What are the Norwegian Church Academies
Forum for faith, culture and society, debate and dialogue
The Norwegian Church Academies (Norske kirkeakademier, NKA) constitute a movement dedicated to serve church, culture and society from the basis of the Christian faith.
The church academies aim to
- contribute to dialogue between different groups of people, and to
- create meeting places to facilitate deeper understanding and debate.
The church academies are particularly concerned with creating meeting places for dialogue cutting across differences in faith, philosophy, cultural background and age.
NKA is a national, independent and ecumenical movement established in 1956. The term “Academy” is inherited from the early days. Today NKA is a lay movement, largely based on voluntary work.
The local level
For the time being, there are church academies in about 60 places all over Norway. The local work is organized in various ways. Most often, it is led by a committee which, on the basis of its own resources, initiates meetings or events of various kinds, which are open to the general public. In many cases, they cooperate with other organizations or groups.
Examples of local events:
”Is there such a thing as Christian politics?” Halden
”Holy land — eternal strife?” Lillesand
”God in contemporary literature” Grenland
”The Hindu temple — our neighbour” Groruddalen
”Can God suffer from dementia?” Bodø
”The limits of tolerance” Trondheim
”Do values have to pay off?” Ål
More information about the local academies can be found at
The national level
The central organs of the Norwegian Church Academies, the national Board and the Head Office, exist to facilitate cooperation between the local academies. They also serve as the common voice of the movement, cooperate with corresponding institutions in other countries, and initiate projects and conferences.
Following up the Church of Norway’s culture report Kunsten å være kirke (The Art of being a Church) is given high priority. The work is continued by KULT – Centre for Art, Culture and Church in Oslo, in which the NKA takes part. The aim is to contribute to increased competence and knowledge about art and culture in the churches – and to further the cooperation between the churches and the other arenas of cultural life.
The central work is directed by a Secretary-General and a Board of nine members. The Head Office is located in Oslo.
NKA receives an annual government grant through the Arts Council Norway.
Kirke og Kultur (Church and Culture)
Throughout its entire history, church academy work in Norway has been closely tied to the periodical Kirke og Kultur. This magazine has often printed lectures from NKA conferences or events initiated by the local academies.
Encounters between chuch and art
The Bridge Builder Prize
Every year, The Norwegian Church Academies award The Bridge Builder Prize. It is given to persons or organizations that in a special way have contributed to increased understanding, communication and dialogue between different groups in church, culture and society.
The international level
NKA is a member of Oikosnet Europe – Ecumenical Association of Academies and Laity Centres in Europe. All in all, Oikosnet Europe has about sixty-five members in twenty European countries.
Developments in Europe make it ever more important to maintain close ties between national and European movements. Through its membership in Oikosnet the NKA is connected to a broad ecumenical community in Europe – both East and West. At the next level, the European church academy movement is part of the global Oikos¬net network with regional units in Africa, Asia and America.
NKA is represented on the international committee for the German Kirchentag. These large events are arranged biannually with a wide-ranging programme and thousands of participants, from Germany and many other countries.