavaria, first as a youth deacon for two years in the Regional Church of Lippe, then as a deanery youth worker for 12 years in Schwabach. During this time, he extended his training to include “Management in Social Organisations” and various experiential forms of education.
Since December 2018, Gunter Wissel has been working as a Consultant for Missionary Community Development in the Office for Community Service, with a special focus on faith-based courses and missionary projects.
Sabine Schwab was born in 1963. After training as a religious education teacher, she did preparatory service in Neumarkt/Opf. She then held teaching practice in various types of schools in Ingolstadt and Fürth. Since 2005 she works as a consultant at the Religious Education Center in Heilsbronn for secondary and business schools. Sabine Schwab plays her part in various cooperations with other institutes. She has already been a member of the Board of Directors from 2005 – 2010. Mrs. Schwab received further training in bibliodrama, psychodrama (DGfP), school mediation, bibliology and theologizing.
Guests on the Board of Directors
Dr. Hans-Peter Dannhorn
Tax Consultant, Statutory Auditor, Managing Director.
Dr. Hans-Peter Dannhorn graduated with a degree in Business Administration, specialising in EDP, followed by a doctorate. Since 1990, he has been active as the managing partner or owner of various medium-sized tax consulting companies. He possesses 35 years of professional experience in both academia and in practice, as well as many years of experience in auditing, consulting, management and restructuring both private sector companies and cooperative institutions. Since 2004, he has specialised in church and diaconal issues.
Dr. Hans-Peter Dannhorn is the Chair of the Bavarian Bible Centre’s Steering Committee and is also currently a (guest) member of its Board of Directors.
KR Thomas Roßmerkel
KR Thomas Roßmerkel is a Church Councillor. He was born in Thurnau (Upper Franconia) in 1959. He studied Theology in Erlangen, Zurich and Munich. From 1986 to 2001, he served as a parish priest in the greater Munich area. From 2001 to 2007, he worked as a Consultant for Parish Development in the Regional Church Office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria (ELKB). Since 2007, he has also worked for the ELKB as a Church and Tourism Consultant.
KR Thomas Roßmerkel has sat as a guest on the Bavarian Bible Centre’s Board of Directors since 2022.