Online resource to promote cooperation in theological education
A unique global online directory of more than 7000 theological education institutions has been launched to promote mutual sharing and dialogue between establishments in different parts of the world.
The Global Directory of Theological Education Institutions is one of the results of the Global Survey on Theological Education, launched in October 2011. This was the first major world survey on the trends, needs and challenges in theological education and ministerial formation since the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh.
"This interactive global directory aims at facilitating mutual connectivity, exchange, ecumenical dialogue and research cooperation between theological education institutions in all regions of the world and from all Christian denominations," said the Rev. Dr Dietrich Werner, coordinator of the ecumenical theological education programme of the World Council of Churches (WCC).
“As the enhancement of theological education is a strategic task for the future of mission in World Christianity in the 21st century, churches need to give more attention to the potential, needs and challenges in theological education programmes,” said Werner.
The directory is located within the Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism (GlobeTheoLib), a joint project of the WCC and Globethics.net, a Geneva-headquartered foundation promoting dialogue on ethical issues.
"The online Global Directory of Theological Education Institutions is a monumental achievement in that it offers quick and easy access to the world's theological training centres, formal and informal," said Dr Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) in Boston, United States.
The CSGC is one of the partners that developed the directory, together with the WCC’s ecumenical theological education programme, the Institute for Cross-Cultural Theological Education of McCormick Theological Seminary, and Globethics.net.
"This is a wonderful new resource for anyone interested in theological education. The directory will prove invaluable not only for prospective students, admissions offices and registrars, but also for everyone doing research in this wide field," said Dr David Esterline, director of the Institute for Cross-Cultural Theological Education in Chicago, USA.
The directory is interdenominational and inclusive in its widest sense, including all types of Christian institutions of theological education and ministerial formation: church based theological seminaries, Bible schools, university departments of theology, faculties of religious studies and mission training institutes.
Institutions listed in the directory can register to update their details. Institutions not listed can apply for inclusion.
"For the first time, users from around the world can both use and edit this critical information on theological education. It is an essential global tool for connecting Christians of all traditions," said Johnson.
Users can search directory entries by denomination or affiliation, types of institution, language of instruction, city and country, world region and degrees offered. Records include information about faculty and students, contact details and the accreditation for degrees offered.
"By hosting this directory within GlobeTheoLib, we hope that we can increase synergies between theological institutions and the resources available in our unique online library," said Dr Stephen Brown, programme executive for GlobeTheoLib.
The online directory is the first attempt to update completely the earlier International Directory of Theological Colleges, edited by Alec Gilmore and published by the WCC’s programme on theological education in 1997.
For more information - GlobeTheoLib media contact: Dr Stephen Brown, programme executive, GlobeTheoLib +41-22-791 6342 (office) +41-78 639 2905 (mobile), email to brown(at)globethics.net
WCC media contact: Dr Dietrich Werner, WCC Ecumenical Theological Education coordinator, email toDietrich.Werner(at)wcc-coe.org
To register for GlobeTheoLib go to: www.globethics.net/gtl
Source: oikoumene.org (Apr.4, 2013)