• Finland

Organization profile

Organisation Profile

The Department of Practical Theology focuses on the operations of different churches and other religious communities - in their foundabons, theories and practical results. The Department is responsible for teaching in the following three disciplines: General Practical Theology, Religious Education, and Church and Social Studies. The Department is also responsible for the applied studies which give students the opportuniq to acquire practical experience of congregational and religious work while also putting theoretical knowledge into practice.

The Department of Practical Theology is engaged in a number of research projects, some of which are international joint ventures and some of national importance. The Department participates in the nationwide interdisciplinary research programme on "The Economic Crisis of the 1990s in Finland", launched by the Academy of Finland. One of the international ventures is the research project on visual theology together with the Department of Art History of the University of Jyvaskyla, the Department of Church Architecture and Modern Church Art of the Universiq of Marburg, and the Liturgical Institute of the State University of Groningen; this study investigates the ecclesiastical art and theology of images in Finnish churches. A joint Nordic project is the study on children's life situations and their interpretations of life.

The Department is collaborating in a Nordic homiletic project on Lutheran sermon in the Nordic countries, and with the Research Institute of the Lutheran Church in Finland and Suomen Gallup (Finnish Gallup) on an extensive project called "European Values."

Ongoing research activities include an extensive project on pastoral care, an investigation into church administration and operational planning, and a study on Finnish liturgical tradition. Finnish religiosiq and the study of religious movements are a part of the Department's research areas. Further projects are studies on religious learning, distance teaching in religious pedagogy, further training for church employees, religious committment, alienation, and international relations of the churches.

Kuvio Digital Archives (www.kuvio.helsinki.fi), an umbrella archives for various academic uses, has been developed since 1995 at the Department of Practical Theology. Its backbone is the Archives for the Church Architecture and the Arts, which comprises of over 3000 press quality scans of modern European church architecture.

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.


Suomen venäjänkielisen väestön uskonnollinen ylirajaisuus

Penttilä, M.


Project: Research project

MeRela: Meaningful Relations: Patient and family carer encountering death at home

Vähäkangas, A., Seppänen, M., Saarelainen, S. & Mäki-Petäjä-Leinonen, A.


Project: Research project

Buddhalaisuus Suomessa

Härkönen, M.

Project: Research project

ANPC: ARCTIC CHRISTIANITY The Meeting of Arctic Native People and Christianity

Bastubacka, J., Cirkovic, E., Guttorm, H., Hugason, H., Knuutila, J., Kylli, R., Larsen , K. E., Murtonen, S., Olsen, G., Talonen, J., Vallikivi, L. & Virtanen, P. K.

Project: Research project


Emerging Patterns of Participation. The Community Movement in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland

Hannikainen, P., 26 May 2020, In : Nordic Journal of Religion and Society. 33, 1, p. 42-61 DOI: https://doi.org/10.18261/issn.1890-7008-2020-01-04.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Empirical Perspectives on Religion and Health Justice: In Finland and Across Cultures

Grönlund, H., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Faith Based Health Justice: Insights and Impacts . Päivänsalo, V., Ahmad, A., Stenlund, M. & Zachariah, G. (eds.). Fortress Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

Including or Excluding Religion and Worldviews in Schools? Finnish Teachers' and Teacher Students' Perceptions

Niemi, P-M., Kimanen, A. & Kallioniemi, A., 2 Jan 2020, In : Journal of beliefs and values. 41, 1, p. 114-128 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Jokaiselle jokin on pyhää – mutta mikä ja missä?

Pessi, A., 2020, In : Areiopagi.fi. 2020

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional


The Report of the Search Committee for the position of University Lecturer in Church History at the University of Helsinki (Event)

Jyrki Knuutila (Board member)
3 Mar 202028 May 2020

Activity: Membership typesAssessment of candidates for academic posts

Diakonian tutkimus (Journal)

Jyrki Knuutila (Reviewer)
14 Mar 20209 Apr 2020

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Kenen kirkko?

Johan Bastubacka (Member of organizing committee)
5 Mar 20206 Mar 2020

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Teologian ja uskonnontutkimuksen maisteriohjelman digiloikka

Tuija Laine (Invited speaker), Anuleena Kimanen (Invited speaker)
31 Jan 2020

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

The Rise and Fall of the Helsinki Grand Mosque Project

Teemu Pauha (Speaker), Tuomas Martikainen (Speaker)
23 Jan 2020

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Dissertation award

Anne Pessi (Recipient), Jun 2006

Prize: Prizes and awards

Dissertation Award

Anne Pessi (Recipient), Apr 2005

Prize: Prizes and awards

Docent of the year / Vuoden dosentti

Henrietta Grönlund (Recipient), 28 Mar 2017

Prize: Prizes and awards

Doctor Primus

Anne Pessi (Recipient), May 2005

Prize: Prizes and awards

Emerging Scolar Award

Anne Pessi (Recipient), Nov 2005

Prize: Prizes and awards

Press / Media

Lisääkö pandemia myötätuntoa?

Henrietta Grönlund


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media

Virus on vaikeuttanut hyvästelyä.

Jyrki Knuutila


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Ehtoollisen lahja vaikuttaa myös etäyhteyden kautta.

Jyrki Knuutila


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Vapaaehtoistyö löytyy jokaiselle

Henrietta Grönlund


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media

Millainen papin tulee olla?

Jyrki Knuutila


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media