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Consensus decision-making

Testing consensus procedures at the 2005 WCC central committee meeting

As part of an underlying shift of culture, the WCC central committee in February 2005 adjusted its rules and adopted a consensus decision-making model. The move promises to strengthen the participation and commitment of member churches, going well beyond the original concern that started the process of change.

The issue arose within the WCC via the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation, which examined ways of making sure that the Orthodox voice would be heard in WCC decisions. The parliamentary system can often result in a significant minority voice still ending up on the "losing" end of a vote, so alternatives to the voting system were sought.

The 9th Assembly offered delegates an opportunity to discuss and use this model, as well as to evaluate early efforts to put it into practice.

Further information and links

Manual for consensus procedures

"Consensus: a colourful farewell to majority rule", Assembly feature (06.10.2005)

Consensus: "A better way of reflecting the nature of the church", WCC press release (22.02.05)

WCC embarks on a major shift in its organizational culture and ethos, WCC press release (10.02.05)

Committee anticipates a "change in ethos and culture" as WCC moves towards consensus methodology, WCC press update (23.06.04)