Global Institute of Theology

Living together and learning as a global community

The 2020 Global Institute of Theology (GIT), a programme of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), will offer a unique opportunity for a community of students from around the world to live together, learn and do theology in a fully inter-contextual and ecumenical way, connecting theology from the local to the regional and world levels.

The 2020 the Global Institute of Theology will be held 15-29 June 2020 at the Union Theological Seminary, City of Dasmariñas, Philippines.

“Unsettling the Word”: The Theme and its Significance

Several conflicts of the 21st century have a religious dimension. In many parts of the world, we see the rise of authoritarianism. Sacred resources have been politicized and are exploited to justify exclusion and violence. None of the major world religions seems to be immune against this trend. Politiciszed religion invigorates traditional power structures and legitimizes the oppression of women and vulnerable minorities. Religion is used to constitute borders that are insurmountable for everyone who is constructed as the racial, ethnic, cultural or moral Other.

The theme “Unsettling the Word” explores the potential of the Christian tradition to unsettle these power structures. In many of these conflicts people find inspiration in the Biblical witness that “God, in a world full of injustice and enmity, is in a special way the God of the destitute, the poor and the wronged” (Confession of Belhar). The history of the church is full of examples where the belief in the God of justice assured the excluded and exploited of their capability to resist structures of oppression. In these situations, the Christian faith is showing its unsettling potential. Theology provides the language for the re-location from the centres of power to the margins. It comforts and assures the marginalized, provides the tools for a radical critique of power and gives vision of a life in fullness (John 10:10) that overcomes exclusion, exploitation and violence.

The GIT will take place at the Union Theological Seminary, City of Dasmariñas, which calls itself the “School of the Prophets” because of the contributions and the sacrifices of its students and alumni to the struggle for justice on the Philippines.

2017 GIT

The Global Institute of Theology

The specific goals of the Global Institute of Theology are fourfold:

  1. To build a community of learning and faith as students and faculty work together on vital themes in the Bible and theology today and create for ourselves an immediate international context;
  2. To encounter contemporary biblical and theological approaches in our interconfessional, intercultural and interreligious dimensions and on lived and living missiologies;
  3. To introduce the varying contextual perspectives on the Christian witness of the global Reformed family—bearing in mind our understanding of God’s mission in every continent and being aware of what our churches can learn from each other’s witness in the world;
  4. To strengthen global networks of sharing and reflection among theological students and faculty, church workers, theological institutions and churches for continuing action and reflection in the WCRC. This will also contribute to the ecumenical formation of a new generation of church leaders within the Reformed community.

These goals will be reflected in the way in which the institute is being organized. There will be core courses, which all students will be required to attend, as well as elective courses from which students may pick.

GIT-QuartetMural

Who can apply?

The Global Institute of Theology is intended for theological students and pastors beginning their ministry. We encourage applications from:

  1. women and men students—40 from all continents—preparing for Christian ministry at a theological school related to a WCRC member church or
  2. fresh theological graduates preparing for higher theological studies or pastors in their first years of ministry, recommended by WCRC member churches.

Applicants should have a particular interest in ecumenical theology and mission. The student body and faculty will reflect gender and regional balance, and thus the diversity of the Reformed family in the world today.

In the City of Dasmariñas, Philippines, the GIT participants will live together in residences of the Union Theological Seminary.

The WCRC is committed to the inter-contextual formation of new generations of Reformed leaders fully aware of the faith dimension of contemporary challenges such as economic injustice, environmental destruction, gender justice, interfaith solidarity, spiritual renewal, an inclusive welcoming church and Christian unity.

The GIT in cooperation with theological institutions from around the world
Through the GIT, the WCRC intends to strengthen its ties with theological institutions related to its member churches, as well as facilitate further communication and cooperation among theological schools from different regions of the world.

Significant aspects of the Institute, such as the recruitment of prospective students, securing the financial resources necessary to enable students from countries in the Global South to participate and the general academic requirements for its operation, will be considered in consultation with supporting theological institutions.

Applications

Download an application form: PDF or Word Doc.

Completed applications for the GIT should be submitted no later than 15 January 2020 and emailed to git@wcrc.eu, faxed to + 49 511 8973 8311 or mailed to:

Global Institute of Theology
World Communication of Reformed Churches
Knochenhauerstr. 42
30177 Hannover
Germany

The Admissions Committee will inform the applicants of their decision in mid-February 2020. All other logistics (including registration, travel, and visa enquiries) will be addressed after admission.