Christine Housel, an Episcopalian (Anglican) from the United States, has been elected the new General Secretary of the World Student Christian Federation, a global grouping of student groups that promotes dialogue, ecumenism, social justice and peace.
In a statement announcing the election, leaders of the federation said Housel will bring "many years of experience in youth and student ministry to her new position, as well as a strong grounding in community reconciliation and human rights advocacy work".
The WSCF was founded in 1895 by the North American evangelist and global ecumenist John R. Mott, whose efforts also led to the creation of the World Council of Churches more than half a century later.
Housel studied philosophy at Wheaton College near Chicago and did a Masters of Divinity at Yale Divinity School. She has served as project manager at the federation's international office in Geneva since 2008.
She was elected during a 28 October to 6 November meeting in Lebanon of the federation's executive committee.
In its statement about Housel's election, the federation said she has a "strong vision for the future", and has been instrumental in developing new initiatives to draw out the potential of the federation's global community of 106 national student movements.
These include establishing an advocacy and solidarity committee, which is promoting the federation's justice work, and a development team helping develop leadership training and skill-building at all levels of the federation.
Housel replaces the Rev Michael Wallace, a priest of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia, who was elected WSCF General Secretary in 2004. He returned in May to Dunedin, New Zealand to be priest of the All Saints parish on the campus of the University of Otago.
[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the Conference of European Churches.]