Ishaya Anthony

Graduation of the Master’s program in Ecumenical Theology at Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, on 11 June 2024.


“The first one is Nigeria, from the northern part of Nigeria, precisely from Kaduna state,” said Anthony, who is part of the Anglican communion and is a priest with the Church of Nigeria. 

His second community is South Africa, where he is a postdoctoral research fellow. He was recommended for Bossey by his church as well as the Desmond Tutu Centre for Religion and Social Justice.

At first, it’s difficult for Anthony to find the words to describe his experience at the living laboratory of ecumenism. “I like to say that Bossey is better experienced than explained,” he said.

He’s already planning for how he will take his experience back home to his African context. “In the context where I come from, especially Nigeria, we have a lot of people who are working for peaceful and social cohesion,” he said. “I will collaborate with many people on the ground, to contribute to inter-religious dialogue.”

As he hopes and trusts God in how he will contribute, he is also considering reviving a journal by the Ecumenical Theologians in Nigeria, titled “Ballentine of Ecumenical Theology.” The last edition was in April 1990. 

He will also return to South Africa to continue with his postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Religious Studies in the University of Johannesburg. “There is a need for students to have this ecumenical formation,” he said. “It’s good to get a theological perspective, both the theoretical and practical.”

Ecumenism is not new to the African continent, he reflected. “It has been there even before Christianity came to Africa,” he said. “It’s a matter of how to reimagine ecumenists, and I think it’s important to learn from the past history.”

Though he plans to stay in touch with his graduating class, he will miss the quiet natural beauty surrounding Bossey. “Bossey offers the ability to be quiet, and take a walk around the forest,” he said. “I will also miss the library because it’s a very unique place when you want to learn anything about ecumenism—and even beyond ecumenism.”

He will simply miss the way his peers talk and laugh together. “Also, my professors are very, very wonderful people,” he said. “I give thanks to God for the privilege that someone like me can pass through this place.”

He recalls World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay urging the students to become faithful ambassadors as they return home. “So much has been invested in me that I pray God will enable me to be a faithful ambassador,” said Anthony. “I also pray for God’s direction in all that I do.”

Bossey graduates celebrate the joy of dialogue

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