The genesis of GPENreformation lies in the context of the 500th Reformation jubilee 2017. Some years earlier in 2013 an ambitious plan was made: 500 Protestant schools from around the world shall be gathered together to celebrate the 500 years of Reformation together. The project schools500reformation was born. Right from the start it gave a new drive to the educational movement having its origins in the Reformation. Already in October 2015 the newly founded network welcomed its 500th member school, the PSST Bafut from Cameroun.
A wide range of activities opened up opportunities for personal encounters and vivid exchange. Schools benefitted from the development of didactic tools to use them in classrooms around the world. The call for action “Protest for the future” involved 65 schools whose students handed in more than 1000 theses where they expressed their critique and wishes for the future of their school, church and society. In the framework of several regional and international conferences, teachers, headmasters and persons responsible for education in administration met regularly to learn more about and from each other and to sharpen together their Protestant profiles.
The highlight of schools500reformation was the year of the Reformation jubilee 2017 when three major events took place. First, GPENreformation organized a pavilion about education worldwide at the World Reformation Exhibition in Wittenberg, Germany, showing the quality of Protestant educational work to a broader public. Second, the 1st International Schools Camp of the network took place where more than 120 students from seven countries and four continents had the chance to meet and exchange. Then came up the major celebration with the Global schools500reformation Day. At this occasion, schools500reformation was transformed into GPENreformation.
Everyone involved had agreed that this linking up of Protestant education institutions was very precious and enriching and had to be continued in a long-term perspective. It became clear that in our globalized world global exchange and cooperation especially in the Protestant education sector is needed and wanted more than ever. The success of the network proved right. The Global Pedagogical Network – Joining in Reformation, short GPENreformation, is now taking over aiming to develop a vivid worldwide community of hope and peace.