President Carter Attends World Council of Churches Meeting in Switzerland

President Jeff Carter participated in discussions regarding international peacemaking and the witness of the church during a meeting of the World Council of Churches Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (WCC CCIA) March 5-8, 2024. Carter, who represents the Church of the Brethren denomination, is in his second term of service to the CCIA. The event was a Joint Meeting of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), the Commission on Health and Healing (CHH), and the Commission on Climate Justice and Sustainable Development (CCJSD) of the World Council of Churches, and was convened  in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. 

“Because of the Brethren’s history and witness as a Historic Peace Church, the denomination has a place at the table during conversations regarding international conflict and peacemaking” says Carter. “Even though the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Seminary are small, we have a prominent voice among these faith leaders and their communities.”

Carter notes that the scholarship and advocacy of retired professors Dr. Scott Holland and Dr. Don Miller helped draw attention to the unique perspective of the Church of the Brethren, particularly in relation to the concept of Just Peace. Both Holland and Miller were active in the World Council of Churches during their careers.

“It is humbling to be a part of these conversations with faith leaders from around the world, particularly those who come from countries that are experiencing wars, refugee crises, and famine,” notes Carter. “Our faculty have a long history of taking part in these important conversations, and I am honored to continue that vitally important engagement.”

Attending WCC gatherings is also an opportunity for Carter to foster relationships with friends and colleagues from other countries. At the Switzerland meeting, he was able to continue conversations focused on student support and Bethany internships with partners in Nigeria.

“Building relationships with brothers and sisters around the world is an important part of the Seminary’s mission,” says Carter. “We have much to learn from other global Christian traditions, and we also have an important perspective to share — particularly as it relates to peacemaking.”

The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of 352 Christian churches from 120 countries. The body represents more than 580 million Christians worldwide.