A Message from the International Director

Dear friend and partners,
Greetings from Lebanon!
It is my sheer pleasure to share with you this issue of ICETE Update. I am sure that you will be delighted to know more about the ICETE Program for Academic Leadership (IPAL), a unique and innovative initiative to enhance quality of global theological education.
We hear and talk a lot about partnership and its importance as East-West- South-North interact. Dr. Victor Nakah offers us here new insights and practical help on how to develop genuine partnerships.
News from the ICETE global family and ICETE friends’ publications bring joy to our hearts as we are assured that global evangelical theological education is maintaining the balance of being deeply rooted in God’s Word and appropriately relevant to the World.
Enjoy reading!

Revd Riad Kassis, PhD
International Director, International Council for Evangelical Theological Education
Strengthening evangelical theological education through international cooperation

ICETE Program for Academic Leadership: 2012-2013

ICETE Program for Academic Leadership: 2012-2013
IPAL is an innovative and unique service of ICETE. It began when the Asia Theological Association (ATA) relayed a demand from Asian academic leaders for continuing training, resulting in a three-year cycle of seminars for the professional development of evangelical academic officers. From Asia, IPAL then began work in Latin America, Africa, and Eurasia. Since 2005 about 40 of these seminars have been held in close collaboration with ICETE’s regional associations, with the aim to give over ownership of the process to the regional bodies, as has been the case in Asia, with IPAL acting as a catalyst in various regions of the world.
IPAL’s purpose is not only to offer practical skills in academic leadership to those who occupy these roles, but to encourage synergy among regional leaders as they share their experiences, and to strengthen the regional networks of which they are a part.
The IPAL workshops normally are four days in length.  In the first year, IPAL looks at the person and responsibilities of an academic dean.  The second year focuses on the role of academic leadership in curriculum development, while the third year focuses on the role of academic leadership in the development of a teaching team. This three year cycle of training is coordinated by Dr Fritz Deininger, in close collaboration with Dr. Steve Hardy.
Since 2012, IPAL seminars have been held in the following locations:

Lusaka, Zambia – July 5-12, 2012

This regional workshop met under the umbrella of the network for theological schools in Africa (ACTEA) with 24 participants from 16 schools (Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Participants were enthusiastic about both the teaching and being able to spend time with each other. Significant time was given each day for developing practical plans for implementing the themes discussed. Presenters included Dr. Steve Hardy, US, Dr. Edwin Zulu, Zambia, Rev. Joe Simfukwe, Zambia, and Dr. Fritz Deininger, Germany.

Kingston, Jamaica – July 16-20, 2012

This was the final workshop in the three-year training cycle and looked at the role of academic leadership in developing teachers. Meeting under the umbrella of the Caribbean Evangelical Theological Association (CETA), this seminar drew 26 participants from 13 institutions coming from three of the Caribbean nations. Although the heat and humidity were a bit overwhelming,  it was very satisfying to be a part of a training event with these amazing people who are significant gifts to the church of God.
Presenters included Dr. Errol Joseph, Trinidad, Dr. Dieumeme Noelliste, US / Haiti, Dr. Steve Hardy, US, and Dr. Fritz Deininger, Germany.

Niteroi, Brazil – November 5-7, 2012
Under the sponsorship of Association for Evangelical Theological Education in Latin America (AETAL-Brazil), this second-year of the workshop cycle looked at issues of curriculum. It was hosted by the Escola dos Pastores in Niteroi, across the bay from Rio de Janeiro. There were  12 participants from six different training institutions.
Presenters included Prof. Vera Brock, Brazil, Dr. Pablo Sywulka, Guatemala, Dr. Steve Hardy, US, and Dr. Fritz Deininger, Germany.

Mini-IPALs in Salvador (November 2-3, 2012) and Manaus, Brazil (November 9-10, 2012)
AETAL hosted two mini-events to expose schools both to AETAL and to issues of excellence in theological education. Over 60 people enthusiastically attended each of these two events. 
Presenters included Rev. Marcio Matta, Brazil, Dr. Pablo Sywulka, Guatemala, Dr. Steve, Hardy, US, and Dr. Fritz Deininger, Germany.

