The World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) is a global federation of student Christian groups. WSCF is ecumenical, welcoming people from all Christian traditions and encouraging dialogue between students of different traditions. WSCF has members from Protestant, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic and Anglican traditions and from other faiths.
The local and national groups that make up the federation are largely known as Student Christian Movements (SCMs). In some cases the youth or student movement of a national church or other ecumenical organisation is a member of the WSCF. While university, polytechnic and other tertiary students make up the bulk of SCM membership, high school students are also involved in some movements.
From the outset WSCF has been crucial in the formation of leaders for the ecumenical movement. The World Council of Churches owes much of its founding leadership to former members of the World Student Christian Federation.
WSCF was founded in 1895 by the North American evangelist and global ecumenist John R. Mott. Mott’s ecumenical vision and missionary zeal also contributed to the beginnings of the World Council of Churches.
Students who join an SCM are encouraged to study their Christian faith and their world with the same depth and passion they bring to their studies. SCMs are renowned for their openness to searchers as well as believers and for a strong commitment to social justice.
In 2004 the General Assembly of WSCF affirmed the following statement as the guiding vision of the federation:
“The WSCF is a global community of Student Christian Movements committed to dialogue, ecumenism, social justice and peace.
Our mission is to empower students in critical thinking and constructive transformation of our world by being a space for prayer and celebration, theological reflection, study and analysis of social and cultural processes and solidarity and action across boundaries of culture, gender and ethnicity.
Through the work of the Holy Spirit, the WSCF is called to be a prophetic witness in church and society.
This vision is nurtured by a radical hope for God’s reign in history”
WSCF is administered at the global level by staff and officers appointed from each of the six regions. It operates an Inter-Regional Office (IRO) based at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva and employs a General Secretary who co-ordinates global WSCF activities.