Saint John the Evangelist Seminary

A Commitment of the Evangelical Catholic Church for Academic Formation

Est. 2006





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Saint John the Evangelist Seminary


ST 514: Ecumenism (3CH)
Course Syllabus


Instructor TBA


Course Description:

This course invites students to approach theology from an ecumenical perspective. It includes an overview of denominational traditions within the Christian Church and an introduction to interfaith dialogue. The course explores the work of the modern ecumenical movement to overcome divisions among and within churches and to make more visible the god-given unity of the church through dialogue, advocacy and action for the common good.

Course Objectives:
At the conclusion of this class, in your final paper you will demonstrate these abilities and skills in theological studies:

Exhibit your ability to use a consistent methodology in your theologizing process especially as you articulate your own theology of ecumenism.

Display your awareness of the effects of history and culture on theological development by presenting the historical development and theological underpinnings of your own jurisdiction's participation in ecumenism.

Demonstrate your competence in the understanding and expression of your own jurisdiction's understanding of ecumenism through research, written expression and discussion with other jurisdictions.

Increase your ability to read critically in the areas of ecumenism and to develop the habit of reflection to gain new insights.


Required Texts:

Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry. Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1982.

Campbell, Ted. Christian Confessions: A Historical Introduction. Louisville: Westminster John Knox.

Erickson, Victoria and Farrell, Susan, ed. Still Believing: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Women Affirm Their Faith. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2005.

Kinnamon, Michael. The Vision of the Ecumenical Movement and How It Has Been Impoverished by Its Friends. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2003


Important Internet Resources:



1. Introduction/Methodology

Focus Themes:
How did we get from "one" to "so many?"
Do these "provincial" churches have different theologies?
How do churches develop theologies?

Readings: Campbell - entire book.


Select a topic for your final paper and begin research.

Choose an "ecumenical effort" from within your own jurisdiction and do extensive research on its history, development and its current status. Expose its content and do an evaluative reflection on the entire enterprise.
Choose a major ecumenical "dialogue" and report on its history and its development, expose its content and do an evaluative reflection on the entire enterprise.
Do a final reflective synthesis incorporating these elements: What have I learned or am learning about ecumenism as a person and future minister from within my own jurisdiction; Why is an ecumenical consciousness important to the "Church" and to the quest for peace and justice within the world; what are my goals in relationship to ecumenism.


2. Theological Differences among the "Provincial Churches"

Readings: Kinnamon - entire book.

3. Historical Overview of the Christian Ecumenical Movement

Theology of Ecumenism
Principles of Ecumenism
Reception and Perception
World Council of Churches
Status of Ecumenical Dialogues
Eastern Churches
Anglican, Lutheran, Roman and Autocephaleous Catholic Churches
African American Churches
Evangelical and Pentecostal Churches

Readings: Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry - entire book

Write a five-page reflection on your experiences in another religious tradition.

4. What about Ecumenism?

Focus Themes:
Future of Ecumenism
Pastoral Issues - Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry

Readings: Erickson and Farrell - entire book.

Reflection Assignment Due

5. "Ecumenating"

Focus Theme:
Interfaith Dialogue

Assignment: PowerPoint Presentation on the status of current Interfaith dialogues.  Who's talking and who isn't.

6.  Making Ecumenism a Reality

Final Paper Due



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