Meeting people in the Consortium network is a lesson in how “relational ecumenism” works, and it is a true joy. As I meet institution heads and board members, I am often asked “what is your vision of the Consortium?” I usually share something like this:
There are two views of the Consortium’s mission: one as a service organization to enhance ecumenical teaching and learning of the theological schools; the other as an advocate for a wider vision of ecumenism for the churches and the public. Organizationally, the heads and deans of theological schools are guardians of the first vision, and the consortium board is the guardian of the second. MY VISION is to find where the two understandings overlap, and to enhance the “sweet spots” between them. I am convinced that the public vision can inspire and help shape theological teaching and learning, and the needs of seminarians, faculty, and religious leaders can keep the former grounded and focused.
If this view is on target (and I welcome comments…), it makes the WTC a unique setting within which ecumenism for today can be reshaped and redefined.