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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Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Ecumenical Studies

Master of Advanced Studies in Ecumenical Studies (MAS)/Maîtrise universitaire d'études avancées en études œcuméniques is accredited by the University of Geneva with 60 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits to be achieved during one-semester (mid-September – end of June).

One academic year: 60 ECTS credits

Intended for students having completed a university Master's degree, preferably in Christian theology or in a closely related discipline. The programme is accredited by the University of Geneva with 60 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits to be achieved during two semesters (mid-September-end of June) according to the study modules described below.

First semester

From mid-September to end of January

Obligatory modules:

  • Core Course on the History of the Ecumenical Movement (6 ECTS credits)

The core course offers an overview of the genesis, development and institutionalisation of modern ecumenism, as well as an introduction to selected contemporary themes and challenges in relation to a globalised world and a changed ecclesial and religious landscape. The core course is conducted in form of plenary lectures and requires regular participation and a successful final oral exam.

  • Workshop on Intercultural Biblical Studies (3 ECTS credits)

The workshop gives an opportunity to deepen exegetical competencies,  an introduction  to  the plurality of Biblical contextual interpretation paradigms and an evaluation of their ecumenical relevance. The workshop requires regular participation and fulfilment of possible task assignments.

  • Workshop on Practical Ecumenical Theology (3 ECTS credits)

The workshop provides a reflected experience on the historical-cultural modes of theological transmission, and more specifically on their (liturgical) communication and consideration of the ecumenical dimensions of translating theology practically. The workshop requires regular participation and fulfillment of possible task assignments.

  • Ecumenical Study Visits (2 ECTS credits)

During the ecumenical study visit students will have an opportunity to gain reflected practical insights and overviews on the way of practice, organization and spiritual life of the work of different ecumenical actors, particularly those of different Christian confessional traditions. The following visits are usually planned: the Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland, the Vatican and Rome, Italy, the Taizé Community, France, local parishes of the Reformed Protestant Church in Switzerland. The study visits require full participation and the submission of reports.

  • Seminar on Research Methodology (4 ECTS credits)

The seminar offers students the possibility to deepen their knowledge in research techniques, conventions and methodologies. It seeks to apply these competencies to the context of practical research work and leads to the draft of a research proposal. The seminar requires regular participation, and the submission and presentation of a research proposal.

  • Interdisciplinary/lntercultural Course (4 ECTS credits)

The course aims at offering students the opportunity to study selected  topics pertaining to ecumenism in  an interdisciplinary and intercultural manner. The course requires regular participation, the readiness to take on class presentations and other possible task assignments.

Optional modules (one):
  • Ecumenical Biblical Hermeneutics (8 ECTS credits)
The module offers an intensive introduction and study of exegetical methods in relation to the biblical literature, as well as an initiation to biblical research with regard to the vision of reconciliation and human unity in general and of the Christian churches in particular.
  • Ecumenical Missiology (8 ECTS credits)
The module provides an intensive introduction and study of areas common to missiology (theology of mission), ecumenical theology or theology of religions.
  • Ecumenical Social Ethics (8 ECTS credits)
The module offers an intensive introduction and study of areas common to ecumenical theology, systematic theology and social science of religions, which pertain to the challenges arising from the complexity and plurality of globalised societies, as well as the exploration of ecumenical ethical responses.
  • Ecumenical Theology (8 ECTS credits)
The module provides an intensive introduction and study of areas of ecumenical theological research on the search for ecclesial communion as the focal point of ecumenism.
Each module of choice requires regular participation and fulfillment of all task assignments. Evaluation includes an oral exam and the writing of a research paper.

Second semester

From mid-February to end of June

  • Research Fellowship (12 ECTS credits)

The research fellowship at the WCC or in an ecumenical organisation or a partner institution related to the students' research areas, is destined to offer a profiled insight into the practical work of an ecumenical organisation or a specialised institution related to ecumenism. The fellowship requires regular participation over the entire period and the submission of an essay on the experiences gained.

  • Research Workshop (4 ECTS credits)

The research workshop builds upon and deepens the study contents of the seminar on research methodology, addresses specific questions and challenges of the research process, and offers a regular and qualified accompaniment in the individual research design and drafting process of the students. The workshop requires regular participation and fulfillment of possible other task assignments.

  • Thesis (14 ECTS credits)

The thesis (10 000 words) is written in one of the academic disciplines offered at the Ecumenical Institute, and has to be submitted and successfully defended at the end of the study period.

Applicants to this study programme may also apply to the course English as a Tool for Ecumenical Formation: Intensive English Summer Course

Please, find application guidelines and form, ECTS study plan summary and costs as well as frequently asked questions here.