Guatemala (November 12-15, 2012) and Lima, Peru  (November 19-22, 2012)

In both of these locations in Latin America the full three-year cycle of IPAL seminars has actually been completed.  However, the participants from several countries have found these times to be so valuable that they want to make this a yearly training event for continuing education. This not only allows them to explore new areas, but it also allows new leaders just entering into academic leadership roles to gain important leadership skills.
Presenters included Prof.  Dr. Orbelina Equizabal, US / Guatemala, Dr. Pablo Sywulka, Guatemala, Dr. Steve Hardy, US, and Dr. Fritz Deininger, Germany.

Odessa, Ukraine February 26-30, 2013

This IPAL training event was hosted by the Euro-Asian Accrediting Association (E-AAA) for theological schools in the Russian-speaking world. Forty-two participants from twenty regional schools met at the Odessa Theological Seminary on the shores of the Black Sea. This is normally a lovely resort area—but not at the end of February!  Using translation, we looked at the nature of theological training, the roles and responsibilities of a dean, including the practical nuts and bolts of doing administration. E-AAA has also scheduled a one-day workshop to consider how master’s level training could best be offered by schools in that part of the world.
Presenters included Rev. Taras Dyatlik, Ukraine (and several others for short presentations), Dr. Steve Hardy, US, Dr. Fritz Deininger, Germany.

Events scheduled for the rest of 2013
Costa Rica (for schools in Central America) – June 10-13
Lusaka, Zambia  (for central Africa) – July 15-18
Lubango, Angola (for the Portuguese-speaking world of Africa) - July 3-6
Mexico – August 5-8
Lima – November 18 -21
Bolivia  – November 25-27
If you need more information on IPAL or if you have been to IPAL workshops and would like to share your views please write to: Dr Fritz Deininger ([email protected]).  Thank you.

Partnership that serves the Mission of God

by Victor Nakah1

The organizational architecture is really that a centipede walks on hundred legs and one or two don’t count. So if I lose one or two legs, the process will go on, the organization will go on, the growth will go on. [Mukesh Ambani]

One of the positive things to come out of challenges such as globalisation, rapid socio-cultural changes, and dwindling resources is that we have had to take what the Bible says about partnership seriously. The Bible speaks of partnership as a divine strategy for participating in God’s mission and for that reason is not optional but a must for all those who live to serve the purposes of God.

Biblical-theological and practical reasons for partnership make a very compelling argument. For example, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 makes the practical point that, more could be accomplished in Christian mission if we worked together. It states clearly that two are better than one and that a cord of three strands is not easily broken. An African proverb that speaks to this says, “If a person dreams alone, it remains nothing but a dream. But when a people dream together, that dream becomes a reality.” Another one which was popularized through our 2012 institutes says, “If you want to travel fast, travel alone. But if you want to travel far, travel together.”

One of the lessons that we learn from the early church, especially in the book of Acts is that the life of faith is better lived together. We worship, learn, care, pray, witness and serve better together. Going it alone therefore robs us of everything that God intended the life of faith and service to be. This is why words like partnership and collaboration should be appealing to the church and Christian organizations that take the mission of God seriously. The only effective way to participate in God’s mission is by doing it His way, with His people, using His resources, and depending on His enablement. This compels us to bring all our resources and skills together in partnership for the accomplishing of the mission of God.

Defining Partnership
Luis Bush speaking from the Asian context has defined partnership as “an association of two or more autonomous bodies who have formed a trusting relationship, and fulfill agreed-upon expectations by sharing complementary strengths and resources, to reach their mutual goal.”2

Tear Fund gives a more elaborate definition of partnership:
     “Partnership is a relationship between two people or groups, which exists for a common purpose. The groups enter a partnership because they can achieve more together and can fulfill a purpose more efficiently. True partnership does not involve exploitation. Both partners have something to offer to the relationship and something to gain from it. Sometimes the partnership involves sharing of resources, such as expertise, knowledge, equipment, connections, prayer, or volunteers. Unfortunately, where exchange of money is involved, the donor is sometimes perceived to have more power than the recipient. True partnership requires that both partners take part in decision-making. If only one partner has a decision making role, the other partner becomes more like a contractor who is brought in to carry out a particular task, but has no responsibility for the direction of the work as a whole. That is not partnership.
Partners do not do the same tasks together all of the time. The best partnerships happen because the partners have different strengths in terms of what they can do. They have roles that are complementary to each other. They may only work to their strengths and therefore may not carry out many tasks together at all.
Partnerships require transparency. The intentions and actions of each partner should be made clear to the other. The partners are therefore accountable to each other. Yet partnerships also require trust, so that each partner can trust the other to use their strengths responsibly, for the benefit of the purpose that the partnership is trying to achieve. As partners need to be committed to working with each other, perhaps over a long period of time, the partnership is usually based on shared values. The relationship is as important as the purpose that the partners want to achieve. Otherwise the partnership could fail before the purpose is fulfilled.”3

