About Huffington Ecumenical Institute

The Call to Unity

As a Jesuit institution, Loyola Marymount University seeks to integrate reason with faith, with special emphasis on theological scholarship, as well as on ethics and spirituality. LMU educates its students not simply to tolerate but to appreciate and learn from traditions and faiths other than their own.

At a time when religious literacy is needed more than ever, the question of ecumenical relations takes a pressing importance. In the past half century, both Eastern and Western Christians have come to understand the need for unity within the Body of Christ. The urgency of the reestablishment of Christian unity was recognized by the Second Vatican Council under the leadership of Pope John XXIII. The epoch-making meeting between Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I and Pope Paul VI in 1965, and the Catholic-Orthodox Joint Declaration of 1965 have been followed by many similar fraternal encounters. At their meeting in Constantinople on November 30, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Bartholomew I reaffirmed their commitment to sharing "the same sentiments and the same attitudes of fraternity, cooperation and communion in charity and truth."

The Huffington Ecumenical Institute

Thanks to significant gifts from Michael Huffington and the Archangel Michael Foundation, Loyola Marymount University has established a unique institute to bring about greater ecumenical dialogue and exchange between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. It is our hope that the Huffington Ecumenical Institute will encourage greater communication in the search for reconciliation between the Catholic and Orthodox communities, and beyond. The location of our university in the religiously and culturally diverse metropolis of Los Angeles provides many opportunities to reach Catholic and Orthodox communities, both local and international, and to foster first-hand ecumenical and intercultural experiences.

The Huffington Ecumenical Institute at Loyola Marymount University continues the pioneering work of Patriarchs and Popes of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in seeking reconciliation between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. The goals of the Institute are to:

  • Promote Christian unity, with special emphasis on the Orthodox and Catholic Churches
  • Provide opportunities for fraternal encounters between Christians of all denominations 
  • Offer resources and host forums for reflective and frank ecumenical discussion and dialogue at local, regional, national and international levels 
  • Support research and study of ecumenism and Orthodox theology for scholars and students
  • Foster ecclesial and academic interest and leadership in constructive ecumenism
  • Develop a premier collection of books and literature in the areas of ecumenism and Orthodox theology

Current activities of the Huffington Ecumenical Institute include lectures and the annual Huffington Ecumenical Symposium, as well as strengthening our service to the Catholic and canonical Orthodox Churches of all jurisdictions throughout the region, enriching the holdings of the Loyola Marymount University library in the areas of ecumenism and Orthodox theology, and publishing the proceedings of the Huffington Symposia.