ICETE’s 2012 Consultation

     ICETE’s 2012 International Consultation for Theological Educators, meeting in October in Nairobi, Kenya, was the best attended and most diversely representative of such ICETE gatherings since the first one was held thirty-two years ago. Participants came from 65 countries, representing eight regional associations of theological schools that together cover all parts of the world, plus numerous organisations involved in resourcing and support for theological education. As such the 2012 Consultation has been referenced as “among the most significant gatherings of theological educators in the last decade.”
     Using the theme ‘Rooted in the Word, Engaged in the World’, the ICETE 2012 Consultation focused participants on the historic document emerging from Lausanne’s 2010 Congress, the Cape Town Commitment. The Consultation programme was framed to ask: as a contemporary expression of the Christian community worldwide, what does the Cape Town Commitment have to say to today’s theological educators? In this way the ICETE gathering in Nairobi became a ‘consultation’ not only among theological educators but deliberately a conversation with the global church. As is customary at ICETE’s triennial events, the programme was also enriched by plenary interaction sessions, morning Bible readings, afternoon electives, evening community forums, and extensive free time for informal networking. The relational and professional climate of the event was such that one participant reported afterward: “When I come to ICETE Consultations I am so encouraged by what I learn and by conversations with those that I meet. If I were a poet, I would compose a psalm of praise to God.”

With deep sadness

     It is with deep sadness and regret that ICETE announces the recent passing of ICETE’s Associate International Director, Dr Douglas Carew. Dr Carew passed away in his sleep on 9 November, just three weeks after the ICETE Consultation in Nairobi. Although he had been hospitalised for a complaint earlier in the year, his death came as a considerable shock. He was 56 years of age. In his capacity as head of Africa International University, the hosting institution in Nairobi for the ICETE Consultation, Dr Carew played a key role both in preparations for that event and in chairing many of the sessions. In addition he gave a moving commemorative address about John Stott. Additional to his ICETE and AIU leadership roles, Douglas Carew was also chair of the Accrediting Council for Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA). Originally from Sierra Leone, he held degrees from the University of Sierra Leone and NEGST, and a PhD in OT studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in the USA. He was a lecturer in biblical studies from 1989 onward, first at Sierra Leone Bible College and thereafter at AIU/NEGST. Along with other writings, he contributed to the Africa Bible Commentary, and to the New International Dictionary of OT Theology and Exegesis.
     ICETE’s International Director, Paul Sanders, speaking in tribute to Dr Carew, pointed out that his impact “went far beyond the borders of Kenya, to all of Africa and to the global entities of evangelical theological education.” “What has always struck and inspired me about Douglas was his powerful gentleness as a leader. He embodied the reality that ‘meekness’ and ‘weakness’ are not synonyms. He led not based on his own needs, but on his vision and his resolve to carry out that vision. As a true leader, Douglas wonderfully fulfilled the Pauline commission to empower, to entrust, and to endure (2 Tim 2).” Douglas Carew is survived by his wife Ayiku, and three adult children. A video of his commemorative address about John Stott is viewable at:

Rooted! Engaged!

     Chris Wright, principal framer of the Cape Town Commitment, and an honoured member of ICETE’s Council of Reference, opened ICETE’s 2012 Consultation on Monday evening, 15 October, with a powerful exposition of that document, and of the Consultation theme, for those engaged in evangelical theological education globally.
     On Tuesday morning Douglas Carew (Kenya) linked the Consultation theme commemoratively to John Stott, vivifying that theme as lived out in the person and ministry of Uncle John. Langham assisted with a tribute video, and Lausanne with a booklet about Stott. Also individual ICETE participants reflected briefly on their own experience of John Stott, including his exceptional commitments both to the majority world and to the role of theological education, and his friendly support of ICETE itself.
     Also on Tuesday morning Lausanne’s Doug Birdsall gave a plenary address on ‘The Vision of Lausanne for Theological Education’, while on Friday morning Geoff Tunnicliffe of the World Evangelical Alliance spoke on ‘Theological Education’s Role in Global Evangelicalism’. By featuring such individuals who are both close to ICETE and principal leaders in global evangelicalism, the ICETE community was seeking to position itself at the heart of global evangelical identity, reflection, commitment and advance at this time, and address its particular role in that setting.
     In support of this framing of the programme the mid-week sessions were full of specific content. On Wednesday morning Carver Yu (Hong Kong) and Myrto Theocharous (Cyprus) explored the theme of Attentively Rooted!, while on Thursday Havilah Dharamraj (India) and Enrique Fernández (Costa Rica) developed the theme of Energetically Engaged! The week’s concluding sessions on Friday, 19 October, wrapped up the Consultation with a summary and a look to the future, led by Paul Sanders (France) and Riad Kassis (Lebanon), respectively ICETE’s current Director and ICETE’s Director-Designate.


     The ICETE 2012 Consultation was preceded by three other key events held at the same venue in Nairobi. The first was the meeting of the ICETE Board, in which the strategic future of ICETE and its member agencies was discussed, and the appointment of Dr Riad Kassis as ICETE’s new International Director was formalised. This event was followed by the Third ICETE Doctoral Consultation, bringing together representatives of leading evangelical doctoral programmes of the majority world, and building on the work done by this group in Beirut in 2010 (producing the Beirut Benchmarks) and in Bangalore in 2011 (producing the Bangalore Affirmations). The keynote address was by David Baer of Overseas Council, titled ‘Studying Love: The Doctoral Experience as Obedience to the Two Greatest Commandments’. The third event in the sequence was the ICETE Leaders Colloquium, which included special briefings by leaders from the Lausanne Movement, the World Evangelical Alliance, Langham Partnership, and Overseas Council, together with input from ICETE’s leadership and member associations, and from representatives of the 16 ICETE Associate and 6 ICETE Affiliate entities which link to ICETE with resourcing and support ministries for theological education.


     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 a unique forum in which leaders of theological training institutions from every corner of the globe can feel at home, valued, encouraged, challenged and supported.”

Chris Wright
Langham Partnership

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: Joseph Shao (Philippines); Deputy Chair: Pablo Sywulka (Guatemala); Director: Paul Sanders (France); Director-Designate: Riad Kassis (Lebanon); Associate Director: Douglas Carew (Kenya); Deputy Director: Paul Bowers (USA/Africa)

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

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