I would like to use these two very insightful definitions to reflect on what this means for our partners and us. I think the essence of partnership as defined above is this:

  1.      1. Partnership is relationship. Relationship that is started and grown around common purpose and goal. And the relationship is as important as the purpose. That is why we partner by leveraging people, expertise, and resources. I think Overseas Council (OC) puts a very high premium on relationship as demonstrated by the appointment of Regional Directors and the way our Institutes for Excellence pay close attention to the need to physically meet and engage. We however need to be careful how we end partnerships because partnership relationships take a lot of time and effort to build and therefore cannot be terminated overnight. It takes two to terminate partnership.

[Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? Amos 3:3]

  1.      2. Partnership exists for a common purpose. The purpose, which we share with those who we partner with, is, “Empowering churches to fulfill the Great Commission.” This we do by partnering with seminaries, Bible Institutes, and other strategic ministries. Here we need to be careful that we don’t lose sight of the purpose. Our partnerships are the means through which we empower churches. When our partners become irrelevant to this purpose, then the partnership is dysfunctional. This is why we need to take the standards for partnership seriously because they help us to measure the relevance of the partnership in relation to our purpose.

  1.      3. Partnership does not exploit. Wherever the exchange of money is involved it tends to become the main thing and whoever has it can abuse the privilege and is often perceived to have more power that the one without. Money is not everything; we need to help our partners quantify what they contribute to the partnership so that both parties have something to give and to gain. We need our partners just as much as they need us and we need to help them see this.

  1.      4. Partnership is for mutual benefit. In this case it is much easier for us to see how we benefit our partners but what about how they benefit us. How do they add value to us as an organization? We need to work at balancing the equation of benefit so that we can appreciate each other even more. But what is even more important is considering how together are benefiting the church to fulfill the Great Commission. 

[It has been said that a marriage relationship is like an empty box. It takes two people to fill the box and you cannot benefit from the box more than what you have put in.]

  1.      5. Partnership involves both parties in decision-making. Dr. Scott Cunningham has highlighted a number of ways our partners can be involved in decision-making. We however need to do it more deliberately and our partners need to know that they are indeed involved. For example, we have said to our partners that we take their evaluation of Institutes seriously and that most of the changes at institutes are a result of what they would have said in the evaluation. With regards to regional goals, the assumption is that Regional Directors would have consulted widely before they come up with these goals for the year. The goals and priorities of OC are therefore their goals and priorities. OC does not have a separate agenda apart from what our partners would have outlined in consultation.

  1.      6. Partnership is complimentary. It goes without saying that in the partnership we are equal but different and we use our differences to complement each other in carrying out the task at hand. That way we can do more and better together. But the concept of complementarity will only make sense when both parties are aware of how differences can serve both parties to accomplish the purpose for which they exist. Just because we have financial resources and our partners do not does not make us more powerful but privileged to compliment them knowing that they also have other resources that we don’t have.

  1.      7. Partnership requires Transparency. The diversity among our partners will only enrich us if there is transparency of intention and action. Our partners are not only Seminaries and Bible colleges but also Christian Universities. They all have different needs and ‘one size fits all’ will not do. OC has partner schools whose desperate need is financial resources and others it’s training and for others attending the institutes every year is the best thing that has ever happened to them. We need to know “who is who in the Zoo”, and that will require a high degree of transparency on both parties. The more we are aware of each others’ intentions, actions and expectations, the better we will be able to serve each other.

