Centre for Ecumenical Studies
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of the Centre for Ecumenical Studies (CES) is set out in the following statement of aims and objectives:
To enhance the ecumenical life of the churches
To provide a focal point for teaching, study and research in the diverse aspects of ecumenism
To promote the development of a theology of Communion and Reconciliation, especially in the context of Australia, the Pacific and Asia
To impart the ecumenical vision, especially to potential leaders within the Church
To liaise with similar bodies nationally and internationally
- To develop a programme of education in ecumenism designed specifically for ordained and lay people in leadership in the Christian Church, especially for those in local parish communities
- To build on the ecumenical context for the teaching of theology by providing a focus for the intentional exploration and study of the major questions and insights of the ecumenical movement, thereby cultivating a creative inter-relationship between the study of ecumenics and other theological disciplines
- To explore the nature of reconciliation within the wholeness of the ecumenical vision, with a specific focus on its meaning and implications for the churches and relationships with the wider Australian community
The Centre for Ecumenical Studies was established in August 1997 when the Melbourne College of Divinity (MCD) accepted a submission regarding the formation of such a centre and agreed to the affiliation of the Centre with the MCD. It was the MCD's first affiliated Centre for specialist studies.
The submission to the MCD had its origins in the experience of a visit to the Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE) and a conversation with the Reverend Dr Robin Boyd, a former Director of the ISE.
After its establishment, the CES began regularly to offer courses and units for academic credit within the MCD, and by arrangements with other theological consortia throughout Australia.
However, in 2005 the MCD adopted a new constitution which excluded its several centres, and the CES thus became an independent body with the same Board and a similar constitution.
After negotiation with Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture in Canberra (ACC&C), the CES is now established within these institutions , celebrating the inauguration of the new relationship in Canberra on 9 September 2009, in the presence of representatives of the University, the ACC&C and leaders of the churches.