Keresztény Ökumenikus Diákegyesület (KÖD)

H-1117 Budapest, Magyar Tudósok krt. 3.
Telephone: +36 1 205 3136

The Magyar Ecumenical Student Christian Movement

The Magyar SCM was one of the first SCMs worldwide, established in 1904, and accepted into full membership in WSCF in 1924 in High Leigh. During the democratic transformation in Hungary (1989-1990), the Evangelical-Lutheran, Calvinist-Reformed, and Roman Catholic University Chaplaincies in Budapest were established around the same time, though independently. In a short time, recognising the common foundation of their faith, they took the initial steps towards common programmes.

In 1995, after forty years of being banned, the most important achievement was bringing to life again the Magyar Ecumenical Student Christian Movement. KÖD was accepted again into full membership in WSCF at the Yamassoukro General Assembly (GA) in 1995, and it has close connections with the Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe (EYCE) as well. Since that time KÖD has been working on the visible unity of the Church and is engaged in interreligious dialogue among students.

Our SCM is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation (NGO), which aims to gather students from different Christian denominations to explore contemporary questions of Church and society. Our mission--in accordance with the goals of the WSCF--is to empower students in critical thinking and constructive transformation of our world by being a space for: prayer and celebration; theological reflection; study and analysis of social and cultural processes; and solidarity and action across boundaries of culture, gender and ethnicity.

Our Activities and Programmes

Budapest Ecumenical Conversations (BÖBE): Since its initiation in February 2003, there has been a great interest around this programme. Our aim is to create a forum for young Christian intellectuals to discuss and debate the most important ecumenical and interreligious questions and challenges of our times. BÖBE takes place monthly during the academic year in the Ecumenical Centre (LÖK) in Budapest. For each occasion there are three invited guests from different denominations dealing with a given topic. Among the guests there were young pastors and priests, doctoral students, theologians, professors and even bishops. The first hour is usually dedicated to answering the questions of the moderator and having a dialogue among the speakers, and in the second hour the floor is open for the audience to pose their questions and comments. BÖBE ends up in an agape meal.

Beyond Borders: Community Visits and Weekend Seminars: This series is the most traditional event of our SCM. The one-day-long community and worship visits and the thematic weekend seminars on current ecumenical and interreligious topics, both twice a year, are meetings for getting to know each other, understanding and becoming attached to our sisters and brothers, who are searching for and turning towards God.

Team Building: Besides these events, we find equally important the relationships among board members of the SCM. Therefore, we organize teambuilding weekends regularly, where we deepen in ecumenical formation (history and methods) as well.

Subregional and International Co-operation: As a founding member of the WSCF Central European Subregion (CESR, 2001), we take part twice a year in her seminars. Our board members are engaged in the CESR Board and the preparatory committees as well. In co-operation with the Békés Gellért Ecumenical Institute (BGÖI, Pannonhalma), we take part in the editing and publishing of the CESR Ecumenical Anthologies. Magyar delegates regularly participate in WSCF and EYCE events and projects.

Other Activities

  • Carnival: an excellent occasion for introducing and presenting our SCM;
  • Christian University Days (KEN): various programmes for Christian and non-Christian students, organized in different places in the universities of Budapest;
  • Meetings with our partner organisations: Ecumenical Youth Office (ÖKI), Magyar Ecumenical Fellowship (KÖT), Békés Gellért Ecumenical Institute (BGÖI);
  • The Birthday Party of KÖD;
  • Preparations for organizing and taking part in the process of the Third European Ecumenical Assembly (EEA3) on national and regional levels;
  • Beside our own programmes, KÖD takes part in several youth events in Hungary (e.g. the Orthodox Cultural Days or the Christian Youth Conference).

All these national and international programmes are advertised and reported in various Magyar journals by our SCM members.

The Structure and Staff of Our SCM

KÖD is one of the few Student Christian Movements (SCMs) in Europe that is truly organised in a balanced and fully ecumenical way. All three main historical denominations in Hungary, as well as other denominations, participate in the movement.

The General Assembly (GA) of KÖD gathers annually for setting our fundamental rules, making a report and electing the board members, the general secretary and the chairperson(s). (In the current Board there are thirteen Baptist, Evangelical-Lutheran, Calvinist-Reformed and Roman Catholic students.)

Beside several informal programmes and meetings, there are regularly two board meetings a month in our office in the Ecumenical Center (LÖK) in Budapest. The board of KÖD decides on the formal programme and works on fundraising.

In favour of making the rules of delegation, preparation and reporting clear and transparent, there is a policy paper on international participation. According to this, a rotating committee decides on the recommendation and support for applicants.

Common Witness

By showing the experience of being one, our SCM aims to be a school for common thinking, dialogue and cooperation of Christians. Through bringing forth this committed community of ecumenical dialogue and reconciliation, social justice and peace, we are looking for intelligible and prophetic answers to our common questions in and for the world. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, this vision and prophetic witness in the Church and society is nurtured by a radical hope for God's Reign in history.