  1.      8. Partnership requires accountability and therefore we should not shy away from reinforcing standards or following-up on how this or that institute would have made a difference to our different partner school. I think there is too much at stake if we do not expect our partners to be accountable to us. In the same way we need to think through how they can do the same with us. Every year we make commitments to do certain things for and with our partners. They equally have the right to hold us to account when we fail to deliver. Mutual accountability helps us to serve better together.

  1.      9. Partnership requires commitment to the common purpose and to each other as servants of God. This commitment is first and foremost to the purpose of empowering the Church for the fulfillment of the Great Commission and then to each other as the means through which this is going to happen. Our commitment to each other is only as important as how much we can do to help the church fulfill the Great Commission.

Alan Fowler’s advice on partnerships is very helpful for our reflection on how we should go about starting and growing partnerships.

     1. Be clear about why the relationship exists. Each partner should be clear about why they want the partnership and be realistic about what they can and cannot contribute to it.
     2. Apply the principle of interdependence – If each partner is not dependent on the other in some way, then they are not really in partnership.
     3. Adopt a relationship focus rather than a project focus – a project is a vehicle to explore relationships, but it is not a basis for a partnership.
     4. Create a process for shared control – work against the imbalance of power that often happens in relationships, particularly those involving transfer of funds. Establish joint processes and structures that produce shared control. 
     5. Invest in your own reform – for the partnership to work well, it may be necessary for one partner to invest in the development of the other at the beginning of the relationship. Otherwise there may be a power imbalance in the relationship because one partner is too dependent on the other.

Speaking of the value of relationship in partnership, here is another ancient proverb that delves into the psyche of a true necessity of the human soul...relationship and fellowship, “Some people come into our lives, and quickly go. Some stay for a while, make footprints on our hearts and we are never the same again.”

1Revd Dr Victor Nakah is from Zimbabwe and serves as a Senior Vice President of Spiritual Ministry with CURE International.
2Chin Do Kham, “Partnership Issues and Challenges in Asia Mission” in Asian Chruch and God’s Mission: Studies Presented at the International Symposium on Asian Mission in Manila – January 2002 (Manila: OMF 2005), 50
3Roots 11: Partnering with the Local Church. It is available online at this URL:

New publications from ICETE friends

   Marvin Oxenham, Higher Education in Liquid Modernity (Routledge International Studies in the Philosophy of Education) (Routledge, 2013)

Based in sociologist Zygmunt Bauman’s theory of liquid modernity, this volume describes and critiques key aspects and practices of liquid education--education as market-driven consumption, short life span of useful knowledge, overabundance of information--through a systematic comparison with ancient Greek paideia and medieval university education, producing a sweeping analysis of the history and philosophy of education for the purpose of understanding current higher education, positing a more holistic alternative model in which students are embedded in a learning community that is itself embedded in a larger society. If liquid modernity has left a vacuum where, according to Bauman, the pilot’s cabin is empty, this volume argues that no structure is better positioned to fill this vacuum than the university and outlines a renewed vision of social transformation through higher education (http://www.amazon.com/Education-Modernity-Routledge-International-Philosophy/dp/0415813972).

   Ralph E. Enlow, Jr. The Leader's Palette: Seven Primary Colors (WestBowPress, 2013)

"No! Not another book on leadership!” That was my first reaction as I received the manuscript of this book. Upon careful reading, I came to realize that Dr. Enlow has artistically captured the essence of leading by influence, and has presented it in a clear and colorful way. As a veteran leader, Dr. Enlow speaks from vast experience, but it is not merely subjective anecdotal experience. The book is firmly rooted in serious and current research. As I meet leaders from all over the globe, I am no longer hesitant what to recommend them to read" -Riad Kassis, director of Langham Scholars Ministry; international director of the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education.  "This book under-promises and over-delivers with a powerful palette of leadership wisdom. But drop everything—right now—and read the warning in the last chapter on doxological leadership. . . . I am recommending this book to all my clients, and I will likely reread this gem once a year. It's that important" -John Pearson, author of Mastering the Management Buckets (www.amazon.com/The-Leaders-Palette-Primary-Colors/dp/1449783929).

News from ICETE global family

World Evangelical Theological Institute Association (WETIA)

World Evangelical Theological Institute Association (WETIA- http://www.wetia.com/) is a nonprofit service and research organization supporting the world’s evangelical theological colleges and seminaries with new technologies that keep them relevant and vital. WETIA’s Executive Director is Dr. Walker Tzeng.

