The Cape Town Commitment, the defining document coming out of the Lausanne Movement’s historic Cape Town 2010 Congress, includes a firm affirmation of the role of theological education within the global evangelical agenda. The document builds on the Lausanne Covenant of 1974 and the Manila Manifesto of 1989. John Stott played a principal role in the formation of both earlier statements. His ministry successor, Chris Wright, played a similar role for the Cape Town Commitment. The complete text was released earlier this year, and is now available on the web at:
     Noteworthy for theological educators is that, in elaborating the Lausanne theme: “the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world,” the Cape Town Commitment at several points accords a significant place to theological education within the global mission of the church. This is particularly true in the section titled: “Theological Education and Mission” (Part II.F.4.), which offers both an affirmation and a commitment: “The mission of the Church on earth is to serve the mission of God, and the mission of theological education is to strengthen and accompany the mission of the Church…. Theological education stands in partnership with all forms of missional engagement. We will encourage and support all who provide biblically-faithful theological education, formal and non-formal, at local, national, regional and international levels.” The Cape Town Commitment as a whole will merit sustained, in-depth engagement in coming years not least by those whose calling lies in theological education.


     At the invitation of the Lausanne leadership, ICETE co-hosted three special dialogue sessions for theological educators during the Cape Town 2010 Congress. As with the Cape Town Commitment, these sessions sought to articulate the vital role of theological education within the global mission of the church. The overall theme for the sessions was ‘Every Paul Needs an Apollos: Theological Education as Mission Beyond Evangelism’. The first dialogue session began with a presentation by Chris Wright himself, focusing on ‘Theological Education as Missional’. The second session, led by David Baer of Overseas Council, addressed ‘Missional Theological Education as Viable’ The third, led by Paul Sanders, ICETE’s International Director, considered: ‘Missional Theological Education as Global’ A copy of each of these three presentations is now available on the web at:


     Maybe mark it down in your datebook now! If you are involved in evangelical theological education anywhere in the world, the place to try to be in October 2012 is NAIROBI, KENYA. That’s where others in similar roles to yours, with similar concerns and with similar commitments, will be gathering from all parts of the world—at ICETE’s fifteenth International Consultation for Theological Educators. In the global world of evangelical theological education there is nothing equivalent. The dates to write down are 15-19 OCTOBER 2012. Principal participants in the 2012 Consultation programme will include: Chris Wright of Langham Partnership, Doug Birdsall of the Lausanne Movement, David Baer of Overseas Council, and Geoff Tunnicliffe of the World Evangelical Alliance, plus other global leaders and thinkers—all of them believing that the work you are engaged in matters, all of them ready to reflect with you, interact with you, and support you. ICETE’s triennial consultations are in-house events meant for ICETE’s global family; participation is open to representatives from all theological schools linked with one or other ICETE member association (ATA, ACTEA, AETAL, ABHE, EEAA, E-AAA, CETA, SPAEC), or from any of the other entities formally associated with ICETE. Watch the following issues of this newsletter for further details and for instructions how to register.


     Among the most significant trends in theological education globally has been the rapid emergence of doctoral programmes at leading theological institutions of the evangelical majority world. Last year ICETE launched a project to support and assist these programmes, and especially to provide them with relational space for contact and collaboration. Two preliminary planning events were projected to chart a way forward. The first was held in Beirut, Lebanon, in March 2010. The second is to take place in Bangalore, India, in October 2011. These invitation-only gatherings are bringing together selected representatives from Asia, Africa, and Latin America to explore together how best to proceed. The Beirut and Bangalore gatherings are designed as preparatory for a major consultation on doctoral theological education in the majority world, to be held in October 2012, in Nairobi, Kenya (in conjunction with the ICETE 2012 International Consultation). The event will be open to all evangelical doctoral programmes in the majority world, and other interested parties within the ICETE orbit. Further details will be announced in due course. ICETE’s doctoral initiative is co-sponsored by Langham Partnership International and Overseas Council International.


     In preparation for the ICETE 2012 Doctoral Consultation, the gathering in Beirut developed and unanimously adopted the Beirut Benchmarks, a statement suggesting ‘best practice’ for emerging doctoral programmes in the evangelical majority world, now available at: The Beirut Benchmarks have subsequently been endorsed by the ICETE governing board, Langham Partnership International, Overseas Council International, and various regional associations of theological schools, including the Asia Theological Association, the Association for Evangelical Theological Education in Latin America, the Euro-Asia Accrediting Association, the South Pacific Association of Evangelical Colleges, the Accrediting Council for Theological Education in Africa, the Caribbean Evangelical Theological Association, and the European Evangelical Accrediting Association. The follow-up gathering in Bangalore in October this year will work through additional issues affecting the emergence of these majority world programmes.


     Those in academic leadership at theological schools throughout the majority world are continuing to benefit from a popular ICETE service, now called the ICETE PROGRAMME FOR ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP (IPAL). Since 2005 this service has provided specialised training seminars for academic deans and others in academic leadership, in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America. More than five hundred leaders have taken part to date. Participants welcome the opportunity the programme offers for professional capacity building. The content varies according regional interests and needs, but may include topics such as: institutional development, the theology of theological education, administrative problem solving, developing integrated and contextualized curricula, cultivating learning communities, the role of the dean in capacity building, and developing the faculty as mentors. The seminars are organised in collaboration with ICETE member associations in each region. During the remainder of 2011 such events are scheduled for Kingston, Jamaica (18-21 July); Lusaka, Zambia (29 August-2 September); Salvadore, Brazil (9 November); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (10-12 November); Guatemala City, Guatemala (14-18 November); and Lima, Peru (21-25 November). For further information, contact your regional association, or write to the IPAL Coordinator, Fritz Deininger, at [email protected]



     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 combined student population in excess of a hundred thousand persons in preparation for church leadership roles, predominantly in the majority world. ICETE was established in 1980, and functions as a Global Partner in the World Evangelical Alliance.

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

Doug Birdsall
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: Joe Simfukwe (Zambia); Director: Paul Sanders (France/Lebanon); Associate Director: Douglas Carew (Kenya); Deputy Director: Paul Bowers (USA/Africa)

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

for further information about ICETE, go to: