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Foreign Service Training

cc creative commons licence courtesy of Judy van der veld on Flickr

The Woolf Institute has become known for producing high-quality work that contributes to Foreign Service training and development. Since 2013 the Institute has regularly delivered educational courses to staff of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Ministry of Defence as well as contributed to the European External Action Service to facilitate understanding of the interaction of religion, policy and diplomacy.

Ambassador to the Holy See Nigel Baker has commended the course at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for its engagement with the dynamics of religion and faith in global society, stating: "I am delighted that the Foreign Office has launched this initiative. Understanding religion, and religions, needs to be an integral part of our diplomatic armoury". See further comments from the Ambassador: here.

Understanding religion, the role it plays and its impact on behaviour and decision-making is vital to a Foreign Service’s ability to engage with the complexities of today’s global society. Evaluation of the courses shows that FCO staff better equipped to understand the tensions between and within religious communities and to negotiate the role of religion in everyday life in a variety of contexts, including the MENA region.

Feedback from workshops:

  • “Excellent speakers, well presented and knowledgeable sessions”
  • “This was a fascinating and excellent course. I wish it had been more than one day so we could have covered more topics”
  • “Well-presented and useful”
  • “The case studies were excellent”


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