Study course „Studying Ecumenism in Strasbourg 2021!”

Invitation to a new study course in the form of a webinar from October 4-9, 2021

Dear Sisters and Brothers in the member churches of the Lutheran World Federation,

The Institute for Ecumenical Research has established a new study course for Lutheran pastors and advanced students that will be held from October 4 – 9, 2021, as an online-event. The seminar is meant to contribute to a specific aspect of the self-understanding of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF): “To be Lutheran is to be ecumenical.” This is a commitment that is not fulfilled automatically, rather it calls for serious efforts in order to honor it. The study course has three main goals:

Firstly, the LWF has an ecumenical history of more than 60 years with several historic achievements like the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification between the LWF and the Roman Catholic Church in 1999, the reconciliation between Lutherans and Mennonites at the LWF Assembly in Stuttgart in 2010, and the historic ecumenical prayer service in Lund with Pope Francis and the leaders of LWF in commemoration of 500 years of the Reformation in 2016. The basic events and documents of this history should be transmitted to the younger generation of Lutheran pastors and theologians so that what has been achieved can continue to influence the relations between the churches involved. Unfortunately, ecumenism is not very often taught at the universities or seminaries where Lutherans are educated. The Strasbourg Institute has been involved in all these ecumenical processes, and it is committed to hand over the knowledge of the ecumenical dialogues to as many Lutheran pastors and students as possible. The teaching and studying will include the Joint Declaration of the Doctrine of Justification, The Apostolicity of the Church, From Conflict to Communion (documents with respect to the Roman Catholic Church), the Leuenberg Agreement (with respect to the Reformed Churches), Healing Memories: Reconciling in Christ (with respect to the Mennonites), Lutheran-Orthodox and Lutheran-Pentecostal dialogues.

Secondly, the participants of the seminar will be asked to report about the relation between the churches in their respective countries. In hearing and discussing these reports, concepts and tools will be developed to describe and analyse the ecumenical situations in their countries. Bringing the contemporary experience of the LWF member churches into a dialogue with the insights and experience of LWF’s ecumenical history will allow for developing and proposing steps for a rapprochement between churches in the countries of the participants.

Thirdly, the seminar will take six days with a maximum of 20 participants. This will give the rare opportunity for the participants coming from very different contexts in the South and in the North, the East and the West to enter into a very intense transcultural dialogue about ecumenical theology and practice. This dialogue will be a major contribution to communion building within LWF.

We kindly ask you to identify appropriate persons of whom you might expect that participating in the seminar will benefit themselves and your church. Please consider the following requirements:

  • very good knowledge of English, since the study course is held in English
  • well-founded theological education
  • endorsement of the leadership of your church
  • pastors with some years of parish experience or advanced students with special knowledge in Lutheran theology

A certificate will be delivered upon successful participation.

Please note that participants are expected to be present for the whole time of the study course, which will take place as a webinar.

Please find attached the application form that should be returned to us as soon as possible, but not later than July 31, 2021. Due to the limited funds we have to ask the churches in North America and Western and Northern Europe to cover the costs or to subsidize their participants. The fees for participating are Euro 100,- for the whole week.

Further information about the program and technical details will be communicated after the registration deadline.

We kindly ask for your understanding if not all applications can be acceped. The number of participants is limited to 20 persons.

We ask for your cooperation, and we hope that this webinar will be of interest for your church.

Best wishes and greetings from Strasbourg,

Prof. Dr. Jennifer Wasmuth
(Director of the Institute for Ecumenical Research)

Application form to be downloaded here