Global Institute of Theology comes to McCormick

06-01-2010 by

Geoff Ashmun

McCormick Theological Seminary and Calvin College are co-hosting a major, month-long Global Institute of Theology (GIT) event dedicated to the formation of Reformed theologians working from a global, ecumenical perspective.

Organized by the Office for Theology and Ecumenical Engagement of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC), GIT takes place June 4-18 at McCormick’s campus in the South Side Chicago community of Hyde Park and moves to Calvin College’s campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 19-26. Dr. Luis Rivera-Rodriguez, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs at McCormick, is the seminary’s representative on the GIT’s international coordination team in charge of curriculum, administration, and financial arrangements. Recent graduate Honna Eichler (M.Div., Class of 2010) is the Chicago Logistics Coordinator for the event.

Seventy students, 60 percent of whom will come from the Global South, were selected on the basis of academic achievement and ecumenical interest and include McCormick’s Megan Cochran, Alex Wirth, Sarah Ross, and Arianne Lehn. In addition to several electives, participants will take one core course, “Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace,” taught by Anna Case-Winters, Professor of Theology at McCormick, Professor Douwe Visser, and Professor Benebo Fubara-Manuel. Case-Winters is Co-Chair of the International Commission for Reformed Relations and is a WARC delegate to the Lutheran World Federation Assembly meeting this July in Stuttgart, Germany.

“Events such as the Global Institute are so important to the cause of Christian unity and to the ecumenical formation of a new generation of Church leaders,” Case-Winters said. “It’s a unique opportunity for students and faculty from far and wide to create for themselves an inter-confessional, intercultural, and inter-religious setting in which to explore contemporary issues in fresh, new ways.”

Appropriately, the event concludes in Grand Rapids with the historic merger of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC) to form a new body, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, during the Uniting General Council.

“This is one more step toward visible unity within the Reformed family and in the wider Church,” Case-Winters said, “and that is always an occasion worth celebrating.”