A joyful festival for everyone
Each Kirchentag has a President, who is the highest honorary official of the Kirchentag movement. Since 1970, a new President is appointed every two years. Former Kirchentag Presidents include Reinold von Thadden-Trieglaff, Helmut Simon, Richard von Weizsäcker, Erhard Eppler, Elisabeth Raiser, Karin von Welck, Eckhard Nagel and Katrin Göring-Eckardt.
The current president: Hans Leyendecker
Hans Leyendecker, born in Brühl in 1949, is considered one of the most prominent investigative journalists in Germany. Since 1982 he has revealed numerous political affairs both at home and abroad and has been honored with many awards. As an editor and reporter, he worked in his early years at the "Westfälische Rundschau" in Dortmund before he changed to the news magazine "Der Spiegel" in 1979. Since 1997 he works for the "Süddeutsche Zeitung". First as Chief Political Editor, then until summer 2016 as Head of the Investigative Department. He still works as a freelancer in his old department.
The latest president: Prof. Dr. Christina Aus der Au
Christina Aus der Au grew up in Switzerland and studied philosophy and rhetoric at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and later theology at the University of Zurich. Aus der Au was a doctoral candidate at the Institute for Environmental Sciences and at the Institute for Social Ethics, where she graduated in Environmental Ethics. In 2009, Aus der Au received her habilitation in Dogmatic Theology. In her thesis she analyzed the human image in theology and neurosciences.
In 2006, she was Visiting Research Associate at the Ian Ramsey Centre for Sciences & Religion at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. In 2009, she was Visiting Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg for Systematic Theology and Ethics. Since 2015, Aus der Au is Honorary Professor at the Fac-ulty of Theology at the University of Basel, Switzerland. She further is a visiting lecturer for ethics in medicine at the University Fribourg, and since 2010 holds the position as theological adviser at the “Zentrum für Kirchenentwicklung” at the University of Zurich.
She is a member of the board at the Alternative Bank Schweiz and the Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag. Aus der Au is the President of the 36. Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag that will take place in Berlin and Wittenberg, and is part of the jubilee festivities of 500 years of Reformation in Germany and Europe. As such, she is also President of the six events called "Kirchentag on the Way" in central Germany.
Aus der Au lives with her husband and daughter in Frauenfeld, Switzerland.