Printer Friendly

Support of Theological Education in a Cross-cultural Setting: What Is the Best Way?

Theological education is at the heart of church development, and as such a key issue to churches as well as to people around the world supporting mission and church development. It is a successful story in many ways, but also a story of challenges, for as the global society changes, the conditions of churches change, and so do the expectations and criteria of theological education. In fact, adaptation of theological education, and indeed theology itself, is a never-ending story, which makes it necessary, now and then, to pause and evaluate whether we are on the right track. One of these pauses was provided by the centenary of the mission conference in Edinburgh 1910, which resulted in two major reports and several papers on the status quo of theological education. In the aftermath of these reports and papers, which presented an impressive description of the situation, needs, and challenges facing theological education at a global level, I propose to focus on the way support is offered, taking into consideration that support often is offered in a cross-cultural context. This naturally opens up the question "How does culture influence the support?"

The paper aims to present an overview of salient points from the reports and papers alluded to and presents additionally a short description of a mapping of support for theological education from a Danish background. (1) Adopting a geo-cultural point of departure, the paper reframes the question of "What is the best support of theological education?" as "What is the best support from a northern European perspective?" The aim of applying this cultural perspective to support of theological education is to enable an understanding of how a cultural component might influence theological education offered in another cultural setting. Besides helping us to understand better what is happening--when support offered with the best intentions has little effect, or perhaps even the opposite effect of what was aimed at--the cultural perspective allows us to propose some general recommendations to consider when theological education is supported in a cross-cultural context.

"Best" support

Asking about the "best" way of supporting theological education in the global South brings us immediately to a question of what is "best," who defines it, and where it should be applied: that is, if it applies globally or only in some regions of the world. But before these questions of systemic character, the question of the best way refers to an axiological perspective, inviting us to ponder the theological education's nature, use, and beneficiaries. In this paper, I assume the position that theological education is motivated originally by local Christian fellowship for spiritual leadership and to nurture expressions of God's presence in the local society, with the result that the perspective of theological education is Christian leadership and Christian witness--understood not as a conservative project, but as a dynamic process with mutual interaction between church and society. (2) As such, it is a position that calls for a solid synergy between the two elements of cognitive and spiritual formation, and I will present it, tentatively, as motivated by a vision of faith communities and local fellowships maturing and finding motivation to share the gospel, support peace, and keep the church together in time and space. (3) This is the vision I will take as a point of departure, asking how it might be qualified by a more pragmatic perspective, in other words, that introduced by the question about "the best way" to support. We shall engage the pragmatic aspect as a kind of test of whether the rather theological or academic expressed vision should be modified to better express the current situation, which is captured by words as transition, post-colonial, undergoing a cultural turn, or sparkling with glimpses of a pneumatological turn. Whatever words are applied, the intention here is to scrutinize how the current development of our global and local society affects a vision of theological education, and accordingly an understanding of what is the best way to support it.

A vision like the one I have presented refers not to an understanding of theology in general, motivated by a set of doctrines or the conservation of a system, but by a Christian fellowship that "strives to discern what God is doing in human history." (4) Inherent in this vision of theological education is a global perspective, naturally involving expressions of cross-cultural fellowship.

Against this background, this article first considers what is at stake in theological education at a global level, and, as a second step, investigates the status quo of support of theological education, before finally indicating a few traits of what qualifies support to be the best way of supporting theology, including revising the vision of theological education presented above.

Two reports on theological education

In the period 2008-2013, two reports emerged describing the status quo of theological education in the world. Together they provide the framework, or the perspective, of this paper's intention to depict the best way to support theological education from a northern European position.

The first report was made in relation to the celebration of the centenary of the 1910 mission conference in Edinburgh. Produced by the department for theological education in the World Conference of Churches, Ecumenical Theological Education (WCC-ETE), in collaboration with the World Conference of Associations of Theological Institutions (WOCATI), the report describes "an emerging global crisis in theological education." (5) This crisis potentially threatens the very integrity of World Christianity because of the erosion--among lay people as well as clergy--of reflexive Christian identity formed by reading and interpreting the Bible.

