Management Team

Prof. Dr. Ralph Kunz, CEO of the CASCS and member of the Leadership Team


Studies of Theology in Basel, Los Angeles and Zurich (1985-1991); Dissertation on "Theorie des Gemeindeaufbaus" (Zurich 1997); Habilitation on "Gottesdienst evangelisch reformiert" (Bonn, 2001); Appointee for church development in the reformed Church of Zurich (2000-2001); Pastor in Seuzach (2001-2002); Professor for practical theology with emphasis on homiletics, liturgy and poimenics.

Research areas: liturgy and homiletics: History and present age of the reformed worship tradition; new forms of worship and preaching; counselling with emphasis on religion based gerontology; church development and church governance.

For more information see Prof. Dr. Ralph Kunz

Dr. Rebecca A. Giselbrecht, Ph.D., Director of the CASCS


Senior Research and Teaching Assistant in Practical Theology, Mandated Teaching Staff, Post Doctoral Student of Prof. Dr. Ralph Kunz, Theological Seminar Zurich (since 2014); Assistant to the chair of Practical Theology, Theological Seminar Zurich (2011 - 2014); Adjunct professor of Contemporary Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena (2010 – 2011); Assistant to the chair of Modern Church History at the Institute for Swiss Reformation History, Zurich (2008 – 2014); Dissertation:  A Hermeneutic of Female Testimony in the Zurich Reformation 1518–1575, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena (2014); Assistant in the Department of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary (2005 – 2008); Master of Global Leadership and Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena (2008); CAS, Social Space Oriented Youth Work, FHS, Rorschach (2006); Associate pastor in the Swiss reformed Church, Degersheim (2004 - 2008); Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies, Moody Institute, Chicago (2005).

Research Areas: Spirituality and practices of piety in the reformed tradition, hermeneutics of testimony, narrative theory, early modern women.

Current research projects: Self Identity and Loving the Other: Historical Recollections and a Contemporary Oral History of Prayer and Character Virtue Development in Regard to Foreigners in the Swiss reformed Tradition; Heinrich Bullinger's correspondence with Women.

For more information see Ph. D. Rebecca A. Giselbrecht.

Leadership Team

Prof. Dr. theol. Simon Peng-Keller

Simon Peng-Keller

Professor for Spiritual Care at the University of Zurich and lecturer for the theology of the spiritual life at the Theologische Hochschule Chur. Born and raised in Chur, he studied catholic theology in Fribourg and Lucerne. After pastoral engagements at the Kantonsspital Luzern and in the Liebfrauen church in Zurich, Prof. Peng-Keller took on a position as assistant to the chair of fundamental theology at the University of Fribourg (2000-2008), where he earned is doctoral degree (2002) and habilitated in 2010. From 2009-2013, Prof. Peng-Keller coordinated the SNF research project "Vertrauen verstehen" at the  University of Zurich, and since 2013, also the two projects "Beten als verleiblichtes Verstehen. Hermeneutische Zugänge zum Ereignis des Gebets" and "Hermeneutik des Vertrauens am Lebensende. Imaginatives Erleben und symbolische Kommunikation in Todesnähe." Together with his wife, he leads contemplative exercises and the MAS course "Christliche Spiritualität – Geschichte, Quellen und heutige Praxis" in the Lasalle House/Bad Schönbrunn and the Geistliches Zentrum St. Peter in the German Black Forest.

For more information see Prof. Dr. theol. Simon Peng-Keller

PD Dr. Andreas Hunziker

Andreas Hunziker

Pastor in the refomed church of Suhr-Hunzenschwil (since June 1, 2015). Habilitation (Zurich, 2013). Senior assistant at the Institute of Hermeneutics and Philosophy of Religion, Theological Seminar Zurich (2007-2015). Member of the leadership team at Zurich Hermeneutics Center of Competence (2008-2010). Dissertation "Das Wagnis des Gewöhnlichen. Ein Versuch über den Glauben im Gespräch mit Ludwig Wittgenstein und Stanley Cavell," Zurich (2006). Collegiate pastor of the reformed church Zurich. Assistant to Prof. I.U. Dalferth, chair for systematic theology, symbolics and philosophy of religion. SNF scholarship (1998-2002). Vicariate in the reformed church Aargau (1998-2002); ordination.

