How to Write the Letter of Motivation

When applying for a graduate programme leading to a master degree in Germany, applicants are requested to submit a letter of motivation.

The letter of motivation is a crucial document in your application.

1. Use the motivation letter to demonstrate your analytical skills, academic writing and sufficient level of English. In the motivation letter, you should demonstrate that you are capable of prioritizing the most important information and presenting it in an eloquent and captivating academic manner.

2. Do not use your letter of motivation to repeat your CV. There is a reason that both of these documents are required. The CV demonstrates the most important points of your academic and social development, whereas a motivation letter indicates your ability to present how this programme will be a good place for the realization of your scholarly ambitions and academic interests.

3. Do not describe the advantages and the curricular of ICT. You have limited space to write your motivation letter, use it wisely, do not retell the information about the programme from our web page - we wrote it, we know it. Use the given space to present yourself, and convince us that you are a good fit for our programme.

4. The letter of motivation should be orientated on the following questions:

Why do you think Theology should be studied contextually and interculturally?
How do you intend to use your qualification and degree earned in Germany? What are your professional and personal goals?
What do you want to learn? Is there anything from the field of Intercultural Theology that you think could serve as an inspiration for your own context (country/community/denomination)? Are there any Intercultural Theology, Theology or Religious Studies concepts, ideas, or scholars you would like to learn more about? Why? (Try to get some reading material about contemporary academic debates and integrate them into your argumentation)
Give a short outline of an example of a research project you could be conducting during your master project. Name academic disciplines you can do it in (Contextual Theology, Practical Theology, Biblical Theology, Religious Studies etc.). Which of your skills equip you to do this project? Explain why and how this M.A. programme will help you to advance and complete such a project.

4. Make sure your letter of motivation is well composed. First, reflect on all the above questions, take notes, read more, discuss with friends. Then write an outline. Then write the text.

5. Apply an appropriate style of writing:

Avoid all kinds of platitudes, flowery phrases and flattery.
Deal with your topics in a reflective and factual way. Do not campaign for your beliefs.

6. Proofread the text and delete all dispensable and redundant parts. In the end, your letter of motivation should ideally comprise one page, max. 1,5 pages.

* This instructions are prepared based on the text from the DAAD manual