NEWS

July 2008

 

Overseas Council partners with ICETE.

The distinguished global ministry Overseas Council has accepted an invitation from ICETE to enter into a formal collegial relationship as a recognised ‘ICETE Partner’. Overseas Council, under its president David Baer, is among the most respected and effective ministries working worldwide in support of evangelical theological education. It has been an ‘ICETE Associate’ for more than a decade, and is thus an already well-known participant in the ICETE family. ‘ICETE Partner’ is a special category within the ICETE movement that allows for enhanced collaboration, consultation, and mutual support. Langham Partnership International (LPI), under the direction of Chris Wright, established such a relationship with ICETE in 2002. Further information about Overseas Council and its multiple services is available on its website at: www.overseas.org

Sopron? Where is that?

Sopron is in Hungary—and (as some might say) it is where most alertly informed evangelical theological educators will be in October 2009. Or, expressed more modestly, it is where the next ICETE International Consultation for Theological Educators will be held 5-9 October 2009.

Sopron is situated in a lake and forest setting in western Hungary, directly on the border with Austria (and thus closer to Vienna than to Budapest). The city was built in medieval times over an earlier Roman settlement. Sopron is also where eastern Europeans flocked in 1989, to what was billed as a grand ‘picnic’. There on 19 August they crowded across an unguarded border to freedom, an event that helped precipitate the fall of the Berlin Wall in November the same year.

Held every three years, ICETE’s International Consultations represent the only occasion of their kind for evangelical theological educators from all parts of the world to gather for peer professional reflection and interaction at global level. The 2009 Consultation’s composite participation fee is US$750 per individual (covering registration, accommodation, meals, etc.). However, any school that is formally linked to one of ICETE’s member associations (namely ACTEA, AETAL, ATA, ABHE, CETA, EEAA, E-AAA, and SPABC) is eligible for a 50% discount on the Consultation fee. Travel and related expenses are the responsibility of the sponsoring institution or individual. The event is intended for ICETE-related institutions and entities; guests or observers will be accommodated on an invitation basis only. Since space is limited, those interested in attending the Consultation should begin inquiries at this time, by contacting the ICETE Consultation Directorate at: Consultation2009@icete-edu.org More information about the 2009 ICETE Consultation is available at: www.icete-edu.org/news

CISF, WETIA, & GATE.

The ICETE community has been enlarged once again, by the recent admission to ICETE Associate status of three important ministries, each making a particular contribution to the enhancement of global theological education.

Christian International Scholarship Foundation (CISF). CISF is already widely known within the ICETE community for its scholarship programmes in support of doctoral-level studies for Christian leaders from the majority world. In nearly 25 years of ministry, CISF has seen numerous graduates move into senior leadership roles in their home countries. CISF is focused on identifying and investing in advanced theological education for gifted Christian leaders from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. For further information on CISF, see: cisf.org

Global Associates for Transformational Education (GATE). GATE seeks to assist majority world theological educators in equipping church leaders “in ways that are appropriately contextual, genuinely transformational, and biblically grounded.” GATE pursues this goal by means of intensive faculty workshops. GATE’s current professional staff includes individuals already well known within the ICETE community, namely: Duane Elmer, Ralph Enlow, Robert Ferris, and John Lillis. Further information about GATE is available at: www.gateglobal.org

World Evangelical Theological Institute Association (WETIA). WETIA is an IT service and research organisation launched in 2005, under the sponsorship of Olivet University (USA), to assist evangelical theological schools globally with increased access to information technology resources for high-quality education and training. Through a range of services it seeks to enable the application of information technology in evangelical Christian higher education worldwide, including tools to create and deploy online learning programs. For further information on WETIA, see: www.wetia.org

ICETE in motion.

Led by ICETE’s International Director, Paul Sanders (Lebanon), the ICETE Executive Committee met in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2007. The group reviewed new ICETE services for its global constituency, especially focusing on the forthcoming 2009 ICETE Consultation. In earlier action Douglas Carew (Kenya) was appointed ICETE Associate International Director, and Paul Bowers (USA) was appointed ICETE Deputy International Director. The ICETE leadership group will meet again in October 2008, in Pattaya, Thailand, immediately preceding the General Assembly of the World Evangelical Alliance. The sessions will include a briefing by the executive chair of the Lausanne movement (LCWE), Doug Birdsall, on plans for LCWE’s Cape Town 2010 Congress.

Workshops for Academic Deans.

Since 2005 ICETE has been co-sponsoring or assisting in a series of professional development workshops in different parts of the world designed specifically for academic deans. The response has been enthusiastic; deans have been crowding the events. Altogether 8 such workshops have been held, and 4 more are scheduled through the end of 2008. The first were held in Asia under the auspices of the Asia Theological Association (ATA), with ICETE personnel assisting. In 2007 ICETE organised the first such workshop in Latin America. Two more are scheduled in 2008, in Peru, Brazil, and Guatemala, all in cooperation with ICETE’s Latin America member AETAL. The first workshop for Africa is taking place in July in Togo. Principal ICETE facilitators in these events have included Paul Sanders (Lebanon) and Fritz Deininger (Thailand).

