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Bossey master students graduate with ecumenism at heart

Bossey master students graduate with ecumenism at heart

Gathered in prayer in the Bossey chapel on 14 June. Photo: Ivars Kupcis/WCC

16 June 2018

Gathered in prayer in the Bossey chapel on 14 June, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Institute saw eight new students graduate with a Master of Advanced Studies in Ecumenical Studies.

The students, coming to Bossey from a variety of countries and church traditions, have spent the past year exploring a range of topics in ecumenism - from exploring aspects of common spirituality between Eastern and Western Christian traditions historically, to studying ecumenical responses to recent post-election violence in Kenya.

They received their provisional certificates from Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the WCC Central Committee, and vice moderator Bishop Mary Ann Swenson.

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit encouraged the graduates to remain committed to the ecumenical vision.

“We strongly believe that the formation you have received will continue to contribute in the work of the WCC in the context of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace,” Tveit said, emphasizing the role of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey in the formation of future church leaders.

One of the students, Rev. James Miriago from the Pentecostal Church in Kenya, reflected during the prayer: “It is a day of great joy, because almost a year ago we came with questions within ourselves - ‘how will it be?’ - but now we are leaving with knowledge acquired, and skills to promote a common witness, to engage in Christian service by serving human need, breaking down barriers between people and seeking justice and peace, to foster renewal in unity in Christ Jesus.”

“One of the inspiring aspects of this generation of master students is the breadth of topics they have explored,” reflected Rev. Fr Dr Lawrence Iwuamadi, dean of the Ecumenical Institute.

“We can see that the students have studied almost every part of the WCC’s call for a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, from a theological perspective, from care for creation to church relations, ecumenism and diakonia,” Iwuamadi added.

“But we also see the deep value of the Ecumenical Institute inviting students both from WCC member churches and from churches who are not currently WCC member churches. By doing this intentionally, we can continue to walk together on the pilgrimage, where the focus is not just on WCC member churches, but on a movement of all people of good will,” Iwuamadi concluded.

“Bossey is the place of spirituality and diversity, where lives are changed,” said Fr Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, WCC deputy general secretary and director of the Ecumenical Institute. “I am especially glad that in this group we have had three students from non-WCC-member-churches. Bossey does not dilute the different identities of those who come here to study, but helps you to understand yourself better.”

Study at the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey

High-resolution photos from the graduation ceremony (password: WCC)

Bossey Ecumenical Institute