“To be Lutheran is to be ecumenical." This is how the Lutheran World Federation formulates this prominent self-commitment of Lutheran identity. In contrast, ecumenical theology is rarely taught at universities or theological training centers to the degree that it is needed.
Therefore, the Ecumenical Institute offers an "Ecumenical Study Course" at regular intervals. The target group is Lutheran theologians, usually pastors or advanced students with a good knowledge of Lutheran theology. Endorsement by one’s church is a prerequisite for participation.
The study course introduces the basic questions of ecumenism on the one hand, and the theory and practice of the dialogues on the other, by means of texts and the results of dialogues significant in recent ecumenical history -- in most of which the Institute has been involved -- and reflects on them against the background of Lutheran theology and the experiences of the participants.
The exchange about one's own ecumenical experiences and the situation in one’s home churche is an important part of the study course, which thus contributes not only to the theological work but also to the interconnectedness of the worldwide communion of the LWF.