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Reflection day held on the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute 2021

Reflection day held on the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute 2021

Reflection day on the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute 2021 in Bossey, February 2019. Marietta Ruhland/WCC

28 February 2019

The World Council of Churches (WCC) programme on Ecumenical Theological Education invited WCC staff and representatives of member churches in Germany, such as Rev. Sabine Udodesku of the Evangelical Church in Germany, who attended the meeting on behalf of Bishop Petra Bosse-Huber, and ecumenical partners to launch the reflection process on the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute at the 11th Assembly of the WCC in Karlsruhe in September 2021.

The group met at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey on 26 February to exchange on the experiences of past Global Ecumenical Theological Institutes at the WCC Assembly in Busan 2013, at the Kirchentag in Germany 2017 and at the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism in Arusha 2018. Encouraged by the decision of the Assembly Planning Committee to include a Global Ecumenical Theological Institute in the upcoming assembly activities, the participants in the meeting were unanimous about the propitious moment to start reflecting on the implementation of this crucial instrument of ecumenical formation.

WCC deputy general secretary Fr Prof. Ioan Sauca underlined the pivotal role of Ecumenical Theological Education in ensuring the coordination of this global educational event based on previous successful experiences in Busan and Arusha. Prof. Dietrich Werner, Bread for the World Germany and initiator of the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute at the assembly in South Korea, highlighted the importance to offer such a targeted ecumenical programme in order to invite, encourage and equip the next generation of theologians to become ecumenical ambassadors.

The group agreed on the next steps in the preparatory process to be carried out by an international planning committee. The gathering in Bossey constituted an important first step in collecting initial ideas regarding logistics, programming and the integration of the event in the assembly programme.

The geographical location of Karlsruhe, as per the participants, lends itself for designing a Global Ecumenical Theological Institute 2021 that benefits fully from the manifold academic, ecclesial and societal impulses and opportunities it provides to perpetuate the institute as a vibrant ecumenical formation offer. The first step is made. Many others will follow in the months to come, on the way to Karlsruhe 2021.

WCC planning committee: 11th Assembly in 2021 “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”, WCC press release 16 January 2019

WCC releases theme for 11th Assembly: “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”, WCC press release 10 January 2019

WCC general secretary reflects on the ecumenical movement of Love, WCC press release 10 January 2019