ACTEA eNews #38 -- Nov-Dev 2011
The mission of ACTEA is to promote quality evangelical theological education
in Africa by providing supporting services, facilitating academic recognition,
and fostering continental and inter-continental cooperation.
Following a three-year revision process with wide consultation and input from our members, the revised and updated ACTEA Standards have been approved by the ACTEA Council and are now available for distribution. These revisions reflect the changing contexts of theological education in Africa, including the development of Christian universities; the growth of non-traditional delivery modes for theological education such as extension programs, satellite campuses, modular scheduling, distance education and e-learning; and ACTEA’s desire to maintain an emphasis on holistic training, including spiritual formation and ministry skills, within these new delivery modes. The English edition of the revised ‘ACTEA Standards & Guide to Self-Evaluation’ has been completed, and French and Portuguese editions are in the process of translation. All editions will be available soon for download from the ACTEA website. Meanwhile those whose would like to preview the English edition are welcome to request a copy from the editor: email@example.com <mailto:%firstname.lastname@example.org> . (Note that the file will arrive as a 1.3MB PDF email attachment. Please request a copy only if this format is convenient for you.)
Mark your diary now! The International Council for Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE) will hold its fifteenth International Consultation for Theological Educators in Nairobi, Kenya, 15-19 October 2012. Previous consultations in High Wycombe, UK (2003), Chang Mai, Thailand (2006) and Sopron, Hungary (2009) drew theological educators from all over the world. Principal participants in the 2012 Consultation programme include Chris Wright (Langham Partnership), Doug Birdsall (Lausanne Movement), David Baer (Overseas Council) and Geoff Tunnicliffe (World Evangelical Alliance), plus other global leaders and thinkers. ICETE’s triennial consultations are in-house events meant for ICETE’s global family of evangelical theological educators, of which ACTEA is a sponsoring partner. Participation is open to representatives from all theological schools linked with ACTEA. For more details see www.icete-edu.org/.
Theological educators from around the majority world and key partners met in Bangalore, India, 11-14 October 2011, as part of a continuing series of ICETE consultations to discuss emerging doctoral programmes in the majority world. The consultation, dubbed ‘DC-11’, brought together approximately a dozen theological institutions that are either currently offering doctoral programmes or planning to do so in the near future. The gathering was a follow up to one held in Beirut, Lebanon, in March 2010 (‘DC-10’), which developed and unanimously adopted the ‘Beirut Benchmarks’, a statement of best practice for emerging doctoral programmes in the evangelical majority world (available at www.icete-edu.org/beirut/). The Beirut Benchmarks have subsequently been endorsed by ACTEA. In their ‘Bangalore Affirmations’ participants in last month’s consultation reaffirmed the Beirut Benchmarks, and affirmed the efficacy of both research and professional doctorates, and the validity of quality accreditation that provides for both internal quality assurance and external verification and endorsement. A ‘DC-12’ event is being considered.
ACTEA is pleased to announce the following accreditation milestones:
ACTEA Affiliate status gives the named programmes provisional recognition for
up to four years, during which the institution is expected to apply for ACTEA
Candidate status. ACTEA Candidate Status carries forward the provisional
recognition of the named programmes for up to four additional years while the
institution carries out its self-evaluation in preparation for ACTEA’s final
assessment of these programmes for full accreditation.
ACTEA wishes to congratulate all three of these outstanding institutions for their progress thus far in the pursuit of excellence in theological education and their service in the kingdom of God in Africa.
