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Bossey Institute strengthens teaching faculty

01 March 2007

The Ecumenical Institute at Bossey has announced plans for a strengthened teaching faculty that will reinforce its position as a leading world centre for ecumenical formation and research.

The enlarged staff team was confirmed by the World Council of Churches' (WCC) executive committee, which is meeting at Bossey until 2 March. Two recruitments and two new secondments will bring the total full-time teaching staff in place for the academic year 2007-2008 to six - one of the strongest levels in the history of the Institute.

The Institute's director Rev. Dr Ioan Sauca welcomed the decision. "The renewed academic team will reinforce Bossey's position as a unique space where academic excellence is combined with personal encounter, community and spiritual life. In a context of growing fundamentalism, Bossey is called to prepare lay people and future ministers for witness and service in the churches and the world in a way that is progressive, innovative and rooted in an understanding of the wealth of our Christian and cultural diversity."

The teaching faculty is regionally and confessionally diverse, and includes theologians from Lutheran, Orthodox, Reformed and Roman Catholic backgrounds. Several of the positions are directly sponsored or assisted by partner churches and organizations of Bossey, a fact that the executive committee noted with gratitude. The full list of staff, including information on the supporting churches and agencies, is available on the Institute's website.

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia underlined the importance of the partnerships that have made the expanded teaching faculty possible, and expressed his particular gratitude to the churches and agencies that are contributing financially to the teaching positions.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); the Evangelical Church in Germany; the Roman Catholic Church; and three mission agencies: the Council for World Mission (UK); United Evangelical Mission - Communion of Churches in three Continents (Germany); and Cevaa; Communauté d'Eglises en Mission (France), are all part of the joint ecumenical support for the Bossey posts.

"The renewed contributions of several churches and agencies will allow us to enhance the quality and outreach of our formation and will more closely link the efforts of the Ecumenical Institute with other programmes of the Council. This gesture is an affirmation of the integrated style of work that the WCC is seeking to enhance at this time, and is an admirable expression of the ecumenical commitment of these partners, for which we are profoundly grateful," Kobia stated.

The changes at the Ecumenical Institute are part of an overall reorganization of the WCC's programmatic work agreed at its 9th Assembly in early 2006, and which identifies education and ecumenical formation as one of six priority strategic areas for the Council. The teaching staff will collaborate closely with other programmatic areas of the WCC, in an effort to nurture an holistic and integrated approach to formation.

Founded in 1946, the Ecumenical Institute is the international centre of the WCC for dialogue, encounter and formation, and is attached to the prestigious University of Geneva. The Institute offers residential post-graduate courses up to Ph.D. level, and hosts dozens of other meetings and events each year, often focused on cutting-edge issues of concern to the churches. Since its creation, Bossey has received an estimated 25,000 people in its various courses, from all world regions and traditions.

Bossey website

List of Bossey faculty members and sponsors

[A high-resolution version of this photo is available free of charge.]