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Applications open for “life-changing” Global Ecumenical Theological Institute in Tanzania

30 March 2017

Greta Nania-Montoya Ortega has an enthusiastic message for young people considering signing up for the 2018 Global Ecumenical Theological Institute (GETI): “Do not miss this unique opportunity. It will change your life!

As applications open for GETI 2018, to be convened in Arusha, Tanzania, 5-13 March, Ortega recalls her own experience at the very first GETI, which was held in the Republic of Korea in 2013 prior to and alongside the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

There, Ortega joined 170 other participants for intensive study, lectures and seminars that concluded with an affirmation of their belief in the future of the ecumenical movement. They represented a broad array of university-level students and seminarians from churches around the world, including Evangelical, Protestant, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic and Orthodox.

Today, applications for GETI 2018 are open to students worldwide.

GETI, Ortega said, intertwines intercultural learning and sharing with a unique opportunity to be part of an ecumenical assembly. “We learned to listen to each other, discover other countries and cultures, and share our perspectives respectfully,” she recalls.

About GETI 2018

In 2018, GETI will again offer an ecumenical, global, short-term study and exposure programme, this time in accompaniment with the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism. With the theme “Translating the Word, Transforming the World,” GETI seeks to convey vibrancy and encourage young people to become ecumenically committed and conversant ambassadors in their local and regional contexts, as well as on the global level.

GETI 2018 is designed for approximately 120 advanced students in theology and related academic fields with an interest in gaining insights into the ecumenical movement’s current debates on understanding and practicing mission in various regions of the world.

Students will explore together how the gospel is translated into their different cultures and contexts, and also reflect on ways in which they feel called and moved by the Spirit to transform the world. A blended study process will begin with an e-learning phase a couple of months prior to the event.

Missionary agents of change

Young theologians are a vital element in ensuring the longevity of the ecumenical movement, explains Amélé Ekué, WCC programme executive for Ecumenical Theological Education.

“GETI will undoubtedly stimulate an intergenerational debate on the ecumenical vision and how it can be kept alive,” Ekué says.

As young people build contacts and friendships across cultural, linguistic, political, cultural and confessional lines, they become inspired as missionary agents of change in their own contexts.

“Churches and theological institutions in different regions have become increasingly aware of the importance of an intentional, ecumenical education and formation in order to preserve the ecumenical idea,” continues Ekué.

Ultimately, GETI is about equipping tomorrow’s ecumenists, Ekué says: “The vibrancy of young people and their longing for learning, sharing and celebrating together at GETI 2018 in Arusha can therefore offer fresh impulses for revitalizing the ecumenical movement.”

Vibrant theme, fruitful dialogue

Youth and children under the age of 24 account for nearly 40% of the world’s population, notes Ekué, and they will determine the future in key areas of the ecumenical commitment.

“Climate change, sustainable development, justice and equality, inclusive communities, peace-building cannot be thought and constructively addressed without bearing young people in mind. These are concrete examples for areas in which a transforming discipleship can be explored.”

The theme of GETI 2018 - “Translating the Word, Transforming the World” - echoes the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism’s theme, “Moving in the Spirit: Called to Transforming Discipleship,” in a very particular way, continues Ekué, adding that the call to a transforming discipleship needs to be embedded in a spiritual attitude and theological reflection, which are both motivated and constantly renewed by the word of God.

Ekué adds: “This resonates with many people who experience a broken world and want to contribute to more just and peaceful living conditions from within their own faith traditions.”

Global Ecumenical Theological Institute 2018

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