For more information see PD Dr. Andreas Hunziker

Prof. Dr. John Swinton

Prof. Dr. John Swinton

John Swinton is professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care in the School of Divinity, Religious Studies and Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen and an honorary professor of Nursing at the University's Centre for Advanced Studies in Nursing. He has a background in mental health nursing and healthcare chaplaincy and has researched and published extensively within the areas of ageing, dementia, mental health and illness, spirituality and human well-being and the theology and spirituality of disability. He is the director of Aberdeen University's Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability (, and co-director of the University's Kairos Forum (

His publications include: Swinton, John. Dementia: Living in the memories of God. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2012; Swinton, John. Spirituality and mental health care: Rediscovering a "forgotten" dimension. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2001; Swinton, John, Stanley Hauerwas, and Jean Vanier, eds. Living gently in a violent world: The prophetic witness of weakness Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2009; Swinton, John, and Harriet Mowat. Practical theology and qualitative research. London: SCM Press, 2006.

Dr. Bernadette Flanagan


In 1998, Bernadette Flanagan completed her doctorate in Humanities (Christian Spirituality) at the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin. Since that time she has become an Associate Professor in Spirituality and led the development of MA and professional doctoral studies in spirituality in Ireland. She has consulted to a wide range of organisations in Ireland and overseas on dimensions of spiritual education, spiritual care and spiritual practice in such fields as healthcare, education, relational wellbeing, aging, addiction and leadership. Side by side with her expanding disciplinary expertise, Bernadette has had a distinguished career as a manager and leader in third and fourth level education in Ireland. She has held such roles as Acting President, Deputy President, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Registrar, Head of Department and Director of Research. In these roles, she has developed quality systems, administration systems, strategic plans, implementation plans, teaching and learning strategies and institution-wide research activities. She has had responsibility for line managing staff and negotiating partnerships, as well as validation and accreditation for more than 30 programmes (NFQ levels 6–10) with various agencies (NCEA / HETAC, NUI, CCE, MIE, UW, DCU). Her expertise is called on by a wide diversity of academic bodies in Ireland and she is currently Chairperson of the Board of Governors in St Patrick's College Thurles, a member of the Steering Group of the Institute of Education Research in Ireland (IoERI) and of the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) Research Hub.

Publications and Research (PDF, 54 KB)

Prof. Dr. Michael O'Sullivan


Dr Michael O'Sullivan, a Jesuit priest, is the Director of the MA in Christian Spirituality programme, and cluster leader of PhD and MA by research in spirituality students at All Hallows College, Dublin City University. He is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Spiritual Capital Ireland Centre. He has served on the Governing Board of the largely North American international Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, and the Steering Committee of the Christian Spirituality Study Group of the American Academy of Religion, and currently serves on the Promotions Committee of the international Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Spiritus, the premier international journal of its kind, and a peer reviewer for the journal Modern Theology. He is a member of the Board of Management of the European Network for the Academic Study of Christian Spirituality hosted at the University of Zurich, and a Research Fellow of the Faculty of Theology at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Publications (PDF, 59 KB)

Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Erich Bryner

Prof. Dr. Erich Bryner

Reformed theologian, born in Zurich 1942. Studies of evangelical theology in Zurich and Tübingen (1961-1966), internship in Oberrieden ZH, ordained to "Verbi Divini Minister" of the reformed church Zurich in 1968. Second degree in general history, church history, Russian language and literature at the philosophical faculty in Zurich, additionaly he held pastoral functions in different churches. Dissertation 1972  "N. M. Karamzin, eine kirchen- und frömmigkeitsgeschichtliche Studie", published in Oikonomia 3(1974), Erlangen: Lehrstuhl für Geschichte und Theologie des Christlichen Ostens an der Universität Erlangen. Research assistant in History and Theology of the Eastern Christianity, at the Theological Seminar Erlangen. Habilitation "Der geistliche Stand in Russland. Sozialgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zu Episkopat und Gemeindegeistlichkeit der russischen orthodoxen Kirche im 18. Jahrhundert," Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (1982). Pastor in the reformed church in Dörflingen, Schaffhausen (1979-1989), professor of Eastern Church History at the Theological Seminar Zurich. Appointed to honorary professor (1989). Assistant director (1989-1991) and director (1991-2005) of the Institut Glaube in der 2. Welt, Zollikon.  Teaching at the Theological Seminar Zurich (1991-2005). Continued his research and teaching at the Theological Seminar Zurich after retiring in 2005.

