The Catholic University of Applied Sciences Freiburg (KH Freiburg) was founded in 1971 and created by merging several predecessor institutions.

The oldest predecessor institution of today's KH Freiburg is the Women's School of Social Work Heidelberg, which was initiated by Countess Maria von Graimberg and founded in 1911. It existed until 1971 as a higher technical school for social work under the auspices of the German Caritas Association and was integrated into the KH Freiburg as the Heidelberg Department from 1971 until its dissolution in 1979.
In 1929, another predecessor institution of the KH Freiburg was founded with the Youth Leadership Seminar at the German Caritas Association. In 1971, this institution was also integrated into the University as the Department of Social Pedagogy.

The makeup of today’s Catholic University of Applied Sciences Freiburg was completed by the integration of the Curative Seminar of the German Caritas Association. This seminar had been founded in 1965 and was integrated into the University as the Department of Curative Education. In 1973, the Department of Religious Education was added, in 1992 the Department of Nursing, which was the first in Germany to be established with innovative courses of study, and in 2003 the Department of Management. In 2003, in accordance with the requirements of the state of Baden-Württemberg, the previously separate degree programs in Social Work and Social Pedagogy were reformed and merged into one degree program in Social Work.

On September 1, 2015, a new constitution and structure of the KH Freiburg came into effect. The current University structure combines organizational principles of hierarchy and self-organization with special regard to the academic freedom of universities and the guidelines of the University Rectors’ Conference. 

1971Founding Year of the University of Applied Sciences

Predecessor institutions
1911                   Women's School of Social Work, Heidelberg
1925                   Women's School of Social Work of the German Caritas Asso. (DCV)
1927                   Vocational School of Welfare Work for Men
1969                   Higher Technical School of Social Work (DCV)
1927                   Youth Leadership Seminar (DCV)
1969                   Higher Technical School of Social Pedagogy (DCV)                       
1971                   Merger into the Catholic University of Applied Sciences for Social Work and Religious                                   Education

Rectors since merger into the KH Freiburg 
1973                    Rector Dr. Kurt Nachbauer
1973 - 1977        Rector Prof. Dr. Alexander Sagi
1977 - 1981        Rector Prof. Dr. Berhard Krautter
1981 - 1989        Rector Prof. Dr. Klaus Schilling
1989 - 1997        Rector Prof. Dr. Herbert Pielmaier
1997 - 2001        Rector Prof. Helmut Schwalb
2001 - 2007        Rector Prof. Dr. Christoph Steinebach
2007 - 2020        Rector Prof. Dr. Edgar Kösler
since 2020          Rector Prof. Dr. Stephanie Bohlen

Chancellors/Administrative Directors since merger into the KH Freiburg 
ca. 1999 - 2002   Administrative Director Hans-Dieter Link
2002 - 2007         Administrative Director Petra Groß
2007 - 2008         Administrative Director Simone Stark
since 2008           Chancellor Martin Kraft