European Evangelical Accrediting Association (EEAA)

The EEAA is inviting directors of evangelical theological institutions in Europe offering Doctoral Studies to a EUROPEAN CONSULTATION ON DOCTORAL STANDARDS held in connection with the EEAA General Assembly 23-24 October 2013.
In recent decades a growing number of evangelical theological institutions in Europe have begun to offer studies at the doctoral level. The EEAA is aware of these developments and has decided to provide a platform for interaction and exchange of experiences at the European level. The catalyst for this initiative is a global three-year process on standards for doctoral studies in theology based on evangelical convictions conducted by the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE). The Accreditation Director of EEAA, Dr. Bernhard Ott, represented the European context in this global conversation whose results are documented in the “Beirut Benchmarks”.
The EEAA has no intention to provide accreditation for Doctoral studies as we believe that in Europe research at the doctoral level needs to be conducted in the context of public scrutiny by relating to the academic world at large and not by providing in-house evangelical accreditation. Nonetheless we are convinced that we all would greatly benefit from an open-minded and critical dialogue on theological studies at the doctoral level focusing on opportunities and challenges we face in Europe.

Association for Evangelical Theological Education in Latin America (AETAL)

AETAL General Assembly. Marcio Matta, President of AETAL, writes: We are pleased to announce the 2013 General Assembly of the Association for Evangelical Theological Education in Latin America (AETAL) that will be held in Brazil 23-26 September 2013 at the EETAD Campus, in Campinas. It will be our privilege to welcome Dr. Riad Kassis (ICETE Director) who will be one of our special guests.  As usual, there will also be 3 workshops and a unique time for networking and fellowship with theological educators from across Latin America.
The General Assembly will also be preceded by a Continental Theological Conference (23-25 Sept) to which all Latin American evangelical seminaries are warmly invited.
Download the AETAL General Assembly and Continental Theological Conference information flier and register at www.aetal.com.  Anyone in the ICETE network worldwide is most welcome to attend.

South Pacific Association of Evangelical Colleges (SPAEC)

SPAEC General Assembly
The Gospel and Cultural Renewal throughout the Nations of the South Pacific
Monday 23 to Thursday 26 September 2013
Venue: QCCC Brookfield, 179 Gold Creek Road, Brookfield, QLD 4069. Phone: (07) 3374 1166
SpeakerDr Murray Rae (B.Arch (Auckland) BD (Otago) BA (Otago) PhD (London)) is the Head of the Department of Theology and Religion at Otago University. He has a deep interest in the gospel and cultural renewal (particularly the intersection of the gospel with Maori culture).

Asia Theological Association (ATA)

ATA Triennial General Assembly

The Asia Theological Association is pleased to invite you to its Triennial General Assembly to be held on August 12-16 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
For more information please visit: http://icetedu.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/2013-ata-ga-brochure-email.pdf


     ICETE is a global community, sponsored by eight regional 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 represents globally a student population in excess of a hundred thousand presently in preparation for church leadership roles, predominantly in the majority world. ICETE was established in 1980, and functions as a Global Partner within the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).

      “ICETE is among the most important networks serving within global evangelicalism, because it is helping to train leaders in the regions from which evangelicalism's leadership will arise for the 21st century.”

Doug Birdsall
formerly Executive Chair Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (LCWE)

ICETE Sponsoring Associations—ACTEA (Africa); ATA (Asia); CETA (the Caribbean); EEAA (Europe); E-AAA (Euro-Asia); AETAL (Latin America); ABHE (North America); SPAEC (South Pacific)

ICETE Officers—Chair: Pablo Sywulka (Guatemala); Deputy Chair: Dieumeme Noelliste (Haiti); International Director: Riad Kassis (Lebanon)

ICETE Council of Reference—Rolf Hille (Germany); Emilio Nuñez (Guatemala); Chris Wright (UK); Wilson Chow (Hong Kong); Doug Birdsall (USA); Daniel Bourdanné (Chad); Peter Kuzmič (Croatia)

ICETE is a Global Partner within the World Evangelical Alliance

for further information about ICETE, go to: