World Alliance of Reformed Churches

The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) was a fellowship of more than 200 churches with roots in the 16th-century Reformation, and particularly in the theology of John Calvin. Its headquarters was in Geneva, Switzerland. They are now merged into the World Communion of Reformed Churches.


The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) was created in 1970 by a merger of two bodies, the Alliance of the Reformed Churches holding the Presbyterian System, representing Presbyterian and Reformed churches, and the International Congregational Council. The Alliance of the Reformed Churches holding the Presbyterian System was formed in London in 1875. It held councils which had no legislative authority but great moral weight. In them the various Augustinian non-prelatical and in general presbyterial bodies found representation. They were upward of 90 in number, scattered all over the world, with 25,000,000 adherents. The published reports of the proceedings of these councils contain much valuable matter of all kinds, as papers are read, statistics presented, and many speeches made. Councils were held at London, 1875; Edinburgh, 1877; Philadelphia, 1880; Belfast, 1884; London, 1888; Toronto, 1892; Glasgow, 1896; Washington, 1899.

The World Alliance of Reformed Churches had 218 member churches in 107 countries around the world, with some 75 million members. Churches represented in the WARC include Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches which have historical roots in the 16th century Reformation.

The WARC Secretariat was located in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. It works closely with the World Council of Churches.

In 2000, the WAR was critical of Dominus Iesus, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's document, and considered calling off a formal dialogue in Rome that year.[1]

On 1 February 2006, Clifton Kirkpatrick, president of the WARC, and Douwe Visser, president of the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC), said in a joint letter, "We rejoice in the work of the Holy Spirit which we believe has led us to recommend that the time has come to bring together the work of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Ecumenical Council into one body that will strengthen the unity and witness of Reformed Christians." The resulting new organisation is the World Communion of Reformed Churches.


Number Year Place Notes
20 1970 Nairobi, Kenya Uniting General Council
1977 St. Andrews, Scotland Centennial Consultation
21 1982 Ottawa, Canada
22 1989 Seoul, South Korea
23 1997 Debrecen, Hungary
24 2004 Accra, Ghana


WARC presidents are elected for 7 years at every General Council (held every 7 years):

Year Name Country
1983–1990 Rev. Dr. Allan A. Boesak South Africa
1990–1997 Dr. Jane Dempsey Douglass USA
1997–2004 Rev. Dr. Choan-Seng Song Taiwan
2004–2010 Rev. Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick USA

General SecretariesEdit

From 1970 to 1989 the General Secretary was Rev. Edmond Perret from Switzerland. In 1988 the Executive Committee meeting in Belfast, N. Ireland elected Rev. Dr. Milan Opočenský (Czech Rep.) who held office until 2000. In 2000 Rev. Dr. Setri Nyomi (Ghana) became the General Secretary of WARC, and later WCRC.

Members (2006)Edit

The WARC brings together more than 75 million Christians in over 100 countries around the world.

Member churches are Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and united and uniting churches.

Most of these are in the southern hemisphere with many being religious minorities in their countries.


External linksEdit