Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin opens Belfast Campus

Posted on: 26 September 2005

The Belfast campus of The Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE), Trinity College Dublin was launched on Monday 26th September 2005 by Lord John Alderdice, former Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

“The long-term challenges of reconciliation in Northern Ireland are at the heart of what we do at the Irish School of Ecumenics. It is because reconciliation is a difficult, complex and slow process that ISE first developed its education work in Northern Ireland and then undertook its major research project, Moving Beyond Sectarianism.” Stated Dr. David Tombs, Programme Co-ordinator of Reconciliation Studies at ISE. “Four years ago ISE launched its Masters in Reconciliation Studies, which as far as we know remains the only degree of its kind in the world. For the College this was a bold move into cross-border teaching using the Belfast base of the School to draw on what has been called the ‘painful wisdom’ of this part of the world.. As a result of that commitment, we have welcomed exceptional students from throughout Ireland, and from around the world, who have joined local students in studying the problems and possibilities of reconciliation in Northern Ireland and other situations of conflict. It links real life concerns with rigorous academic study to develop students as reflective practitioners in their work.”

ISE is committed to applied research at the intersection of politics, theology and religion and offers M.Litt. and Ph.D. programmes and taught M.Phil. in Ecumenical Studies and International Peace Studies, which are both taught on our Dublin campus, as well as the M.Phil. in Reconciliation Studies, based in Belfast. Our evening part-time Postgraduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies is taught in Dublin. ISE also has a continuing education programme in Northern Ireland, Education for Reconciliation Programme, and a Regional Ecumenical Officer in the Munster Area. Also running at the ISE are two current projects which grew out of Moving Beyond Sectarianism, a six-year research project, SEED (Sustained Education Encouraging Diversity) and Partners in Transformation, a joint project with Mediation Northern Ireland, both of which are based in Belfast. For further information please visit our website at