NEWS

November 2005

 

Global Christianity: Implications for Theological Education

ICETE's 2006 International Consultation for Theological Educators will be taking place 7-11 August 2006 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The distinguished international scholar Philip Jenkins, author of the widely-acclaimed The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (Oxford, 2002), will be a principal speaker at the event. Jenkins will be addressing the Consultation's theme: "Global Christianity and the Role of Theological Education."

Since by its nature theological education is meant to be in service to the church, how it deals with the now global character of the Christian community, and particularly with its increasingly southern tilt, will prove vital to the future of evangelical theological education internationally. ICETE's 2006 Consultation is designed to assist theological educators around the world in reflecting on the nature of this new framework, in addressing together its implications, and in understanding ourselves freshly within this context of service. For example, how might this new reality of global Christianity become better reflected in the objectives and curriculum of our individual institutions? Are we intentionally forming "global Christians"? How shall we deal with the north/south issues in global evangelical theological education? And what might serving not just a local church but also a global church entail for theological institutions in practical terms?

In the Consultation's varied plenary sessions, Carver Yu, professor of dogmatics at China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong, will be leading reflection on the ecclesial dimensions of the theme. Chris Wright, Ministries Director of John Stott's Langham Partnership International, will facilitate consideration of north/south issues. Carlos Pinto, Rector of the Seminario Biblico Palavra da Vida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, will develop the challenge of forming "global Christians". Brian Stiller, President of Tyndale University College & Seminary in Canada, will interact on the question of 'globalising' our theological education, how might it be reformulated to reflect better the newly global dimensions of Christianity. The ICETE Consultation format will also provides for seminars, workshops, roundtable discussions, and much informal contact on other areas of interest additional to the Consultation theme, enabling rich stimulation, interaction, reflection and fellowship.

ICETE's 2006 event will thus represent a singular opportunity for theological educators from all parts of the world to engage these larger issues together for mutual benefit, furthering their shared commitment in preparing biblically-based church leadership adequate to the variant needs and opportunities of the global evangelical community in the 21st Century.

The ICETE Consultation is intended for the ICETE constituency throughout the world. Available space will be limited, so priority will be given to representatives from schools affiliated with one of the eight continental associations that make up the ICETE family (namely ACTEA, AETAL, ATA, ABHE, CETA, EEAA, E-AAA, and SPABC). The composite Consultation participation fee per individual will be US$450 (covering registration, accommodation, meals, etc.). Any school that is formally linked to one of the ICETE member associations listed above will be eligible for a 50% discount on the Consultation fee, for up to two delegates per institution. Travel and related expenses are the responsibility of the individual or the sponsoring institution. Guests or observers will be accommodated on an invitation basis as space is available. Those interested in attending the Consultation should begin registration proceedings immediately, by contacting the ICETE Consultation Directorate at Consultation2006@icete-edu.org

New ICETE Affiliates

During 2005 three major North American institutions have applied for and been granted formal ICETE affiliate status, by action of the ICETE Board. The noted North American institution Denver Seminary had already established this relationship with ICETE. Newly admitted as ICETE Affiliates are: Wheaton College Graduate School, Columbia International University, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. All three institutions have already been informal participants in ICETE events for some years. ICETE is pleased to welcome them now into an official relationship, and looks forward to their ongoing fruitful engagement within the ICETE international family.

Theological Educators interact in Moscow

Braving early winter snows, a hundred theological educators from forty institutions met in Moscow 24-27 October 2005 to interact on the theme: "The Role of Theological Education in the Life of Church and Society". This was the seventh bi-annual assembly of ICETE's newest member body, the Euro-Asian Accrediting Association (E-AAA), which links theological schools throughout lands of the former Soviet Union. The events allow participants to exchange opinions, discuss new trends in education, establish professional contacts and renew acquaintances. This time the occasion included vigorous interaction on the process of harmonizing E-AAA accreditation with the European-wide Bologna Process. Also E-AAA's President, Ivanus Shkulis from Lithuania, and E-AAA's Executive Director, Sergei Sannikov from Ukraine, gave organisational reports to the conference. The Assembly was generously hosted by the Eurasian Theological Seminary in Moscow. More information is available at the E-AAA website www.e-aaa.org

