The altar in the Ecumenical Institute chapel in Bossey.


During January, the study programme includes learning about Orthodox liturgy and ethos, meeting with leaders of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and participating in the global Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

For the past semester, the institute welcomed a group of 29 students from 22 different countries and 19 different church traditions, all of whom are taking final exams this week with hopes of completing certificates in Ecumenical Studies. Together, they have adapted continuously to new developments and changing local restrictions related to COVID-19.

“It is hard to believe we are already at the end of the semester, which, unfortunately, also means it is time to start thinking about goodbyes,“ noted Hannah Andres from the United Methodist Church - Pacific Northwest Conference, United States.

Fr Elkess Bimen A D Yasser Nassef Youssef Khalil from the Coptic Orthodox Church, Egypt, continued: “I have been happy to study at Bossey because this opportunity allowed me to get to know the others by living with them, and learning with them and from them. After graduation, I am sure that in light of this experience we will be able to work together as brothers having together many common faiths, for the sake of a better human life for all of us, and for the whole world, regardless of differences in religion or culture.”

The academic dean of the Ecumenical Institute, Rev. Fr Dr Lawrence Iwuamadi, wished students the best of luck on their exams this week, and commended them for nurturing their Bossey ecumenical family while pursuing their academic studies.

“If this semester has been difficult in many ways, it was also full of unexpected blessings,” Iwuamadi said. “Bossey has adapted into an environment in which students can support one another as safely as possible, study with diligence, embrace each other’s traditions, and prepare to go out into the world to spread a spirit of unity.”