The Irish School of Ecumenics celebrated its ‘Education for Reconciliation’ programme with a public event on Wednesday 13 June 2012 at Stranmillis College in Belfast. The adult/continuing education programme, which ran for 16 years and catered for 1800 students in 22 different locations in Northern Ireland and the border counties, ended in 2012. The celebatory event was incorporated into the annual CONNECT conference for church fora throughout Northern Ireland. The church fora have received much input from the Education for Reconciliation programme over the years.
Rev Dr Johnston McMaster and Dr Cathy Higgins, who both lectured on the programme, will continue working with the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, as Adjunct Assistant Professors.
The day featured talks by McMaster and Higgins, the sharing of experiences of the EFR programme by people from various communities: Sean McIlroy, Rev Brenda Weatherill, Ugur Tok, Gordon Gray, and Alistair Kilgore; and responses from Prof. Duncan Morrow (Politics, University of Ulster, and the former head of the Community Relations Council) and Salters Sterling (chair of the Irish School of Ecumenics Trust). It closed with a short service of Thanksgiving.
The event also marked the launch of a new publication by McMaster and Higgins, ‘Doing Community Theology: Reflection on Education for Reconciliation.’