Our theme for 2019 is: Messengers of Hope. The University in God’s Story.

In the final chapter of Luke’s Gospel, we find the story of two disciples on the road to Emmaus.  A few days before, Jesus was crucified.  Now his tomb lies empty and his disciples find themselves in a world of opposition, trying to make sense of what has happened.  Jesus meets them, walks with them on the road and opens the Scriptures with them.  The encounter restores their hope and transforms their lives.

At World Assembly 2019, we will journey together with Jesus and explore the role that the university plays in God’s story.

Just as those early disciples were transformed on the Emmaus road, our prayer is that every participant at World Assembly will leave with a renewed sense of hope in Jesus, and a deeper sense of calling to be messengers of hope in today’s world.

What happens at World Assembly?

The Main Program (3-10 July)

World Assembly is a unique gathering of our global fellowship, including: students, graduates, supporters, staff, board members and other guests. Together we will share how God is at work in our ministry, engage with Scripture, learn from each other, make decisions about the future and be re-envisioned for what’s next. Expect plenty of moments through the week to hear best practice, share stories and meet together in small groups.

Our daily Scripture Engagement will focus on passages from Luke’s Gospel and the book of Acts, led by guest speakers as well as students and staff from around IFES. We expect to affiliate new national movements and they will each have an opportunity to share their story during the week. Evening sessions will include an evening hosted by Africa and a focus on IFES pioneering work.

World Assembly is also an important moment to make decisions together. There will be workshops focussed on discussing the future vision of IFES as well as General Committee sessions.


Special gatherings and conference tracks

Volunteers Formación (30 June - 3 July)

Before World Assembly starts, our team of volunteers will gather for a spiritual and practical formation that will prepare them for their role at the event.  The volunteer team will include students and young graduates from across Africa.
Find out more about volunteering on the SCO South Africa website.

Student Gathering (1-3 July)

Student participants of World Assembly are invited to arrive two days earlier and to attend the Student Gathering. It offers students space to get to know each other before everyone else arrives. They will also engage in conversations on how they experience being a witness of Christ at their respective universities and will engage with the review of the IFES strategic vision “Living Stones”.

At World Assembly, students will be integral to the program.  Some will be teaching and contributing in the plenary sessions; all students will lead or co-lead one of the small groups. Students should plan to attend World Assembly from 1-11 July. There is no additional cost for students to attend the Student Gathering.

Meeting of Francophone General Secretaries / PLATEFORME FRANCOPHONE (2-3 July)

The General Secretaries of all the French-speaking movements of IFES are invited to gather in the days before World Assembly for sharing and training together. It will begin with an evening meal on 2 July. This includes the General Secretaries of the French-speaking region of Africa (GBUAF), as well as Francophone movements from North Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and North America.


Part of our mission to the university is to engage with the teaching and the research that is going on in our universities, so at World Assembly 2019 we are planning a special track for faculty members. Before World Assembly starts, faculty and research students from Africa will meet to discuss how to engage the University appropriately.

People who participate in this track may participate in just the track from 3-7 July or stay on to participate in the rest of World Assembly until 11 July.