Involving young people
What is the Young Theologians in Communion reference group?
The Communion of Protestant Churches in Europe involves young people in its work. Besides special collaborative events, in summer 2020 the Council of the CPCE launched a programme called Young Theologians in Communion, appointing a number of young theologians aged between 21 and 35 years from 15 churches to a reference group.
This new line of approach supports the CPCE’s aim of involving young people in the collaborative thematic work conducted by the Church Communion. In online conferences, the young theologians kicked off their collaborative work by familiarising themselves with the CPCE and learning about its history, the cornerstone texts, and a number of its member churches. During group video conferences, they presented their own churches to the others, thus revealing the major differences within European Protestantism.
After one year of online meetings, we were very glad that a study conference could take place in Rome (September 2021), including presentations of the CPCE’s current work (doctrinal conversations, topics, activities) to the group. The members participate in different fields of work, giving them a chance to comment critically in their role as a reference group. This ensures that the voice of the young generation is heard in different processes, e.g. during the early stages of draft resolutions that will be presented to the CPCE’s committees.
These young people are all volunteers in this endeavour that will enable them to experience the diversity of European Protestantism and simultaneously establish an important link between the CPCE and their respective churches.
In addition to this programme, the CPCE is collaborating on theological training with the Centro Melantone in Rome and the Centre for Eastern Protestant Theology (ZETO) in Sibiu, with the aim of encouraging Protestant theological studies in predominantly Catholic and Orthodox environments.