Rev. Prof. Dr. Meehyun Chung, Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea

Rev. Prof. Dr. Meehyun Chung is the moderator of the WCC's Commission on Education and Ecumenical Formation.


The meeting, which will run through 28 June, is a time to plan and envision the commissions work for the next eight years, while learning from the past. An opening service was held in the universitys historic Luce Chapel. 

The meetings setting of Yonsei University marks a meaningful ecumenical history and journey, as the university was created through a spirit of ecumenism during a period when higher education was almost impossible.

Over a century ago, Horace G. Underwood of the US North Presbyterian Church laid the groundwork for Yonsei University in cooperation with Methodist missionary Henry G. Appenzeller. 

Oliver Evison, a medical education missionary in Korea, also contributed significantly to the university's early history, emphasizing cooperation and unity. 

As Yonsei University leaders welcomed the commission, they underscored the universitys commitment to honoring the dedication of these visionaries.

The provost of Yonsei University, Dr Young-Jong Sohn

The provost of Yonsei University, Prof. Dr Young-Jong Sohn.


Words of welcome, work ahead

Rev. Dr Meehyun Chung, from the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, is the moderator of the WCC Commission on Education and Ecumenical Formation—and also a faculty member of Yonsei University and the dean of the Chaplaincy.

I sincerely hope that the commissioners of the newly formed Education and Ecumenical Formation Commission will have time to try new approaches and resolve through this week's discussions for more constructive solutions, and to strengthen mutual ties,” said Chung. 

The provost of Yonsei University, Prof. Dr Young-Jong Sohn, expressed what an honor it is to host the commission. The WCC played a pivotal role in establishing the united Graduate School of Theology at Yonsei university in 1964, educating numerous church and theological leaders who have made significant global contributions,” said Sohn. I am also thankful for the WCC's facilitation of meetings between leaders from North and South Korea since the 1980s, fostering dialogue during times of tension.”

Rev. Dr Kuzipa Nalwamba, WCC programme director for Unity, Mission, and Ecumenical Formation, explored the question of how the commission will rediscover and build on its historical legacy and its grounding in church life.

The commission has the opportunity to animate all Christians through the ecumenical spirit for mission and tasks in the world and in society,” she said. Commissioners gathered here will develop priorities and methodologies for formation, and foster networking, exchange, and collaboration among ecumenical institutions and experts in the area of ecumenical formation.”

Rev. Dr Benjamin Simon, director of the WCC Commission on Education and Ecumenical Formation and dean of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, shared the pivotal role of the commissioners. 

It is through education that we equip individuals to critically engage with their faith, understand diverse perspectives, and build bridges across denominational and cultural divides,” he said. Your work as commissioners is foundational in this endeavour, providing the resources, frameworks, and inspiration necessary for effective teaching and learning within our churches.”

The dean of the Graduate School of Yonsei University, Hyun-Cheol Kim, was among the university leaders to welcome the commissioners. 

A community must be built on a foundation of faith,” he said.

During the meeting, commissioners will establish and reflect on the vision of the commission; reflect on the commissions name; and plan and implement two working groups.

The first day ended with a dinner reception offered by the National Council of Churches in Korea.

The commission will also be immersed in Korean spirituality, experiencing the life and witness of the churches in Republic of Korea; and explore the Yonsei University of Seoul.

Photo gallery

WCC Commission on Education and Ecumenical Formation to convene in Korea (WCC news release, 20 June 2024)

EEF Commission group photo

WCC's EEF Commission group photo after the opening prayer at Luce chapel, on 25 June, with the presence of the provost of Yonsei University Young-Jong Sohn, and the Dean of the Graduate School of Yonsei University Hyun-Cheol Kim.