In 2019, a total of 29 ODC participants where 21 PhD students and eight mentors from 10 countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Central Asia, the UK and USA, and seven Christian denominations joined for a `journey` that enriches the mind as well as the spirit,  bringing those who love Christ together in a learning community.


The final aim of ODC programme is to support, strengthen and equip the church to grow into open, welcoming, witnessing communities of Jesus Christ in today’s world. It seeks to support the churches in being witnesses in their respective post-communist societies now and in the future, and find ways for reconciliation for what happened in the past.” (dr. Peter F. Penner, Germany)

ODC students research interests were in the area of missiology – ODC in this sense provides an open space with mentoring assistance and peer interaction for the development of contextual approaches to mission and for strengthening the missiological dimensions of PhD research projects across Christian traditions, CEE countries and institutions in order to help the churches to be relevant witnesses in the post-communist world.
“Very well organized, every single detail was taken care of, peaceful atmosphere, cordiality, good and helpful exchange of information, good mentoring.” (student participant from Croatia)
ODC participants considered their time in Osijek helpful both to advance with their PhD studies and to grow in their faith. Thus, as the most meaningful aspects of ODC, participants highlighted:
1. The mentors and their knowledge and experience, as well their openness and availability to interact and consult the students on different (problem) areas.
2. The fellow-students and the possibility to interact in discussions, exchange views and resources, as well as share views and pray.
3. The ETS library as an immense asset with many books and helpful librarians.
“ODC is a nice blending of academic research, professional mentoring, one to one guidance and help, on the one side, and the personal intimate meetings with fellows for coffee, when we were sharing our testimonies, make the ODC journey very special and dear.” (student participant from Central Asia)