Ecumenical Institute 2023-2024 Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Interreligous Studies

Bogis-Bossey, Vaud, Switzerland | Ecumenical Institute | Full-time









The Ecumenical Institute at Château de Bossey is the international centre for encounter, dialogue and formation of the World Council of Churches. Founded in 1946, the Institute brings together people from diverse churches, cultures and backgrounds for ecumenical learning, academic study and personal exchange. It focuses on education and formation of young emerging ecumenical leaders. The Institute is attached to the University of Geneva.

Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Interreligious Studies/le Certificat de formation continue en études interreligieuses is a course of a three-week distance learning component and a three-week intensive residential period of study, research and community life, during summer months of June-August and results in 10 ECTS credits (ECTS-European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, established 1988 by the European Commission). 1 ECTS credit equates to 25-30 hours of student work.

The course trains present and future interreligious dialogue actors towards the required skills to:

  • study the issues at stake in interreligious dialogue and engagement through an interdisciplinary approach linking theory and practice and with a focus on a chosen theme
  • understand the nature of the interreligious dialogue and engagement as well as its place in a local, national and international society
  • strengthen knowledge on the three Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism
  • understand the past, present and future challenges of interreligious dialogue and engagement
  • find constructive solutions linking theory to practice
  • learn to encounter each other in mutual respect and to challenge stereotypes
  • discover how religions respond to modern challenges

In summer 2024 the theme of the course is People and Faith on the Move – Migration in Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The distance learning component takes place 8-26 July 2024. The residential period takes place at the Ecumenical Institute in Bogis-Bossey, Switzerland 27 July – 17 August 2024, with arrival dates 27-28 July 2024 and departure dates 16-17 August 2024. The residential period includes lectures, courses, workshops and study visits to places of interreligious interest.

The taught courses are conducted by professors of the Ecumenical Institute and experts of the World Council of Churches, in collaboration with the Autonomous Faculty of Protestant Theology of the University of Geneva, and Jewish and Muslim partners. The tuition language is English.

Study plan of CAS-IS course can be found here



The following guidelines ensure that your application is received in the best possible manner.

The Ecumenical Institute uses multiple criteria when selecting students for admission including:

  • grade average during applicant’s upper secondary and post-secondary studies;
  • accreditation by the University of Geneva of the applicant’s upper secondary and post-secondary studies;
  • affinity between the applicant’s motivation/plans and the interreligious teaching and research carried out at the Ecumenical Institute;
  • clear intention of the applicant’s church to make the best possible use of his/her ecumenical studies and experience in the future;
  • aim to create annually a balanced student body, especially in terms of geographic context, church tradition and gender.
  • applicants are to be between 20 and 35 years when the course takes place

The CAS-IS course fee is CHF 3’300.00. This amount includes:

  • Tuition
  • Health and accident insurance
  • Study visits
  • Full board & lodging in shared accommodation during the residential phase

The course fee does not include

  • return travel expenses to and from the Ecumenical Institute, located in Bogis-Bossey, Switzerland
  • any personal travel related expenses: passport, visas(s), vaccination(s), any Covid-19 pandemic related tests/medical certificates/other required processes in order to travel, travel insurance, etc.
  • board and lodging expenses en route/at the Ecumenical Institute before and after the official course dates

The Ecumenical Institute is sensitive to particular food requirements of different faith traditions and facilitates these as much as possible within reasonable limits, for those students who demonstrate a need in writing at the time of the admission.

Limited funds are available to cover part of the course fee for applicants who demonstrate financial need. All scholarship awards are decided at the same time as course admissions.

Partial scholarship award to assist with course costs at the Ecumenical Institute are awarded according to the following criteria:

  • Scholarship award is considered to an applicant who demonstrates financial need.
  • Priority is given to candidates seeking for a scholarship from the Ecumenical Institute for the first time.
  • Priority is given to academically promising candidates.
  • Scholarship award is always partial, each applicant needs to make a minimum pledge (i.e. a promise to give money) of CHF 100.00 as a financial contribution towards the study course fees

The tuition language at the Ecumenical Institute is English. You are asked to self-assess in the on-line application form your English language skills using as reference the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) language proficiency descriptors:

  • Basic user (A1-beginner/A2-elementary)
  • Independent user (B1-intermediate/B2-upper intermediate)
  • Proficient user (C1-advanced/C2-proficiency)

Your personal statement gives further indication to assess your English language skills.

You may access the on-line application form only once; consequently collect all the documents in .pdf format before beginning the process and name them as follows: FAMILYNAME_Firstname_NameOfTheDocument.pdf,
example: PARK_Song Hoon_UpperSecondarySchoolCertificate.pdf

In case you become admitted, the original documents must always be presented to confirm the enrolment at the beginning of the course for enrolment to the University of Geneva.

The closing date for applications is 15 March 2024 for the summer of the academic year 2023-2024. Please apply well in advance before the closing date. At the end of April 2023 all applicants are informed in writing about the admission/non-admission decision. The Ecumenical Institute does not respond to telephone and/or electronic enquiries about admission decisions.

The on-line application form requires uploading electronically scanned documents listed below. The academic documents are accepted in one of the following languages: English OR French OR German OR Italian OR Spanish. Documents in any other languages must be translated by an officially registered translator into English. 


 Documents to be uploaded:

  1. One (1) passport-size photograph in digital form;
  2. A copy of the upper secondary school certificate and transcript of records;
  3. A copy of a university Bachelor’s or Master’s degree certificate and a transcript of academic records;
  4. Copies of certificate(s) and transcript(s) of academic records demonstrating at least three (3) years of post-upper secondary school studies and professional experience in case absence of bachelor’s or master’s degree;
  5. A personal statement of min. 500 words in English exposing the following:  
    • your interreligious motivation and plans, experience in local, regional or global interreligious context and how studying at the Ecumenical Institute relates to these
    • indication of your English language proficiency level;
  6. A curriculum vitae (CV) listing your academic, professional and interreligious experience in English;
  7. A  recommendation letter from an academic institution, a religious leader or a religious community, which confirms your interest and skills in interfaith dialogue and cooperation and indicates how your studies and experience at the Ecumenical Institute will be given the best possible use in the future in the future in English OR French OR German OR Spanish;
  8. A financial plan including all expenses and income in relation to the course costs in case you become admitted. If you have funds pledged by a third party, please, attach supporting document(s).