Global Institute of Theology (2010)

John Calvin
John Calvin

I have been selected to attend the second Global Institute of Theology (GIT) in June 2010. I will be representing the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ).

“The GIT will be a place of exposure to the local context and of reflection through a series of courses. It is also a great opportunity to build up an ecumenical leadership for the future,” said Douwe Visser, executive secretary for Theology and Ecumenical Engagement for the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC).

GIT is organized by the Office for Theology and Ecumenical Engagement of the WARC. This will most likley be the last thing they do as they are forming a new body, combining with the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC) to form a new body called the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC). This will represent more than 80 million Reformed Christians worldwide. I will be at the Uniting General Council to witness the merger.

The GIT will be held in Chicago and Grand Rapids in June 2010. The academic partners will be McCormick Seminary in Chicago and Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids. I will be the only Kiwi going and only one of two from the South Pacific. I’m also one of two from Scotland. In total 70 students from member churches will be there with more than half from the “Global South”.

The GIT will be run by an international faculty of renowned academic theologians. The core course will on the theme of the Uniting General Council: “Unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”. And there will be the following four elective courses:

  • Intercultural Theology
  • New Directions in Mission for the 21st century
  • Reading the Bible in Context
  • Theology and Mission of the Church in the Americas

This fantastic opportunity doesn’t come cheap, however. I have no funding for this event, except for a slight discount from the organisers. The PCANZ hadn’t budgeted for this and neither did I. So, if you know of any people or organisations that wish to support young theologians, Reformed theology, and ecumenism, then let me know.

Readers can of course support me for this, and my studies in general, in the usual ways listed here:

If you are wondering who I am, or have forgotten, I’m doing a PhD in political theology at the University of Edinburgh. I’m a PCANZ-supported scholar, with funding primarily from the Council of World Mission and PCANZ. I’m also an Elder of the PCANZ, and a member of St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington. When in Edinburgh I attend Greyfriars Kirk.

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