The ACTEA Council is ACTEA’s governing body, made up of the heads or their designates from all institutions with ACTEA-accredited programmes. The Council met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2011, to attend to ACTEA business including the approval of the revised ACTEA Standards. Participants included Dr. Emmanuel Bellon (Nairobi International School of Theology, Nairobi, Kenya), Dr. Desta Heliso (Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Dr. Robert Lang’at (Kenya Highlands Evangelical University, Kericho, Kenya), Dr. Joe Mwangi (Africa International University [formerly NEGST], Nairobi, Kenya), Dr. Belay Guta Olam (Mekane Yesus Seminary, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Dr. Peter Smuts (Bible Institute of South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa), Dr. Frew Tamrat (Evangelical Theological College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Dr. Nupanga Weanzana (Faculté de Théologie Évangélique de Bangui <http://www.fateb.net/> , Bangui, Central African Republic), Dr. Ted Witmer (Shalom University of Bunia, Bunia, DR Congo), Dr. Lubunga W’Ehusa (Evangelical Seminary of South Africa, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa), Dr. Edwin Zulu (Justo Mwale Theological University College, Lusaka Zambia), Rev. Philippe Emedi (ACTEA Administrative Secretary for Accreditation, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa), and Rev. Joe Simfukwe (ACTEA Director, Theological College of Central Africa, Ndola, Zambia).
News from ICETE (June 2011): 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: www.lausanne.org/ctcommitment.
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: www.icete-edu.org/capetown/.
African theological educators traveling to or studying in the US in February 2012 may be interested to attend the 65th Annual Meeting of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE is ACTEA’s sister organization in North America), 22-25 Feb 2012, in Orlando, Florida. This year’s theme is ‘Christian Higher Education and the Global Cause’. The gathering will address the topic of “what a Gospel pre-occupation should look like in the coming generation – an era in which the Global South has clearly displaced North America as evangelical Christianity’s heartland.” For more information see www.abhe.org/pages/NAV-AnnualMeeting.html.
In recognition of the need for contextualized and applied missiological
reflections in the setting of Francophone Africa, ACTEA is pleased to announce
the availability of two new missiology books in French. The following
volumes by Dr Fohle Lygunda li-M have been released by Editions Mabiki, a
Belgium-related publisher in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Missiologie:
Identité, formation et recherche dans le contexte africain [Missiology :
Identity, Training and Research in African Context], and Mission aujourd’hui :
Tendances théologiques et enjeux stratégiques dans le contexte africain [Mission
Today: Theological and Strategic Trends in African Context]. A citizen of the DR
Congo, Dr Fohle Lygunda li-M has been mobilizing and training churches for
mission for more than two decades. He holds degrees from Institut Supérieur de
Théologie Evangélique de l’Ubangi (DR Congo, 1989), Facultébde Théologie
Evangélique de Bangui (Central African Republic, 1996), and Asbury Theological
Seminary (Wilmore, KY, 2009). He heads the department of missiology at
International Leadership University (www.iluburundi.org), Bujumbura, Burundi.
The plan is to make these tools available to any training institutions. For
shipment process, contact the author at email@example.com.
The Theological Educator is a new web-based journal designed for the
interests and needs of evangelical theological educators. This publication
offers articles of relevance for all those involved in the vocation of church
leadership formation. It is sponsored by the European Evangelical Accrediting
Association (EEAA), ACTEA’s sister association en Europe. For information
concerning how to access The Theological Educator online or by email, contact
An invitation from Dr. Graham Cheesman: “I have started a little personal
blog for theological educators. It is quite light hearted but addressing key
issues. Would you like to subscribe? Here are the advantages: It is free; I will
only update it once a month so it will not disturb your in-box; each posted mini
article will be no more than 500 words in length so it will not take much of
your time; but I hope it will be fun, interesting and useful. You will find it
at www.teachingtheology.org and, if you like it, you can subscribe with your
email in the right hand column where it says ‘email subscription’ and it will
notify you when a new mini article is posted.” Dr. Cheesman was founding
Director of the Centre for Theological Education in Belfast (see
www.theologicaleducation.org). Previously a Baptist minister in England, he was
a missionary lecturer in Nigeria for seven years and then the principal of
Belfast Bible College for seventeen years. He currently works with EEAA, is an
honorary lecturer of Queens University and supervises doctoral students. His
recent travels include various countries of the world, but especially Africa, to
teach and promote good theological education. He is the author of three books
and numerous articles.
ACTEA eNews is an e-mail forum for the periodic exchange of news, information, and resources on behalf of the Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa(ACTEA), ACTEA-related institutions and theological programmes, supporting organisations, and interested individuals. Please forward this message to others who might benefit from ACTEA eNews.
ACTEA is an agency of the Theological and Christian Education Commission of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa.