LWF General Secretary at WCRC Executive Committee, 2019

Lutheran – Reformed dialogue

Relations between the LWF and the World Communion of Reformed Churches

Lutherans and Reformed Christians enjoy a “special theological relationship” which has allowed churches in some parts of the world to enter into full communion of ministry and sacraments.

In 1968, an ad hoc Lutheran-Reformed Evaluating Committee stated that dialogue should be encouraged and coordinated by the LWF and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC). Two decades later, in 1988, the first round of international dialogue suggested that all Lutheran and Reformed churches should enter into fellowship but this recommendation has still not been received on a global level.

In 2010, WARC joined with the Reformed Ecumenical Council to form the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC). In 2017, the LWF signed the Wittenberg Witness with the WCRC, affirming the call to continued renewal and cooperation and committing “to explore new forms of life together that will more fully express the communion we already have in Christ.”

Key Themes

  • Predestination
  • Christology
  • Lord’s Supper
  • Understanding of the church


Rev. Dr Hanns Lessing, WCRC Acting General Secretary
  • 1989 | Toward Church Fellowship (Lutheran-Reformed Joint Commission)
  • 2002 | Common statement Called to Communion and Common Witness (Lutheran-Reformed Joint Working Group)
  • 2010 | Common statement Communion: On being the Church, Svätý Jur, Slovakia
  • 2014 | Communion: On Being the Church - Report of the Lutheran—Reformed Commission, 2006—2012

Regional Agreements

  • 1973 – Leuenberg Agreement (Agreement between Reformation Churches in Europe)
  • 1988 – Meissen Declaration (Church of England, the Federation of the Evangelical Churches in the German Democratic Republic and the Evangelical Church in Germany)
  • 1997 – Formula of Agreement (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Reformed Church in America, and the United Church of Christ)
  • 1999 – Reuilly Common Statement Called to Witness and Service (Conversations between the British and Irish Anglican Churches and the French Lutheran and Reformed Churches)
  • 2006 – The Amman Declaration (Agreement of Full Mutual Recognition of Lutheran and Reformed Churches in the Middle East and North Africa)
  • 2017The Wittenberg Witness (Common call to continued renewal and cooperation on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation)

Photo: WCRC/P. Tanis | Photo: LWF/S. Gallay | Photo: WCRC / Anna Siggelkow