For women and men who are not ordained and hold a leadership position in their Lutheran churches, the combination of theological training with a visit to Lutherstadt Wittenberg is a unique opportunity. Once a year, a seminar of several days is held for laypersons in leadership positions in member churches of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
The meeting usually consists of a stay in Lutherstadt Wittenberg and a visit to the LWF Communion Office in Geneva.
In Geneva, participants get to know the fields of work of the LWF and staff in the Communion Office.
In Wittenberg, the program consists of thematic work led by a team of teachers, intensive exchange among participants from the different regions of the LWF, and visits to sites of the Reformation. In addition, meeting Christians in Wittenberg serves as an opportunity to get to know one another and the work of laypersons in the church.
Participants lead the daily devotions, presenting their respective traditions and forms of piety. Joint celebrations and enjoyable get-togethers in the evenings also mirror the diversity of cultures. The intensive exchange allows bonds to grow among the participants that continue long after the conference and makes the communion in the LWF an experience for life.
The seminars are held in English.
An invitation to each seminar is sent to the church leadership of the member churches of the LWF. They approach qualified applicants in their church.
Also, persons interested in attending a seminar may contact their church leaders, who can then nominate them.
The LWF Center Wittenberg selects the participants in consultation with the LWF Communion Office in Geneva from the applications received. Criteria such as regional affiliation, a balanced ratio of men and women, age distribution, etc., play an essential role. Nominees who are not selected for a seminar can reapply for the next seminar.
Good proficiency in English is required for participation in the seminar.
“It was indeed a privilege to participate in the seminar. I learned about the programs and experiences of other countries and churches and realized that despite our different cultures, we are indeed one big family. I leave enriched and hope to be a better leader in my church for the glory of God.”
Rebecca Ackwonu, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana
Wittenberg, June 2019. Photo: LWF Center Wittenberg