The Institute for the Study of Christian Origins was established in Tübingen, Germany in the early 1960s. Its purpose is to encourage and promote research in the early church and to apply that research to the church today. The Institute is sponsored by the European Evangelistic Society and works in cooperation with the Protestant Faculty of the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen.
The Institute promotes scholarship and encourages dialogue between scholars from different academic disciplines and religious traditions and from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. The weekly English-German Colloquium in New Testament, held in cooperation with the Protestant Faculty, provides a forum for local and visiting scholars to present work in progress. Classes in Theological German and Theological English offer students the chance to read and discuss texts, from Scripture and from different streams of Christian theology, past and present. Every three or four years, leading scholars are invited to take part in an International Symposium held here in Tübingen.
"Our mission is to develop Christian leaders for significant service through higher learning. And our vision is that every nation will have effective leaders of disciple-making movements impacting their churches, cultures, and countries for Christ."
"Although EES does not work specifically in any one congregation, it seeks to promote the cause of reconciliation throughout the world by developing leaders who will demonstrate commitment to the idea of a faithful, growing church that exhibits true community, deep Christian spirituality, and a passion for justice..."
The beginning days of the ministry reach all the way back to pre-World War II days in Germany. Dr. Ludwig von Gerdtell, a Prussian nobleman, while studying at Leipzig, became convinced that the Christian world of that day needed to be reformed according to the New Testament. This began a life-long journey- in his words "complete the Protestant Reformation."