World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

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The WCC's organizational structure

To help the churches to fulfill together their common calling, the WCC must have an effective organizational structure.
The WCC's organizational structure

The Ecumenical Center in Geneva, Switzerland, where the WCC has its seat.

The essence of the World Council of Churches is the growing fellowship of its member churches on the way to full communion in faith, life and witness. This fellowship takes organized form in order to enable it to be an instrument for the pilgrimage towards unity.

To serve the ecumenical movement the Council must be able to respond to new challenges brought by changing times, growing discernment of the ecumenical calling and new ecumenical partners.

The structure of the Council should reflect its identity as a fellowship of churches. It should do justice to the plurality of cultures and theological and spiritual traditions represented in its member churches.

The WCC should work in an integrated way on the full range of the common calling which the churches acknowledge. And it should make evident how all of its work is rooted in the hope that God's purposes will not fail.

The Council has a unique identity as the most comprehensive and representative body among the many organized expressions of the ecumenical movement. This equips it to undertake certain specific elements of the ecumenical vocation:

  • •animating and coordinating efforts for the coherence of the ecumenical movement;
  • serving as a mediator among parties in conflict and as an advocate for groups who are unable to speak for themselves;
  • •being a seed-bed of ideas and a source of analysis, drawing on the rich experiences of its member churches;
  • •demonstrating the interconnections between the local and the global;
  • •speaking a prophetic word from the global perspective to address urgent issues of the day.