Anchored in the Protestant faith from the very beginning

The reformer Philipp Melanchthon is regarded as the "Praeceptor Germaniae", in other words the teacher of all Germany. As early as the 16th century, he campaigned for the foundation of schools for all children, even boys and girls from the common people. The model of the present-day "gymnasium" (German equivalent of grammar school or high school) in Germany was his idea. Protestant faith and education are closely related from the very beginning - in this point he was in full agreement with other reformers.

One thing has remained wherever the Protestant churches spread their wings: faith and education belong together. A Christian should know what he or she believes in. A Christian should understand the context and play his or her part. Both men and women alike. Protestant churches became a faith and education movement.

For the past 400 years, what has been common practice in Protestant everyday life finally became an obligation in the 20th century when the governments of the world agreed on Article 26 of the United Nations Charter on Human Rights: "Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality."

All churches in the EMS Fellowship put this basic principle into practice. They set up schools and, where necessary, homes, so that children from remote areas can attend school. They are committed to vocational training. They ensure that pastors and church workers receive a good training. They do their utmost so that people with handicaps can develop their personality.

So it is no wonder that a major part of projects for which members apply to the EMS are aimed at education and training.

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