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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Eager ecumenists embark on new missions

Eager ecumenists embark on new missions

Kezia Wairata. Photos: Peter Williams/WCC

04 February 2019

Monday 28 January was a very special day for 25-year-old student Kezia Wairata from Jakarta, Indonesia. Along with 30 dedicated peers she received her diploma in advanced studies of ecumenism at the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland.

“An important moment in my life. Studying in Bossey has given me friends from all over the world. I have learned a lot about other places and bring with me an enhanced understanding of other cultures and denominations”, she says.

Her special interests are child rights and educating children and she feels excited about WCC’s commitment to children in Indonesia through its partnership with UNICEF. She therefore chose Ecumenical Social Ethics as a module in Bossey.

“The church plays a critical role and must assume a special responsibility in terms of child rights and education”, she points out.

When she came to Europe for the first time last summer to study in Bossey she already had a bachelors degree in theology from the Jakarta Theology Seminary to build on. After Bossey she feels ready to return to her home town to pursue a masters degree. Wairata belongs to the Protestant Church in Western Indonesia.

Her fellow student, 23-year-old Nicolas Gurgenidze from Georgia, expresses the same excitement about the opportunity in Bossey to meet students with different backgrounds from around the world and to make friends for life.

“Here in Bossey I have learned to listen to people from different denominations and to have a dialogue based on respect and love. That is very important in the ecumenical movement”, he says.

His dream is to become a teacher - or even a theology professor - and he will now return to Thessaloniki in Greece, where he lives, to continue his studies. A masters degree in ecumenical theology is in the pipeline. Gurgenidze belongs to the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

To learn more, please see:

Bossey Ecumenical Institute

Bossey transforms the life of ecumenical students (WCC press release of 29 January 2019)