University Years, Military Service, Vicarage
Werner Sylten began studying Protestant theology at the University of Marburg in the winter semester of 1913-14 and joined the Franconia fraternity, which did not practice academic fencing. He left the university in August of 1914 to serve as a volunteer in World War I. After the war’s end, he returned to the University of Marburg. He was especially influenced by liberal theology, which opened his later preaching in the church for culture and society and aroused a high social awareness in him.
Following his First Theological Exam in the summer of 1920, he started a post graduate degree in economics and social education for one semester and worked on the Social Council founded by Friedrich Siegmund-Schultze, which performed practical social work in Berlin’s working class neighborhoods. He primarily did church youth work during his vicarage in the Hannover regional church. According to an entry in his diary, he had become convinced that the Protestant church had failed in the social question so far. In 1922, he passed his Second Theological Exam at the University of Hannover and was appointed an assistant minister at the women’s college in Himmelsthür near Hildesheim.
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- © Private collection of Walter Sylten, Berlin