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The Ecumenical Institute

20th Century Church Renewal

Foundational Beginnings

After World War II both the Second General Assembly of the World Council of Churches and Vatican Council II began to review the critical issues then facing the Christian Church. At the 1954 meeting of the World Council of Churches in Evanston, Illinois, a resolution was made to begin a centre for the training of laymen in North America, taking as an example the existing Ecumenical Institute of Bossey, Switzerland. In 1956 Christian businessmen in Chicago founded the Evanston Institute of Ecumenical Studies and invited Dr. Walter Leibrecht to come from Germany to be the director.The EI had three emphases: rethinking the mission of the Church, lay movement involvement, and the movement of ecumencity.  Dr. Walter Leibrecht was the first director from 19xx until his resignation in 1962?

Story Telling Time!

Participating in a worldwide spirit movement

The Bold Community

In 1965 CBS News sent a film crew to the EI campus to film a 30-minute program for ‘Look Up and Live’, their Sunday morning religious program. This show never aired. Nevertheless, Len Dresslar acquired a 16 mm B&W print that made it into the Order Archives. CBS News never heard of this program so they have no copyright interest in it. The film is available on YouTube – titled “The Bold Community” – and includes the 5th City appearance of Mayor Daley.