The other major report was prepared for the WCC as preparation for the 10th Assembly in Busan, and again it was prepared by the WCC-ETE, but this time in collaboration with McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston. (6) In the global overview, the report presents 15 main themes, gathering information from 1,650 persons involved in theological education. These themes have more the character of trends than exact numbers. (Four of them are presented in Figure 1.)

These two reports, and their evidence-based observations of the status quo of global trends in theological education has naturally given rise to more studies and reflections. Dietrich Werner has gathered these in a presentation of main challenges and furthermore has identified different specific possibilities for cooperation on the development of theological education in the 21st century (Figure 2).

Global perspective and local support

In order to identify aspects of these reports and their findings that are relevant for considerations of support from the north of Europe, we have to consider a kind of context-analysis, only in this case it is not the context of the South, but of the North that we should be concerned with. The reason is that an understanding of the best support is not only informed by facts from situations around the world, but is also formed by the context of the supporting agencies. Realizing that it is a difficult task to describe our own situation, let me point to a cluster of influences in the field of educational politics that forms the European understanding of education, and hence our understanding of what needs support in the global South.
Figure 1. Excerpts of the Global Survey on Theological Education

No. 3   Growth is seen in Evangelical and Pentecostal/Charismatic
        theological education; decline is seen in mainline Protestant
        and Roman Catholic traditions.
No. 4   The number of women students is growing in every denomination
        and in every region.
No. 5   There is significant interest in online theological education
        in some parts of the world, but many theological educators
        consider traditional formats more appropriate.
No. 6   Cross-cultural communication and practical skills related to
        ministry are the issues respondents would most like to see
        added or strengthened in theological education.

Educational politics, expressed in the so-called Bologna process has seen a turn from social/civil formation to a focus on skills and learning and close association with the labour market. (7) In this sense, education has become a billion-dollar industrial complex, (8) a fact that is confirmed by the United Nations' work with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, (9) in which education is described as an important motivational factor and "change agent." The fact that education is closely related to the labour market and there is a shift in the understanding of goals, and, as such, in motivations, too, is not in itself a negative development, but it influences our understanding of theological education in decisive ways. First, it stresses the importance of accredited education, leaving little space for other, non-accredited, and more spiritual aspects of education. Secondly, the form and content of education is influenced decisively by the labour market, with the result that support of theological education must be subjected to the same principles as other kinds of development aid: for example, in building up systems of MEL (monitoring, evaluating, and learning). It is a well-known truth that how things are measured influences the results. In other words, using indicators formed by the labour market introduces goals into theological education that challenge, and perhaps even change, basic presuppositions. Thirdly, theological education may be understood more and more as a commodity, involved in social stratification, which inscribes theological education in socio-economic semiotics.
Figure 2. Possible Priorities for Joint Action (Werner, "An Unfinished

a   Attention to the needs of newly emerging churches in the contexts of
    poverty [...]
b   International cooperation for strengthening regional associations of
    theological schools and regional funds for faculty development
c   Stimulating proper empirical research on regional developments,
    quality and financial viability in theological education
d   Raising a common voice for the future of theology within university
e   Defining ecumenical standards for quality in theological education
f   Strengthening the disciplines of Missiology, World Christianity, and
g   Building bridges of synergy and exchange between diaspora and
    homeland communities of theological educators
h   Overcoming mutual isolation and polarization in theological
    education--encouraging interdenominational schools and joint
    projects with Pentecostal theological education
i   Joining forces in creating one global portal for a multilingual
    digital theological library
j   Developing common guidelines or standards for international
    ecumenical partnerships between institutions of theological

If this socio-economic aspect is coupled with a cultural perspective, then it becomes even more clear how support of theological education is influenced. (10) Taking as a point of departure personal observations from 18 years of engagement in the cross-cultural field of theological education, I propose that a cultural, or more precisely a cultural-spiritual, perspective plays a role in some of the challenges we encounter. What is at stake is, in short, is a matter of clashes within the sphere of economy, where one rationality borrows its logic from development thinking and another refers to an explicit spiritual realm. The difference cannot be described as a tension between the North and the South, nor as a relationship between Christian versus non-Christian approaches. Sociological studies note that there is a core of ideas in the faith-gospel movement, which has close affinity with modern mission, and the inherent relationship between Christian faith and modernity. (11) "Sociologists of religion [claim] that Pentecostalism has a special affinity with market-based development, and a kinship with what historians call the Protestant Ethic.'" (12) Accordingly, what we are touching here is a cultural clash between a modern way of thinking, structured around the so-called secularization theory, and a way of thinking labelled "post-modern" and "spiritual," in want of other concepts. And the crucial point relating to theological education seems to be that a lot of support for theological education issued in Europe voluntarily subjects support to conditions of secular society, as if supporting agencies find legitimation only in a strictly modern way of thinking. This naturally clashes with receiving institutions if they have a spiritual or post-modern way of legitimizing their reception and use of support offered from the North.

