The World Student Christian Federation
Put students' faith into action to contribute to the renewal of the ecumenical movement;to promote justice and peace in the world.
The WSCF was established in 1895 at Vadstena Castle, Sweden, by students and student leaders from ten North American and European countries. Key founders included John R. Mott, USA and Karl Fries, Sweden. There is a close historical connection between the WSCF and the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Christian Associations. Mott, for example, was leader of the YMCA, and with the help of YMCA colleagues he developed the vision and strategies for forming an international federation of autonomous and self-directing ecumenical student movements. Much of the subsequent work of establishing and linking SCMs was done with the assistance of YMCAs and YMCAs. During and after the world wars, the WSCF played a key role in refugee work in Europe and strove to keep communication and solidarity links open between Christians divided by nationalism and war. After the first world war, the WSCF established European Student Relief. For four years, students of 42 nations provided over £500,000 for the relief of starving students in 19 countries. At that time close working relationships developed with Pax Romana, the student organization of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1926 European Student Relief became an autonomous body, International Student Service, later to be called World University Service, which continues to this day. During the second world war, women leaders of the WSCF and YWCA played a major role in creating CIMADE, which worked with refugees. Until the late 1960s, the international staff of the WSCF were based in Geneva. A major structural change in 1972 decentralized the WSCF into six regions: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and North America. The Geneva headquarters became the inter-regional office. Programmatic and decision-making work shifted to the regions, reflecting the new mood of self-determination in third-world countries and the search for contextualization in theology and politics. The WSCF continues to examine critically its structures, both politically and administratively, especially as its constituency is now looking for ways to strengthen programme and solidarity links that go beyond the regional boundaries.In the 1960s and 1970s, WSCF movements, especially in North America and Europe, were closely involved with the radical political movements. Their political solidarity and their critique of education convinced them that them mission filed was no longer in educational institutions but on the streets and in the villages. The theme of the WSCF in the 1970s – Christian Witness in the Struggle for Liberation – sums up the political commitment of the WSCF at the same time it moved to a regional structure. In the late 20th century the WSCF lives in a much more complex environment in the educational institutions, and this poses a new challenge to its missionary and ecumenical task. Its member movements have been consolidating their presence in educational institutions again, giving specific attention to conveying the unique ecumenical character of their work and life.
- Peace-building and dialogue
This Global Program aims to mobilize the Federation on issues pertaining to overcoming violence and peace-making with a focus to the situations in the Middle East and Colombia. WSCF is committed to supporting youth movements in the Middle East to continue being a witness for peace in the region. Furthermore, this peacebuilding and dialogue programme brings young people together, often from different faiths, to share and learn about the root causes of conflict and find new ways to build peace. Students and young people from different faiths get an opportunity to come together to witness, learn about and tackle the root causes of violence and conflict in the Middle East
- Interfaith dialogue
Global interfaith Program aims to engage the Federation to create and provide and interfaith platform for youth and students. WSCF dialogues and engages with young people from other faiths working together on environmental issues, migration and refugees issues. WSCF believes that the core values of all religious faith is founded on love, peace, justice and harmony. This interfaith and inter-religious programmes bring young people together to share, listen and learn from one another to break the walls of indifference, apathy and intolerance
- Environment-related activities
Federation runs Eco-Justice programs, where students - leaders trained to advocate for marginalized people and campaign for eco-justice and local Student Christian Movements working together to campaign for climate justice and protect natural resources.
Main Focus Countries of Activities
World - World - World