EU flag2colorsThe Reconciliation Programme operated in Edgehill College for over 10 years, supported fully since its inception by European grants.

The programme was initiated through the vision of the former College Principal, the late Revd Dr Dennis Cooke. It was delivered and developed for 6 years by Mrs Olive Bell.  Dr Scott Boldt served as the Programme Manager from 2006 until the conclusion of the Programme in 2014.

In 2001, the Exploring Theology Together degree and certificate programme was established in partnership with Mater Dei Institute of Education, Dublin. Edgehill was the first College in Ireland to offer a theological course where both the student community and teaching staff come from Protestant and Catholic traditions.  In 2008 a new course, Exploring Theology, was initiated with Edgehill and Mater Dei Institute of Education joining in partnership with the Society of Missions to Africa (SMA).

In addition to Mater Dei and the SMAs, the Programme worked in partnership with Hydebank Young Offenders’ Prison, the Standing Northern Ireland Peace Process (SNIPP), the All-Ireland Churches’ Consultative Meeting on Racism (AICCMR) and EMBRACE NI.

The Programme aimed to facilitate and guide Christian Churches and Church leaders in Northern Ireland and the Border counties in their vocation of reconciliation and integration through education/training, practice and research. This aim was complemented by practical outreach initiatives with marginalised groups (i.e. young offenders, loyalists/republicans, minority ethnic communities).

Under the auspices of the Methodist Church in Ireland the Programme sought to educate and inspire Church leaders (clergy and laity) and those in training to respond to the challenges of difference and diversity by providing tools for reconciliation and integration through theological learning and reflection, personal engagement and practical experience.