The Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg is a unique organization established by the Lutheran World Federation with no counterpart in the Protestant world. Our sole task is to support Lutheran churches across the globe in their efforts to be faithful to Christ’s prayer that his followers may be one as he and the Father are one (John 17:11). We carry out this task in a number of ways:

—We serve as consultants to all the international bilateral dialogues of the Lutheran World Federation, with Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, Anglicans, the Reformed, Mennonites, and Pentecostals.

—We offer guidance in multilateral ecumenical organizations, such as the World Council of Churches, the Faith and Order Commission, and the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe.

—We do original research in ecumenical topics and have pioneered such foundational ecumenical methods as differentiated consensus, which led the way for Institute staff to author the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification with the Catholic Church.

—We publish extensively in the areas of both Lutheran and ecumenical theology.

—We sponsor conferences for other scholars as well as for pastors and laity, including our popular annual Summer Seminar and the Studying Luther in Wittenberg program.

—We travel widely to speaking engagements in order to teach and share insights into Lutherans’ ecumenical calling.

—We host doctoral students and advise them in their studies on ecumenical topics.

Historically, the work of the Institute has received generous support from the German National Committee representing the Lutheran churches in Germany, the Nordic churches, and other national churches as well as local congregations. The Institute’s endowment is managed by the Lutheran World Federation through the independent, not-for-profit Foundation for Inter-Confessional Research located in Switzerland. In establishing the Institute in the early 1960s, the delegates at the Lutheran World Federation assembly in Helsinki believed that it was important for the academic freedom of the Institute for it to be an  independent and self-sustaining organization.

The Institute also accepts donations for its specialized work and progress from individuals and congregations. Donations may be given through the secure online payment system on the bottom of this page or through an arrangement with your local congregation, synod, or region. For more information, please contact our administrative assistant, Ms. Elke Leypold.

We are deeply grateful to all who consider making a gift toward the work of the Institute for the furtherance of the unity of the church.