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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Student life

Find information about elements of student life and facilities available in Bossey.

The Château

Ecumenical Institute at the Château de Bossey is located in a quiet 18th century chateau situated in the Swiss countryside between the Jura Mountains and Lake Geneva.  Since the Middle Ages this small region is locally known as "terre sainte", or "holy land", due to its particular Christian history. The Château de Bossey is 20 kilometers from Geneva, Switzerland, with proximity to the headquarters of international ecumenical organizations, United Nations agencies and the University of Geneva. It is also a meeting centre that combines modern meeting rooms, comfortable accommodation and a welcoming environment for seminars, meetings and events for both individuals and groups.  The facilities of the campus include two chapels, a library, ten fully-equipped meeting rooms of various sizes and 90 bedrooms in five different styles of comfort and price. The self-service restaurant caters daily breakfast, lunch and dinner for students and all other guests. Information on the hospitality prices and facilities, including visual material, can be best found on the website www.bossey.ch

Ecumenical spirituality

Prayer and worship are at the heart of community life at Bossey. There are two places of prayer located in an 11th century tower which is adjacent to the château. The chapels offer a source of spiritual nourishment, mutual learning and a foundation for intellectual work and personal development. The use of the chapels is available to all guests staying at Bossey.

Service learning

In an effort to help students bridge the gap between their theoretical knowledge and the necessity to translate these into practical situations of their contexts, the Ecumenical Institute is working to engage students in service learning. While in its initial stages, the service learning component at Bossey will focus on linking care of creation and community service as part of an intentional ecumenical formation. Becoming  sensitive to the needs of the other and to act accordingly constitutes thus a crucial dimension in ecumenical learning. It is envisioned that students will have ample opportunity to incorporate service learning into their program of study. Present taught courses include elements on diakonia, community building, ethics of care, creation and service. The spiritual formation and prayer moments integrate the dimensions of service, justice, wholeness and healing. The students’ community shows its commitment to the idea of service and care for creation through individual gardening tasks within limited allocated time slots during the semester.

Housing

Student housing is located at Petit-Bossey, a separate building located approximately 200 metres away from the main Château. It is a charming old mansion, fully renovated, where each room has a washbasin. The showers and toilets are located in the corridor. During the autumn semester (September-January) the majority of the rooms are used by the students (normally a shared double room) while at other times the rooms are predominantly used by both students and other guests. There is ample opportunity for leisure activities including volleyball, table tennis, cycling, resting in the garden, and walking, jogging or running in the surrounding countryside.