World Council of Churches

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WOCATI 2011 Consultation Communiqué

Communique from the 2011 Consultation of the World Conference of Associations of Theological Institutions (WOCATI), which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 4 to 8 July. The Consultation, the first ever mabe in Africa, gathered 38 representatives of Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical, Pentecostal and African Independent Churches, who discussed issues of quality in theological education on a global level.

Jan 01, 1970

Communique from the 2011 Consultation of the World Conference of Associations of Theological Institutions (WOCATI), which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 4 to 8 July. The Consultation, the first ever mabe in Africa, gathered 38 representatives of Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical, Pentecostal and African Independent Churches, who discussed issues of quality in theological education on a global level.

Johannesburg, South Africa, 4 July – 8 July, 2011

1. From 4 July to 8 July 2011 representatives of the World Conference of Associations of Theological Institutions (WOCATI) met at Lakeview Airport Lodge in Johannesburg, South Africa for a Consultation on “Challenges and Promises of Quality Assurance in Theological Education: Ecumenical and Multi-Contextual Inquiries.”  The 38 participants enjoyed meeting for the first time on the African continent and becoming aware of the strategic importance of African associations of theological schools and the work of AACC and other ecumenical bodies in enhancing theological education in Africa.

2. The Consultation was an historic event, since for the first time Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical, Pentecostal, and African Independent Churches’ associations came together to address issues of quality assurance and enhancement in theological education on the global level.

3. In the course of the Consultation, participants became aware that quality assurance and enhancement take place in a variety of different ways.  In some contexts, the work of quality assurance and enhancement is done by different organizations, including state-related accreditation agencies, universities, independent secular accreditation agencies, and church-related uni-denominational or multi-denominational accreditation agencies. It also became clear that there is no global agency to accredit institutions of theological education.  Participants also recognized the need to develop a common understanding between all Christian institutions of theological education on what constitutes quality assurance and enhancement in theological education.

4. Participants realized that quality assurance and enhancement in theological education is a multidimensional process that involves several interrelated parameters, including curriculum in theological education, institutional resources for theological education, student competencies and skills, contextualization, and outcomes of theological education among others.  A balanced concept of quality in theological education should include academic proficiency, spiritual formation, and pastoral competencies.

5. Participants affirmed that quality theological education should address multiple forms of oppression and discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, color, class, caste, ability, sexuality, and religion.  Participants also affirmed that quality theological education should contribute to promoting justice, peace, equality, and ecological integrity in church and society.

6. Participants affirmed that WOCATI is an essential platform for networking among associations and institutions for theological education in the world according to the WOCATI constitutional mandates.

7. Participants acknowledged the need for a charter with guidelines on the essential elements of quality in theological education.

8. Participants expressed appreciation to ETE-WCC for its ongoing support, and affirmed the Executive Committee’s recommendation to ask WCC through the Assembly Planning Committee that a space be created to represent WOCATI in the next WCC Assembly and the future working structures of WCC.

Representatives from the following networks and associations were represented:

  • All Africa Theological Education by Extension Association (AATEEA)
  • All-African Conference of Churches (AACC)
  • Association des Institutions d'Enseignement Theologique en Afrique Occidentale (ASTHEOL)
  • Association for Theological Education in Myanmar (ATEM)
  • Association for Theological Institutes in the Middle East (ATIME)
  • Association of Theological Institutions in Eastern Africa (ATIEA)
  • Association of Theological Institutions in Southern and Central Africa (ATISCA)
  • Community of Churches in Mission (CEVAA)
  • Council of Theological Institution in Francophone Africa
  • Korean Association of Accredited Theological Schools (KAATS)
  • Myanmar Institute of Theology
  • Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC)
  • Overseas Council International
  • Senate of Serampore College
  • South Pacific Association of Theological Schools (SPATS)
  • TEE College Johannesburg
  • The Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada (ATS)
  • Theological Education in the Anglican Communion (TEAC)
  • Trinity Theological College, Dimapur, Nagaland
  • Universität Basel
  • Université Protestant du Congo
  • University of Johannesburg
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • University of South Africa (UNISA)
  • West African Association of Theological Institutions (WAATI)