ICETE ThinkTanks.

In a fresh initiative ICETE has recently begun hosting ‘ThinkTank’ events for its member networks around the world. These events enable leaders of ICETE member associations to come together, under professional facilitation, for detailed self-assessment and vision casting. The first such event was held for AETAL, ICETE’s member association for Latin America, in February 2007 in São Paulo, Brazil. The second event was held in May 2008, in Johannesburg, South Africa, for ACTEA, ICETE’s member association for Africa. Others will follow elsewhere. By such means ICETE seeks to assist in strengthening the network services available to institutions throughout its global family.

Other Resources and Events

Global evangelical assembly.

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) will be holding its General Assembly in Pattaya, Thailand, 25-30 October 2008. Participants will include leaders from WEA’s 128 national and 7 regional evangelical alliances around the world, together with representatives from WEA’s commissions, partner bodies, and 105 associate ministries. Under the leadership of WEA’s International Director, Geoff Tunnicliffe, the Assembly will engage with the theme: “One Lord, One Body, One Voice.” WEA serves as a global structure for evangelical identity, voice, and action worldwide, embracing 420 million believers in 128 countries. ICETE is a WEA Global Partner. For further information on the WEA General Assembly, see: www.ga08.org

Lausanne’s theology initiative.

In preparation for the 2010 LCWE Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, the Lausanne movement is sponsoring an intensive theological study project. The project is meant to ensure that LCWE’s mission passion and activist strategising are grounded in careful theological reflection. The project also seeks to challenge evangelical theological reflection to faithful biblical effectiveness for holistic mission in the spirit of the Lausanne Covenant. Under the direction of Chris Wright of Langham Partnership, the project has been holding a series of intense small-group international consultations, addressing each component of the Lausanne motto: “The Whole Church taking the Whole Gospel to the Whole World”. The first meeting took place in Limuru, Kenya, in February 2007, to work through an appropriate agenda for the project. ICETE was represented by ICETE’s Chair, Sergiy Sannikov (Ukraine), and ICETE’s Associate Director, Douglas Carew (Kenya). The second event was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in February 2008, addressing the theme “The Whole Gospel.” Next year the group will focus on “The Whole Church”, and in 2010 on “The Whole World.” Further information is available at: www.lausanne.org/issue-theology/theology-working-group.html

Church-based theological education.

BILD International has announced the launching of its Antioch School of Church Planting and Leadership Development. The Antioch School is designed to link church-based theological education with academic degrees, in the service of churches and church planting networks around the world. The new school is meant as an innovative approach to competency-based credentialing for in-service, non-formal ministry training. Or put otherwise: “a school without the schooling paradigm.” The programme offers degrees at bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels. Those interested in learning more about the Antioch School programme may contact the Academic Dean, Stephen Kemp, at: antiochschool@bild.org, or visit: www.bild.org/antiochSchool

Global database for theological courses.

The Evangelical Training Database (ETD) is a web-based service intended to enable people anywhere in the world to find locally available training options, by means of a searchable listing for all evangelical training courses worldwide. The database already includes reference to over 1700 courses. Searches can be done by subject, country, course level, keyword, and language. A large portion of the courses thus far listed are for distance education programmes available worldwide. ICETE-related institutions are also able to enter details about their programmes, and a number have already done so. The website is to be found at: www.trainforchrist.org Included are instructions on how individual institutions can register to enter basic information in the database about their own programmes.

Keeping up with the news.

Among the best resources for keeping current with evangelical theological trends, conferences, personalities, publications, and developments around the world is the venerable publication Theological News. Published by the WEA Theological Commission since 1969, the newsletter is now offered in both printed and on-line versions. The on-line version is released eight times a year, while the print version is quarterly. The two versions overlap but are not identical. The on-line version is free; simply send an empty email to listmgr@ead.de with the following entry in the “Subject” line: “subscribe wef-tc-tn”. The WEA Theological Commission also publishes the journal Evangelical Review of Theology (ERT). A CD containing all issues of Theological News since its inception is available for $35, while a CD with all back issues of ERT is available for $50. For full information on all these resources, visit: www.worldevangelicalalliance.com/commission/tc

So what is ICETE?

ICETE is a global community, sponsored by eight regional network associations of theological schools, to facilitate collaboration worldwide for excellence and renewal in evangelical theological education. The eight sponsoring associations together cover all parts of the world, with a combined constituency of more than 872 evangelical theological schools in 113 countries. This entails globally at any given time a combined student population in excess of one hundred thousand persons in preparation for church leadership roles, predominantly in the majority world. ICETE was established in 1980, and functions in affiliation with the World Evangelical Alliance.