Ecumenical Institute at Bossey

The Ecumenical Institute at Bossey is the international centre for encounter, dialogue and formation of the World Council of Churches. Founded in 1946, the Institute brings together people from diverse churches, cultures and backgrounds for ecumenical learning, academic study and personal exchange.

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Study at Bossey

The academic programme of the Ecumenical Institute is carried out through plenary lectures, seminar work, individual study and research, supervised reading, Bible studies, study visits and group and individual assessment.

Since its creation in 1946, the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Institute at the Château de Bossey has been fulfilling its mission of ecumenical theological formation and education. With its holistic way of education - which combines academic research, cross-cultural learning through life in community, spiritual experience, exposure to and encounter with other faith communities, Bossey continues to have a special place and vocation in ecumenical formation today.

Why ecumenical studies?

Now more than ever, ecumenical formation at Bossey is needed as our church and lay leaders everywhere find themselves more and more everyday negotiating a pluralistic society. Ecumenical education is increasingly important in order to ensure that students are educated to be global citizens with an understanding of the diversity of religious traditions and with strategies of pluralism that engage diversity in creative and productive ways.

How is Bossey unique?

The Ecumenical Institute is a place that strengthens, transforms and enhances identities. Considered as part of the "avant-garde" of the ecumenical movement, the Institute offers an academic platform of rigorous study guided by a world-class faculty where acute and complex challenges confronting the churches are debated and analyzed. Thousands of women and men from all over the world and every Christian tradition have come to Bossey for academic studies. Many have testified to life-changing experiences in this pioneering centre, or "ecumenical laboratory".

The unique learning experience at Bossey is the intensive community life where, in common worship, group and individual studies and many personal encounters, the participants learn from one another. Often unconscious cultural and confessional prejudices are questioned and struggled with. Deep convictions of faith confront each other and are tested. Gradually, through pain and shared joys a learning community grows in the search for a fuller truth, and glimpses the unity to which Christians aspire.

The long list of people whose lives have been shaped by programs at Bossey include university professors, ecumenical officers, bishops, pastors and priests from all continents. It includes pastors who lead parishes and congregations with openness to people of different cultures, races, and traditions. It includes lay people who carry out their vocation with a desire to contribute toward the common good through their work. Thousands of people from virtually every church, confession and culture have participated in Bossey courses over the years, a testimony to the transformative impact of ecumenical formation at Bossey.

Download the programme book (2.2 MB, pdf)