Notre Dame JDDJ service

Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ)

Five Christian World Communions working together to bring the gospel to contemporary society

The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) was a historic agreement signed by Lutherans and Catholics in 1999, effectively resolving one of the key theological conflicts of the Reformation. 

Initially a Catholic-Lutheran agreement, it has since been expanded and affirmed by three other Christian World Communions, namely the Methodist, Anglican and Reformed churches. 

A 20th anniversary edition of the original document, together with associated statements, has been published in five languages (English, German, French, Spanish and Italian). Representatives of the five Christian communions are working together on a study guide and shared liturgical material to help local parishes engage with the fruits of this process.


From left: The Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko and Bishop Dr Walter Kasper signing the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ). Photo: LWF/K. Wieckhorst
  • October 1999 – After several decades of dialogue, leaders of the Lutheran World Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity sign the JDDJ in Augsburg, Germany.
  • July 2006 – The World Methodist Council, at a conference in Seoul, South Korea, officially joins the JDDJ, adopting a statement which adds related aspects of the theology of sanctification.
  • April 2016 - October 2017 – The Anglican Consultative Council, at a meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, “welcomes and affirms the substance” of the JDDJ in April 2016. The following year, in October 2017, at a service in London’s Westminster Abbey, marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Justin Welby presents the text of the ACC resolution to LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge.
  • July 2017 – During a General Council meeting in Wittenberg, Germany, the World Communion of Reformed Churches signs up to the JDDJ, adding its own statement with a strong emphasis on justification and justice.
  • March 2019 – Leaders of the five world communions adhering to the JDDJ meet at Notre Dame University in the United States to mark the 20th anniversary and issue a statement recommitting themselves to communicating the biblical message of salvation in new ways to contemporary society.