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Mission 21

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Mission 21
FocusMission; development cooperation in Africa, Asia and Latin America; education, exchange and research
  • Basel   Switzerland
Area served
MethodTheological and cultural exchange, also development cooperation projects with the focus on alleviating poverty, healthcare, women and gender, education and promoting peace
Key people
Johannes Blum (President of the Board), Jochen Kirsch (Director)

Mission 21 – Protestant Mission Basel is an international church mission organisation headquartered in Basel (Switzerland) which engages in both ecumenical and development cooperation. Mission 21 is an institution of the Evangelical-Reformed Church. In Europe, the association cooperates on a basis of partnership with the Bethlehem Mission Immensee, the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) and the governmental Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Bern. Mission 21's activities are based on the Gospel and Human Rights, and it collaborates closely with church or church-related organisations. Mission 21 is member of ACT Alliance, global alliance of more than 145 churches and related organisations.


At the beginning of 2001, five mission organisations merged to form Mission 21 – Protestant Mission Basel. The oldest of Mission 21's supporting associations (now three in number) is the Basel Mission, which was established in 1815 in Basel.[1] The first international Mission Synod of Mission 21 took place in Basel between 16 and 20 June 2004. The Mission Synod is the organisation's senior decision-making body. The partner churches and organisations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe are represented in the Synod on the basis of parity. The second Mission Synod was held at Bern in 2007, the third at Zurich in 2010 and the fourth at St. Gallen in 2013. Since then synods are held annually and mainly staged in Basel. The Misson Synod of 2015 had a special meaning as it was the anniversary synod to mark the bicentenary of the Basel Mission, the largest supporting association of Mission 21.[2] The Mission Synod of 2018 was staged in Aarau. Mission 21 was guest of the Reformed Church of the canton of Aargau. The next synod will take place in Basel again, from 12 to 13 June 2020.

Organisation and administration[edit]

Over 50 people are employed in the office. There are also about 20 international Co-Workers from a wide variety of professional backgrounds who work as coordinators in the partner-countries and also with the partner churches and organisations. The office is located at Missionsstrasse 21 in Basel.

The headquarters/registered office of the association is the Mission House in Basel, which was completed in 1860 (architect: John Jacob Stehlin jr.). The building was originally used as a training centre for missionaries of the Basel Mission.[3] Nowadays, the building also houses a seminar hotel that operates under the name of Hotel Bildungszentrum 21. The hotel is organised as a joint-stock corporation of the supporting asscociation Basel Mission. Basel Mission pays regularly a contribution amount from its profit to Mission 21.

The association has its own library, accessible to the public; this is also a recognised reference library specialising in missionary work, ecumenical affairs and development cooperation. All the publications – also the historic ones – are listed in "swissbib", the collective catalog of the academic libraries in Basel and Berne, including the Swiss national library.[4] In addition, there is an extensive interdisciplinary research archive focusing on Africa, South India, South China and Borneo; this facility is a source for the critical appraisal of history (and of the Mission's own history in particular).[5] Every year between 80 and 100 students and researchers benefit from the professionally runned library.

The association finances itself from private donations, contributions from the cantonal churches and church congregations in Switzerland, the Association of Churches and Missions in South-Western Germany (EMS), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and contributions from various other organisations. Mission 21's total turnover is currently about 14 million Swiss francs per year.

The logo is a stylised representation of the Tree of Life described in verse 2, chapter 22 of the Book of Revelation.

Objectives and principles[edit]

The association's purpose is to enable encounters between spheres of life that are as yet unfamiliar with one another, and to provide practical help wherever peace, justice and creation are threatened. In order to achieve this purpose, the association organises encounters and series of events that focus on current issues of relevance to the church and society; it also offers opportunities for intercultural and interfaith encounters, especially in Switzerland. Every three years, the Mission Synod of Mission 21 selects key issues that are given special emphasis in communication and project work over a specified period. These issues may involve an in-depth focus on a specific country or the opportunity to implement a selected project. Areas covered by projects include medical assistance, prevention of HIV/AIDS, agricultural training, ongoing vocational training, support for orphans, theological training, promoting peace, and gender equality. The hundred or so projects are spread across 20 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The theme chosen at the 2010 Mission Synod was: "Water of life – But let judgement run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream." (Amos 5,24).

The PEP! programme[edit]

PEP! (Professionals Exposure Program) is a three-stage training programme offered by Mission 21. The programme aims to give young people access to present-day development work without them having to commit to an assignment lasting several years. After a preparatory course, the programme involves a project assignment; on return from the assignment, participants attend a concluding seminar and workshop where intercultural issues are addressed in depth. The project assignment is related to the participant's profession or education, with scope for deepening specialist knowledge and developing intercultural skills. Participants are responsible for their own task area during their assignment in Africa, Latin America or Asia, which lasts from six to twelve months. Each year, about 15 to 20 individuals undertake a PEP! assignment. They are selected from some 400 applicants each year.


