- 1976 Senior school-leaving qualification (Abitur) in Barsinghausen (Niedersachsen)
- 1978 Study of German language and literature, Protestant theology, sociology, educational science and the English language in Kiel und London
- 1986 Graduation
- 1990 Faculty Examination and doctorate as Dr. theol., University of Kiel (thesis on "Formation of Confessional Identities in the 16th Century as Reflected in Illustrated Broadsheets)
- 1999 Post-doctoral lecturing qualification (Habilitation) at University of Kiel (thesis on "Hanns Lilje, a Lutheran in the Kirchenkampf and in the Weimar Republic")
- 1999-2001 Visiting professorships at the Universities of Kiel and Saarbrücken
- 2002 Professor of Church History at LMU Munich
- The Reformation period and age of confessionalisation:
- Media (print and visual media)
- Formation of confessional identities
- Modern period: Contemporary church history
- National Socialism and churches
- Christian resistance to National Socialism
- The culture of memory in the church after 1945
- Protestantism and German society from 1945-1990
Membership of Scientific Associations
- Chairman of the Evangelische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte
- Co-editor of the series of monographs "Arbeiten zur Kirchlichen Zeitgeschichte"
- Co-editor of the periodical "Mitteilungen zur Kirchlichen Zeitgeschichte"
- Co-editor of the periodical "Pastoraltheologie"
- Member of the Luthergesellschaft
- Member of the Verein für Reformationsgeschichte
- Member of the Gesellschaft zur Herausgabe des Corpus Catholicorum
- Member of the Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Theologie