Research focuses: History and contemporary situation of the orthodox churches in Eastern Europe, specifically Russia; Radiations of the Zurich Reformation to Eastern Europe; Reformation history of Schaffhausen.

Publications (PDF, 42 KB)

Prof. Dr. Christiane Tietz

Prof. Dr. Christiane Tietz

Born 1967, studied mathematics and evangelical theology in Frankfurt a. M. and Tübingen, first state certificate for teaching at high schools, stipend student from Graduiertenförderung des Landes Baden-Württemberg and Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (1994-1997), assistant at the Institute for Hermeneutics at the Unversity of  Tübingen (1997-2006), dissertation (1999), habilitation (2004), Heisenberg Stipend of DFG (2006 - 2008), substitute chair at University of Mainz (2006/2007), professor for systematic theology and social ethics at the Evangelical Theological Seminar Mainz (SS 2008 – SS 2013). Since 2013 professor for systematic theology at the Theological Seminar Zurich, guest lectureships and teaching assignments at the University of Heidelberg, University of Saarland, Cambridge University, Union Theological Seminary in Ney York City, and Dormition Abbey. Theological academic year in Jerusalem, long time research stays at the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.

For more information see Prof. Dr. Christiane Tietz

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sheldrake


Philip Sheldrake is Senior Research Fellow at Westcott House in the Cambridge Theological Federation UK and Director, Institute for the Study of Contemporary Spirituality, Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, Texas. Philip is a past President of the international Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality and author of a number of books in the field of Christian spirituality and spirituality more generally. The most recent is "The Spiritual City: Theology, Spirituality and the Urban" (2014).

Publications (PDF, 83 KB)

Dr. Brigitte Enzner-Probst


Brigitte Enzner-Probst, born 1949, married, 3 adult children, studied theology, philosopy and sociology at the University of Erlange, Tübingen, and the Waldenser Faculty in Rome. She received her doctorate and served as a pastor. Afterward, she was responsible for establishing women’s equal rights for the Bayrish State Church. After a guest professor at Humboldt University Berlin, she wrote her habilitation at the Theological Faculty of the University of Bern: “Women’s Liturgy as Performance: The Meaning of Corporeality in Women’s Liturgical Work” while teaching practical theology including counseling, liturgical science, and spirituality. She is retired since 2013 and lives with her husband in Rimsting/Chiemsee. For more information see

Prof. Dr. Mark Burrows


Dr. Mark Burrows (PhD) is Professor of Theology and Literature on the faculty of the University of Applied Sciences in Bochum, Germany. He is by training a church historian, with research focusing on medieval Christianity in the West. His special interest is in mystical and visionary literature, and he has published extensively in this area over the last three decades. His recent publications include two volumes of German poetry in translation: Rainer Maria Rilke’s Prayers of a Young Poet (2013) and the German-Iranian poet SAID’s 99 Psalms (2013), both published by Paraclete Press. He is also a practicing poet, and recent recipient of the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry fellowship; in the summer of 2012, he was invited as writer-in-residence at the Santa Fe Arts Institute in New Mexico. Since 2009, he has served as poetry editor for Spiritus. A Journal of Christian Spirituality and, since 2014, as associate editor for poetry for the journal ARTS: A Journal for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies. His current writing projects include a volume on mysticism and poetics, and he is co-editor, with Prof. Jean Ward and Prof. Małgorzata Grzegorzewska, of a volume of essays on poetry and theology, Breaking the Silence: Poetry and the Kenotic Word (Peter Lang, 2015) and editor-in-chief, also with Prof. Ward and Prof. Grzegorzewska, of Poetic Revelations. Word Made Flesh Made Word (Ashgate, 2016). A new collection of his poems, The Chance of Home, will be published in early 2016 (Paraclete). An oblate of Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham, MA, he regularly writes for the journal Weavings on spirituality and the spiritual life. He is an elected member of the American Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Theologians.