Bologna Process focuses attention in Prague

Meeting 27-29 October 2005 at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, Europe's network for evangelical theological schools EEAA attracted 76 participants from throughout Europe. The principal speaker was Dr Michael Schluter of the Jubilee Centre UK, who spoke on "EEAA as a European Relational Network". Paul Bowers was present to represent the international ICETE family, of which EEAA is a founding member. Delegates said farewell to Dr Adriaan Stringer of the Netherlands, retiring EEAA Coordinator, and welcomed to Marvin Oxenham of Italy, incoming EEAA Coordinator. The EEAA president, Paul Sanders, presently based in Lebanon, led special sessions devoted to the EEAA community's engagement with the Bologna Process (which currently unites over 40 European countries in creating a common framework for European tertiary education). For additional information on EEAA go to www.eeaa.org

EEAA Change of Address Notice EEAA, Via dei Lucumoni 33 01015 Sutri (VT), Italy

Langham's New Website

Many ICETE-related institutions from the majority world also have strong links with the three main service programmes of Langham Partnership International. For example, many faculty have gained their doctorates with financial assistance through the Langham Scholarship programme. The vision of Langham Preaching to foster better biblical preaching finds an echo in hearts of theological educators across the world. And many libraries of ICETE constituency institutions make use of the annual catalogue and library grant of Langham Literature. The ICETE constituency will want therefore to notice that Langham Partnership International has now launched a completely re-vamped website. The new site gives full access to all three main programmes. Do you want to know the criteria for Scholarship grants? Or are you familiar with the difference between Langham's Library Grant Programme and its Additional Books Programme? Or do you think your students and alumni may be missing out on books they could be receiving at discount or even free? Or are you just wondering how John Stott is these days? Visit this new website and explore these questions and lots more, at www.langhampartnership.org

Selected Resources from Asia

Readers of this newsletter will want to take note of three special resources available from the Asia Theological Association (ATS).

1. The Asia Bible Commentary series, which will eventually cover all books of the OT and NT, is intended to assist readers to interpret and apply the Scriptures faithfully within the plurality of Asian cultures. Among titles already available are: Song of Songs, by Andrew Hwang and Samuel Goh; and The Gospel of John, by Jey J. Kanagaraj and Ian Kemp.

2. The Journal of Asian Mission, published twice per year, encourages reflective thinking among Christian leaders training for missions in the Asian context. The journal is published by the Asia Graduate School of Theology-Philippines. For additional information, contact: ajps@apts.edu; or see: www.apts.edu/jam.htm

3. The Journal of Asian Evangelical Theology is published semi-annually by ATA itself, to promote informed theological reflection in the Asian context. Further information is available at www.ataasia.com, or by contacting info@ataasia.com

Can ITS help you? If so, how?

The Institute of Theological Studies (ITS), a respected service associate in the ICETE community, offers two strategic resources to ICETE institutions: curriculum (sixty of the finest advanced level theology courses available), and consultation (assistance with extension, distance, and continuing education options). The ITS "Site License Agreement" provides affordable access to ITS courses (agreements are already signed with MEATE, ACTEA, CETA, and ATA; others are in process), and the ITS structure provides total flexibility in the use of its courses. Here are a few exciting updates from ITS:

1. Contextualized translations of courses into Russian, Mandarin, Arabic, and Spanish are proceeding.

2. "ITS Online," a web-based delivery system, is in its field testing phase, and will be released in 2006.

3. The next courses scheduled for release include: "The Pastoral Epistles" (John Stott, revision); "Foundations of Systematic Theology" (John Frame, new); "Basics of Biblical Greek" (Bill Mounce, new).

Check out all details at www.itscourses.org

Theological Books Network

The Theological Books Network announces that its Library Redistribution Service is up and running! Seminaries, theological schools and associations in Austria, Ethiopia, Singapore, Croatia, Jamaica, Guatemala, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Philippines, Nigeria, Russia and Ukraine have already contacted TBN to find out about their new services. The first shipment of books is going to a seminary in Albania. A second shipment is going to the Presbyterian seminary in Egypt. The Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary and other schools in Cameroon will share another shipment. Later the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology will also host a distribution for theological schools in Kenya. Another such distribution will take place for theological schools in Bangalore, India, sponsored by the Indian Theological Library Association. TBN is directed by Jack Graves, formerly of OCI and well-known to many in the ICETE constituency. For further information, go to: www.theologicalbooknetwork.org