Cathedral Dean Dr. Petra Zimmermann

I wasn't exactly destined to become a Pastor. Growing up in Dortmund in a family that was rather distanced from the work of the church, there was a real sense of astonishment when I decided to study Theology. After studying in the cities of Münster and Hamburg, my journey did not take me first to the parish, but rather to science. After my doctorate I conducted research at a scientific institution of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), which is based in Hanover. This was followed by a position as a university assistant at the University of Hamburg, where I taught the subjects of homiletics, pastoral care and religious sociology, allowing me to establish close connections with ‘the workplace of church and city’.

It was only later in life that I began my career as a Pastor, first in a parish, then later on at the St. Reinoldi city church in Dortmund.  It was, above all, my love of the service of worship that lured me from science to the church.  And it was my love of the city and its particular challenges for both church and faith that drew me to Berlin. In 2006, I was appointed as Cathedral Dean at Berlin Cathedral. At Berlin Cathedral, which is so closely linked to the history of our own country, I have always taken a keen interest in the dialogue between Christian faith and contemporary issues, cultures and religions. And what else? My husband and I have been re-homing dogs from animal welfare sanctuaries for decades. At present, we live together with two mongrels, Karlsson and Lilly, who occasionally can be seen in the Cathedral.

And of course, as a native of Dortmund, I'm a big football fan – with my black and yellow scarf!


Dr. Petra Zimmermann


Telefon +49 30 20269 111
E-Mail petra.zimmermann(a)