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Theological education and ministerial formation educate church and community leaders, theologians and theological educators, and influence the directions in which churches move, or do not move, in mission, evangelism, diakonia, koinonia, ministry and ecumenism.
Many theological institutions and programmes, including interdenominational or united colleges and federations of theological institutions, have experienced the effects of an increase in denominationalism, which has drawn them away from serious ecumenical engagement. Often, they lack both an ecumenical orientation and the necessary capacity and skills to offer ecumenical formation.
This project therefore promotes contextual ecumenical theological education and ministerial formation and encourages theological institutions, ecumenical institutes and associations to participate in the ecumenical movement locally and globally (see key documents of ETE). and the international study process on theological education Edinburgh 2010. ETE at the occasion of Edinburgh centenary conference in June 2010 has also published the new Handbook on Theological Education in World Christianity.
ETE is founding member of the Global Digital Library for Theology and Ecumenism (GlobeTheoLib) which has been launched in September 2011 and has invited all theological education programs and institutions in the world to contribute to a Global Theological Education survey.
The programme also relates to organizations providing grants and scholarships for theological education and tries to build up an international website of theological scholarships and grant opportunities.
It works regionally to engage and strengthen the ecumenical focus of theological educators and students, and relates closely to associations of theological schools (see documents World Conference of Associations of Theological Schools, WOCATI and new WOCATI website) and ecumenical institutes through the use of regional consultants and staff.
Through networking, the project looks at accreditation and quality standards to encourage the development of contextual, ecumenical, holistic and interdisciplinary approaches to learning in theological education and ministerial formation.
It supports exchange programmes of educators and students as well as mutual learning on areas related to teaching and research methodologies that promote ecumenical formation.
In curriculum transformation, it uses an approach successfully developed for creating curricula relating to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa and Asia, and the theological discourse of people with disabilities.
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