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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For six decades, the Ecumenical Institute has endeavoured to form people in a holistic way, combining academic theological learning, cross-cultural learning, practical formation and spiritual experience.

A strong emphasis is given to the prayer and worship life in the Bossey chapel, as a source of spiritual nourishment, mutual learning and as a foundation for intellectual work and personal development.

The primary purpose of the formation offered at Bossey is to equip students to serve as mature leaders and responsible stewards in their churches, communities and societies. A central feature of the experience is one of a united and welcoming place that seeks to model an integrated approach to life, in which human community, study and prayer, and care for the surrounding environment, all have their place.

The ecumenical movement, which brings together Christians from diverse confessional and cultural traditions, is also a meeting place of many different forms of spirituality. A spiritual approach implies that the whole of life is to be placed at the service of the Gospel. Spirituality is about the way people are Christian, fulfilling their Christian vocation, living out the Gospel in concrete ways in the daily life. It embraces ministry and service, relationships, lifestyle, prayer and response to the political and social environment.

Spirituality may be equally understood as discernment of the voice of the Spirit in the world, rooted in prayer, finding ways to make the Gospel live in various contexts and cultures, helping to transform the world, and find meaning in struggles and the life of exchange that is basic to human existence.

Ecumenical spirituality refers to the endeavor of Christians from different confessions, cultures and traditions to live out their common vocation and to witness to the Gospel in unity in response to the many challenges which confront the faithful in our times, by intentionally avoiding to live and act in separation from or competition to one another.