World Communion of Reformed Churches

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World Communion of Reformed Churches
World Communion of Reformed Churches logo.jpg
PresidentNajla Kassab
Collegial General SecretariatHanns Lessing, Muna Nassar, Philip Vinod Peacock, Phil Tanis
Origin2010; 13 years ago (2010)
Members80 million
Official Edit this at Wikidata

The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) is the largest association of Calvinist churches in the world. It has 230 member denominations in 108 countries, together claiming an estimated 80 million people,[1] thus being the fourth-largest Christian communion in the world after the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion.[2] This ecumenical Christian body was formed in June 2010 by the union of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC).[3]

Among the biggest denominations in the WCRC are the Church of South India, Presbyterian Church of East Africa, Presbyterian Church of Korea, Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar, Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, Protestant Church in Indonesia, Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Church of Cameroon, Borneo Evangelical (SIB Malaysia) and the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. Its member denominations on the whole could be considered more liberal than the member denominations of the International Conference of Reformed Churches or the World Reformed Fellowship, which are also large ecumenical Calvinist organizations.


The WCRC traces its origins to 1875, with several unifying Reformed organizations emerging in London, England.

After a two-day meeting ending on 1 February 2006, Douwe Visser, president of the Reformed Ecumenical Council, and Clifton Kirkpatrick, president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, said in a joint letter to their constituencies, "We rejoice in the work of the Holy Spirit which we believe has led us to recommend that the time has come to bring together the work of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Ecumenical Council into one body that will strengthen the unity and witness of Calvinist Christians."

After first calling the potential body "World Reformed Communion", this was modified into "World Communion of Reformed Churches".

A Uniting General Council of the WCRC, bringing the organization into existence, took place from 18–26 June 2010 at Calvin College, located at Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States. The council focused on the "Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace" mentioned in Ephesians as its main theme, setting a tone of true mutual understanding and acceptance amongst member churches and associates, laying aside differences and other issues as they embark on this shared journey with one another as each seeks to discern the will of God and continue their struggle for justice and peace in the world. The World Communion of Reformed Churches has not taken a position on the issue of homosexuality but includes denominations that affirm same sex marriage.[4]


The 2010 Uniting General Council stated that the WCRC should be "called to communion and committed to justice." Its two main program offices are thus focused on these aspects, with theological work included with communion. The Theology and Communion office serves as coordinator for official dialogues with other religious organizations, organizes a bi-annual Global Institute of Theology, and brings Calvinist theological scholars together for various discussions. The Justice office promotes economic, ecological and human rights, basing much of its work on the Accra Confession, a statement adopted at the 2004 General Council of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and re-endorsed at the 2010 Uniting General Council.

The WCRC also has a General Secretariat which includes the general secretary's office, the communications office and other organizational responsibilities. Through the General Secretariat, the WCRC is able to promote dialogue between churches, advocate for causes on a global scale and support the activities of its member churches through various means.

The global headquarters of the WCRC are located in Hanover, Germany, with a North American non-profit subsidiary based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Originally based in Geneva, Switzerland, which played host to John Calvin and earned a reputation as the "Protestant Rome", the group's Executive Committee announced on 8 November 2012, that they would relocate the headquarters to Hanover, Germany, by December 2013, due to overbearing financial strains caused by the high value of the Swiss franc.[5]

General Secretary[edit]

Upon the conclusion of Chris Ferguson's term as general secretary in August 2021, the WCRC Executive Committee appointed a "Collegial General Secretariat" composed of the three executive secretaries: Hanns Lessing (communion & theology), Philip Vinod Peacock (justice & witness), and Phil Tanis (communications & operations). They were joined in the Collegium by Muna Nassar (mission & witness) in December 2022.


Red countries are home to at least one member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches

This is a list of members of the World Communion of Reformed Churches as of February 2016:[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Called to communion. Committed to justice" (PDF). World Communion of Reformed Churches. Retrieved 7 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "World Communion of Reformed Churches | World Council of Churches". Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  3. ^ "WCRC History". World Communion of Reformed Churches. Retrieved 28 March 2017. The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC) have merged to form a new body representing more than 80 million Calvinist Christians worldwide.
  4. ^ "26th General Council of the World Communion of Reformed Churches" (PDF). 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  5. ^ Steffan, Melissa. "'Protestant Rome' No More: Reformed Group Abandons Geneva". News & Reporting.
  6. ^ "Members".
  7. ^ "ECO received as a member-church of WCRC" (June 3, 2013), The Layman Online. Accessed June 5, 2013.

External links[edit]