The European Institute of Christian Studies
“The essential objective of any kind of Christian formation is to know God better to love him more truly, and to become more faithful disciples and effective witnesses of Christ in every area of our lives so that we may be progressively transformed by the Holy Spirit, into Christ’s image.”
Statement of the EICS Board
The European Institute of Christian Studies (EICS) is the body responsible for the formation needs of Convocation leaders. EICS supports the study, prayer and formation that all Christians require for spiritual growth. These three areas help to build one’s knowledge of the faith to enable each of us to become more effective ministers in whatever work God calls us to do.
EICS board members are lay and clergy from around the Convocation. Members are appointed to the board by the Bishop, who is himself also a member. EICS board members typically serve on the committee for several years.
EICS has developed a number of educational and training programs. The challenge for EICS at its inception (2000), and today, is how to effectively support the formation needs of people geographically dispersed across 6 countries, when many do not even share the same mother tongue, culture, or haven't any previous experience or formation in the Anglican tradition! Some notable EICS-developed programs include:
- A model for ordinand education and training that serve some of the unique needs of Convocation ordinands. The EICS coordinates closely with the Commission on the Ministry of the Baptized (COMB) to support those going through the ordination process, and certifies that each ordinand has met the required standards.
- Transformed by Stories is the Convocation's own lay formation program, developed by a team of Convocation lay and clergy. TBS invites people to explore dimensions of their own Christian journey. Using storytelling as a method of Christian discovery, EICS helps adult participants to learn to find themselves in the stories of the Bible, to become better 'Chrisitan listeners', and to develop a stronger context and identity as a member of a community of faith.
- The Academy of Parish Leadership is a rolling program of five training events in support of lay leaders based in Convocation parishes and missions. The APL offers training for these leaders in areas of stewardship, church finance and governance, for those entrusted to participate in planning and teaching of Christian formation programs. One program is offered each year. Shared leadership is a call from God; the experience and input of lay leaders of the Convocation is vital to helping us to make good decisions in our work together. (See APL page)
Licensed Lay Ministry
All baptized persons are called to be ministers, according to their different gifts. This ministry can be exercised in a variety of different ways among the laity and the ordained.
DO YOU FEEL CALLED TO SERVE GOD AND THE CHURCH? Read about licensed lay ministry in The Episcopal Church.