German Swiss Diaconal Conference to join “Swiss Diaconal Conference” in 2017

The new “Swiss Diaconal Conference” will take over the responsibilities of the German Swiss Diaconal Conference (DDK) in the area of occupational training and professional development. During an assembly held November 24 in Aarau, the delegates of the Diaconal Conference discussed the DDK transition process and the total revision of the “Agreement on Social-Diaconal Services.”

The diaconal landscape in Switzerland is undergoing some changes. Under the umbrella of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC), the new national “Swiss Diaconal Conference” will integrate the FSCP Diaconal Conference, the German Swiss Diaconal Conference (DDK) and the internet project 

During their assembly on November 24 in Aarau, the DDK delegates unanimously approved the plan. The President of the Diaconal Council, Claudia Hubacher, provided information about the transition process. According to this information, the DDK will be changed in that its structure will be discontinued, but its tasks will be continued by the Swiss Diaconal Conference. Thus, the new conference will take over the mandate of upholding the minimum requirements for social-diaconal services, as well as providing certifications for this service. The previous DDK funding based on the “Agreement on Social-Diaconal Services” will now be assigned to the “Swiss Diaconal Conference.”

Now, the Diaconal Conference has decided to initiate a total revision of this agreement.  The revised agreement will ensure that all necessary decisions will be made by the new conference. The previous committees of the Diaconal Conference and the Diaconal Council are discontinued. The expert commissions, however, will be transitioned into new work groups of the Swiss Diaconal Conference. In the future, the agreement will serve as a funding tool for these work groups. The responsible committees of the member churches are called upon to ratify this decision by the end of June 2017 so that the total revision can go into effect on July 1, 2017.

“With the goal of pooling diaconal services in Switzerland, the diaconal organizations take on a pioneering role in the national landscape of Reformed churches. It will bring together the various institutions and boost the positive image of diaconal work,” said Beat Maurer, President of the Diaconal Conference.

The new Swiss Diaconal Conference will promote the exchange of information on parish-level diaconal projects, maintain a dialogue with the diaconal studies research institutions, and define the standards of diaconal occupational training. The goal is to be able to offer comprehensive diaconal services from one source in the future.

Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC) / German Swiss Diaconal Conference (DDK)

Schweizerischer Evangelischer Kirchenbund SEK / Deutschschweizer Diakonatskonferenz DDK