Staff vacancy notice
General Secretary of the Conference of European Churches (full time)
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Starting date: Open from 1st January 2024; Not later than Summer 2024
End of the mandate: Probation Period 6 Month; Total of 5 Years; Extension possible
Accommodation: Not Provided
Working Activities (%): 1 FTE
Assistant support 1 FTE
Accountable to: CEC Presidency and Governing Board
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a growing fellowship of 114 Member Churches (Anglican and Old Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant), drawn from all over Europe and engages in dialogue with European institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg, promoting peace and reconciliation, raising concerns and shaping the future of Europe. CEC is based in Brussels.
CEC has its origins in the time of the Cold War when it was almost the only forum in which Christians from the Eastern and Western Blocs could meet, deliberate, and pray together. CEC has a long commitment to dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church in Europe, a dialogue that has borne fruit concretely in the Charta Oecumenica. CEC works together with Organisations in Partnerships and National Council of Churches.
CEC’s outgoing General Secretary leaves CEC in a position of real strength – recent years have seen a much-improved organizational structure and maturity, a clearer sense of purpose for everyone in the CEC fellowship and the successful design of our strategy – Call and Witness – that has shaped our flagship program, Pathways to Peace, developed in response to the war in Ukraine. We are in search of a new General Secretary, lay or ordained, with a passion for ecumenism and Europe, as well as the skill to take on a body doing excellent work that nevertheless believes it can do more in implementing its strategy and attracting new funding. This kind of leadership requires high levels of character, competence and conviction, as well as the desire to nurture our distinctively Christian ethic and heartbeat.
General Secretary: overall tasks
1. Provide executive leadership and strategic focus in implementing the overall strategy (Call and Witness) of the Conference of European Churches as agreed by the General Assembly and operationalized by the Governing Board.
2. Manage CEC staff implementing the strategic policy of the Governing Board which is mandated by the General Assembly.
3. Being an effective steward of the resources, that CEC has been entrusted with, whilst championing CEC’s work to existing and new donors.
4. Be an effective channel of communication with:
Ø the Presidency & the Governing Board,
Ø Member Churches of CEC,
Ø Organizations in Partnership and National Councils of Churches,
Ø other ecumenical bodies,
Ø European political and social organizations and structures, especially as the Churches’ interface with the European political institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg.
Roles & Responsibilities
• Driving the continued implementation of our strategy, Call and Witness, by managing the work of CEC staff and the Secretariat, ensuring that the work of Programme Staff is ordered, timely and effective.
• Ensuring that the strategy Call and Witness is refined annually to reflect the evolving needs of a Europe in flux and appropriately accommodates the needs of member churches.
• Further ensuring that programs and partnerships remain continuously aligned with our strategy, Call and Witness, and effecting appropriate change whenever this is not the case.
• Reporting regularly and accurately to the Governing Board and its Presidency on the implementation of strategic plans for the growth of our work, in line with pre-agreed aims and objectives and in compliance with relevant policies and legislation.
• Developing a positive, trusting and robust relationship of accountability with the President and Vice Presidents of CEC in all matters of finance, policy and implementation.
• To be responsible to the Governing Board for the overall management of CEC, its staff, Secretariat, and financial resources.
• Working with the Head of Finance, Administration and Payroll and Budget Committee ensuring that all programs and spending are monitored and reported on effectively for the wise stewardship and use of resources with which it has been entrusted.
• Ensuring an effective contribution by Youth to the work of CEC and that gender issues are properly addressed within the whole of CEC. There is a particular hope and need of growing our visibility amongst a younger generation of Christians.
• To ensure cost effective management of CEC property assets in cooperation with the co-owner, CCME.
• Ensuring a commitment to Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) at all levels of CEC to help inform CEC’s strategic growth and development.
• With Programme Staff maintain and develop the relationship between the Churches and the EU and wider European political institutions in line with CEC’s strategy, Call and Witness and Art. 17 (TFEU).
• To help further the cause of ecumenical development through the promotion of inter-church dialogue, understanding, and relationships.
• To ensure that current relationships with CEC Member Churches and other ecumenical bodies are developed and enhanced by attention to their voice and vision.
• To represent and speak on behalf of CEC to Member Churches and other European organizations and institutions as appropriate, in consultation with or at the direction of the Presidency.
• To maintain responsibility for strengthening the overall strategic development and vision of the organization, ensuring the coherence of CEC’s work within a strategic focus.
• To guide and ensure effective communication of CEC’s strategy, Call and Witness, and work programs internally and externally, whilst championing CEC’s work to existing and new donors.
• To clearly communicate and advocate CEC’s strategy, Call and Witness, and programs within the various ecumenical organizations and institutions which exist at a national, European and international level, focusing always on the added value only CEC can bring.
• With Communication staff listen, analyse and interpret and articulate the policies and statements of CEC in relation to the policies of the Member Churches.
Qualifications & Skills
Education and Experience
• Commitment to Jesus Christ and his Church.
• A nuanced appreciation for the cultural, political and religious sensitivities across Europe and an ability to work effectively with a range of churches and partners in this context.
• Proven experience and understanding of the ecumenical movement and a hopefulness of the positive change it can make.
• A master’s degree in theology, with a particular view to public theology, or political science would be an asset.
• Ability to think and to speak theologically about the life of Churches, especially but not only those in Europe.
• Proven experience in managing a knowledge-based organization working across different cultures and languages.
• Strong relational capacity and ability to network and articulate consensus.
• The determination and resilience to see the success and growth of CEC, along with a humility and willingness to learn.
• Awareness of book-keeping, budgeting, and fundraising procedures
• Stamina required to sustain a demanding work schedule and the necessary travel involved.
• Proven management and leadership experience and ability within a Church, faith-based NGO or comparable organization
• Experience of developing strategy in an international context, and a related ability to unite staff in pursuit of strategic goals.
• An understanding of how to develop effective collaborative relationships with a Governing Board and Praesidium which lead to appropriate levels of oversight and accountability.
• Demonstrable success in building partnerships on behalf of a Church or charitable organization with a range of potential stakeholders such as major donors.
• Ability to manage a cross-cultural and multi-lingual organization.
• Ability to analyse, interpret and articulate current Church relationships in their diverse contexts.
• Ability to plan appropriate use of time, direct work streams and manage staff.
• Ability to work collaboratively and with a team, managing tension and resolving conflict when necessary.
• Ability to secure the finances of CEC and its assets in consultation with the Budget Committee, including calculation of cost of programs and assemblies and financial communication with Member Churches and external funding bodies.
Fluency in English (C1 and higher) and at least one other official CEC languages (French, German or Russian). Any other European language is an asset.
Terms and conditions
An attractive salary package is available commensurate with experience.
Any person wishing to apply is invited to send their application for this post, including:
a) A Motivation Letter;
b) A Curriculum Vitae including Church Affiliation;
c) References from three different persons (including contact details).
The application with all appendices should be sent by e-mail to the CEC Vice-President Rev. OKR Frank Kopania, Chair of the Nominations and Search Committee by 15th January 2024 at email@example.com.
The Search Committee appointed by the Governing Board of CEC will short-list and interview candidates with the aim of bringing names for election by the CEC Governing Board at its meeting in March 2024. All applications will be treated with discretion and the work of the Search Committee is confidential.
All communications and enquiries concerning the process should take place only through Rev. OKR Frank Kopania, Vice-President of the Conference of European Churches through firstname.lastname@example.org.