How should the growing phenomenon of migration affect training for ministry? An upcoming seminar organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey will focus on evaluating experiences and devising new approaches to theological education that can help churches understand migration as an opportunity of “being the church together.”
The seminar, titled “Evaluation of Ecumenical Theological Education Programs for Migrant Church Leaders,” will take place Sept. 1-5. It will bring together some 20 participants from migrant churches, Christian organizations and non-governmental organizations.
Participants in the conference come from diverse ethnic backgrounds and from such countries as Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Togo and Guyana, while they serve Christian ministries in European countries. They represent churches and organizations from Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Guinea, Indonesia, Italy, United Kingdom, Sweden and the Netherlands.
“Migration constitutes a global reality,” said Amélé Ekué, the seminar organizer and faculty member at the Ecumenical Institute. “People leave their countries of origin due to situations of war, environmental factors and persecution. Churches have become increasingly aware of these movements, as they call for the protection of migrants’ rights and care for their needs in situations of vulnerability,” she added.
“The presence of migrant church communities in all parts of the world has given rise to a fascinating new terrain for ecumenical encounters,” Ekué said.
“The time is ripe for reflection on and analysis of different initiatives in ecumenical theological education related to migration,” Ekué said.
Participants in the seminar will share the lessons, challenges, success stories and good practices from their work among migrant churches. They will discuss ideas for innovative ecumenical theological education that can better serve the mission of the church in the changing global landscape of Christianity, Ekué added.