Trinity and Irish School of Ecumenics sign new Memorandum of Understanding

Posted on: 13 March 2024

Trinity College Dublin and the Irish School of Ecumenics Trust have announced the signing of a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) provides the formal framework within which the ISE will operate as part of Trinity’s restructured School of Religion, Theology, and Peace Studies.

Provost Dr Linda Doyle and Dermot McCarthy, Chair of ISE Trust Steering Committee

The Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE) was founded in 1970 by Fr Michael Hurley SJ to promote unity and reconciliation between Christians, dialogue between religions and peace and justice in Ireland and abroad through research, teaching and outreach activities. 

Over the years ISE developed research and taught degree programmes in Ecumenics and Peace Studies under the governance of the ISE Trust, an independent charity. Courses were delivered in Milltown Park and later, with Irish Government funding, also in a campus established in Belfast. 

The ISE has been part of Trinity since 2001, initially as a distinct unit and more recently as an academic entity within the School of Religion, Theology, and Peace Studies.

The ISE Trust supports the academic work of ISE through bursaries and grants for research positions and projects. The Trust also encourages School participation in its programmes of outreach and community engagement, such as Inter-Church Fora in Northern Ireland and a Common Good programme of community encounter.  

Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Linda Doyle, said:  

“Trinity has a strong relationship with the Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE). So, I am delighted to announce this revised agreement between Trinity and the ISE Trust.

"The ISE’s mission to blend academic excellence with theory and practice in building peace and reconciliation reflects Trinity’s deep commitment, as a research university, to harness our expertise for the greater good. This is needed in today’s world more than ever."

Dermot McCarthy, Chair of ISE Trust Steering Committee, said:

“This new agreement builds on an already existing supportive relationship between the ISE and the School and provides for governance and further cooperation. This cooperation is envisaged in the strategic plan of the School and will enable the Trust to continue its mission of providing a bridge between academic work and community engagement.”


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