The World Council of Churches (WCC) is inviting young people to bring fresh perspectives on “The Future of Interreligious Dialogue” by participating in an essay competition to mark the 50th anniversary of the WCC’s Office of Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation.

The aim of this competition is to encourage those under the age of 30 with interests in the field of interreligious relations and engagement to develop and share their ideas on any of the following broad themes:

  • A Christian theology of engagement with other religious traditions
  • Some aspect of another religious tradition which is relevant to its relationship to Christianity and/or to religious pluralism more widely
  • The theory and/or practice of interreligious dialogue
  • Interreligious cooperation for the sake of the common good
  • The World Council of Churches and interreligious relations: either analyzing some aspect of the WCC’s work in the past 50 years or proposing ways forward

An international panel of judges chosen from the staff of the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey and the World Council of Churches will select the best five essays, representing different traditions contexts and perspectives, to be published in Current Dialogue, the WCC’s journal for interreligious encounter.

There will also be an opportunity for the authors of prizewinning essays to present their contributions in a conference on “The Future of Interreligious Dialogue” (either physically or virtually) that is being planned to be held in 2021 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the setting up of the WCC’s dialogue programme. At this stage it is likely that the participation will take place virtually. It is our hope that the presentation of the prizewinning essays will be a valued part of the conference as participants seek to discern how the churches should move forward in this field. The conference will provide an invaluable opportunity for the participants to share their work with other scholars and practitioners in this field.

All entries, should be 3,500-5,000 words in length (including notes), and be written in English, following the Information for Authors for the WCC Journals. These contributions must be the original work of the participants and should not have been published elsewhere.

Essays should be submitted by email as MS Word documents to Along with following the WCC Style Guide generally, submitters should pay particular attention to the directions for notes and scholarly citations. The last day on which submissions will be received is 15 March 2021. Winners will be informed by 15 April 2021.


General Rules of the Competition:

1. Articles should be the original work of the author and not have been published elsewhere, nor under consideration elsewhere.

2. Authors should be not more than 30 years old on 15 March 2021.

3. Articles should be between 3,500 and 5,000 words (including footnotes) and written in English. Articles will be judged on the quality of their ideas, not proficiency in English.

4. Articles should be submitted electronically to by 15 March 2021 as Word documents in either .doc or .docx format and as A4 or US Letter format, with margins set at 1 inch (2.54 cm) all round, and written as 12 pt Times New Roman, with line spacing set at 1.5 lines.

5. Each submission should be accompanied by a cover sheet with the author’s name, a 150-word abstract of the essay, a one or two sentence author identification, country of origin, date of birth, institutional affiliation or research interests (if appropriate), church membership, postal address, and email address. The author’s name should not be included on the article itself. Authors are also asked to include a scan of an official ID showing their date of birth.

6. Copyright for articles published in Current Dialogue or otherwise by the WCC will rest with the World Council of Churches.

7. Decisions of the World Council of Churches will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into regarding decisions made.