Mission 21 publishes every year its Annual report and Financial report. These reports inform about the work of the organisation and the audited accounting.[6] Mission 21 makes use of two quarterly publications to inform its members and the general public about its work, projects and partner organisations, and also to prompt discussion on current topics of interest. Specifically, these quarterly publications are:

Auftrag – information about life and its difficulties in the participating countries
Nachrichten – the latest information on Mission 21 and its projects

Partner churches and organisations[edit]

Co-determination by the partner churches and organisations plays a crucial part. In the Continental Assemblies of these partner churches, the respective delegates are designated, issues of current relevance are defined and the various activities are coordinated. Specifically, these partner churches are:

Presbyterian Church in Cameroon[7]
Centro Ecuménico de Promoción y Acción Social Centro, CEDEPAS-Centro, Peru[8]
Centro Ecuménico de Promoción y Acción Social Norte, CEDEPAS-Norte, Peru[9]
Audiovisuales del Perú, ADEP[10]
Basel Christian Church of Malaysia, BCCM[11]
Gereja Kristen Pasundan, GKP (Pasundan Church), Indonesia[12]
Persekutuan Gereja-gereja di Indonesia, PGI[13]
Sabah Theological Seminary, STS, Malaysia[14]
Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, UIN YOGYA, Indonesia[15]
Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana, UKDW, Indonesia[16]
Cameroon, Fonta: Agricultural Advisory Centre[17]
Tanzania, Mbeya: Moravian Church in Tanzania, South-West Province MCT-SWP[18]
Tanzania, Mbeya: Moravian Church in Tanzania, Southern Province[19]
Tanzania, Teofilo Kisanji University, Mbeya[20]
Bolivia, La Paz: Andean Ecumenical Higher Institute of Theology (ISEAT)[21]
Chile: Mesa Chile[22]
Chile, Concepción: Servicio para el Desarrollo y la Educación Comunitaria (SEDEC)(Development and Community Education Service of the Methodist Church of Chile)[23]
Chile, Santiago: Evangelical Development Service, SEPADE[24]
Chile, Santiago: “Diego de Medellín” Ecumenical Centre (CEDM)[25]
Chile, Santiago: Service Peace and Justice (SERPAJ)[26]
Chile, Santiago: Methodist Church of Chile (IMECH)[27]
Chile, Santiago: Conspirando Women's Collective[28]
Chile, Santiago & Concepción: Comunidad Teológica Evangélica de Chile ( Theological Evangelical Community of Chile) (CTE)[29]
Costa Rica, San José: DEI Departamento Ecuménico de Investigaciones (Ecumenical Research Department)[30]
Ecuador, Quito: CLAI, Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias (LACC, Latin American Council of Churches)[31]
South Korea: The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, PROK[32]
South Korea: The Presbyterian Church of Korea, PCK[33]
Asian Fellowship of Mission 21 Partners[34]



  1. Wilhelm Schlatter: Geschichte der Basler Mission 1815-1915 (3 Volumes), Basel: Verlag der Basler Missionsbuchhandlung 1916
  2. Christine Christ-von Wedel, Thomas K. Kuhn (Eds.): Basel Mission. People, History, Perspectives 1815-2015, Basel: Schwabe 2015
  3. Detlef Lienau: Pflanzschule von Heidenboten - Das Basler Missionsseminar, in Ausbildung für Mission. In: Das Missionsseminar Hermannsburg von 1849 bis 2012, Berlin 2015, S. 43-81
  4. https://baselbern.swissbib.ch
  5. http://www.bmarchives.org
  6. Annual report and Financial report
  7. pccweb.org
  8. cedepas-centro.org (spanish)
  9. cedepas.org.pe (spanish)
  10. adepperu.com (spanish)
  11. bccm.org.my
  12. mission-21.org/partners
  13. pgi.or.id (indonesian)
  14. stssabah.org (partly in english)
  15. uin-suka.ac.id (indonesian)
  16. ukdw.ac.id (indonesian)
  17. prtcfonta.org
  18. moravian.or.tz
  19. mctsp.moravian.or.tz
  20. Teofilo Tansania teku.ac.tz
  21. iseatbolivia.org (spanish)
  22. mision21chile.cl
  23. see mission-21.org/partners
  24. sepade.cl (spanish)
  25. diegodemedellin.cl (spanish)
  26. serpajchile.cl (spanish)
  27. imech gbgm-umc.org
  28. conspirando.cl (spanish)
  29. ctedechile.cl (spanish)
  30. deicr.org (spanish)
  31. centroecumenico.org (spanish)
  32. prok.org (mainly in corean)
  33. pck.or.kr (partly in english)
  34. pct.org.tw/mission21asia Asian Fellowship pct.org.tw

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