This ideological analysis is difficult to prove, but I have found some evidence substantiating it through an investigation of the actual character of support for theological education in a cross-cultural setting in Denmark.

Danish support for theological education in a cross-cultural setting

In 2017, we mapped support from Denmark for theological education in a cross-cultural context. (13) The first challenge of the mapping exercise was simply a matter of defining theological education in such a way that it at least covered the examples of support we knew of initially, stretching from academic education in a university setting to courses offered at Bible school, as well as mentorship. To include as many organizations, and as many ways of supporting, as possible, we described theological education using a very open definition:
We understand theological education as a purpose-oriented work to
communicate knowledge and to develop skills in individuals to become
(better) equipped to carry out the tasks of the Church. It includes,
specifically, a range of focuses from personal competences over skills
to academic grades, which also involves support for material, i.e.,
buildings, IT-systems etc. (14)

This definition was forwarded to the institutions and organizations approached for an interview, together with a short description of the four thematic areas we intended to map:

* What kind of organizations/institutions support theological education?

* How is theological education understood, and how is it supported in practise?

* In what way does the organization/institution include theological education in strategic development?

* How many resources are allocated to theological education? (15)

We approached 22 Danish organizations. Six of these did not answer our request or did not see themselves as working with theological education in a cross-cultural setting. Our intention with the mapping was explicitly not to evaluate, but to describe the situation. In order to describe the many different ways of supporting, we applied a three-fold categorization of the 16 organizations/institutions volunteering to be part of the mapping (with some subdivisions, which we need not include here), expecting that it would clarify general trends. The three categories we ended up with were scientific institutions; church-based organizations (which includes missional movements and organizations); and free churches.

Applying this categorization, we found that 67 percent of all responding institutions/organizations/churches (from here on collectively referred to as "organizations") include non-academic aspects alongside academic aspects when asked to describe how they understand theological education, and 87 percent understand "personal, spiritual development" (16) as a relevant concern in this kind of education. Among the organizations categorized as scientific, the two university faculties did not include spiritual formation as a specific goal (although the universities, in very broad terminology, aim at formation of students); whereas at the other end of the scale, one of the free churches and one church-based organization only accepted non-accredited education as eligible for support. The rest of the organizations involved accepted to varying degrees both accredited and spiritual aspects as part of theological education.

It became quite clear in the mapping that support of theological education is closely linked to an understanding of mission. Thirteen of the 16 interviews held information in this regard, and 61 percent of responding organizations found direct motivation to support theological education in missiology. Most of the organizations legitimizing support of theological education with a reference to missiology belong to the category "church-based organizations." Knowing that most of these organizations have a long and rich history in mission, it is natural to ponder if the motivation to support relies on missiology, as claimed, or if historical reasons play a role, too. Scrutinizing the interviews, we found that three aspects seem particularly important for the form, content, and geographical orientation of support of theological education: (1) the structure of the supporting organization; (2) historical ties between the Danish organization and the global South; and (3) local contexts in the South, setting a standard for the level of education expected by local Christian leadership in the South.

Proceeding further in the analysis, we found it surprising that the formative, spiritual aspects held a minor role in the Danish-based support. While 87 percent of the interviewed organizations indicated that spiritual aspects were, and indeed are, central in their understanding of theological education, when we asked them about the motivation for support of theological education, the spiritual aspects hardly figure. As such, the spiritual, formative aspects apparently do not influence (or inform) the specific support, which on the contrary is dominated by indicators borrowed from the academic sphere of missiology. In that sense, it seems that the governing ideal of the specific support to theological education is borrowed from the academic world, whereas the intention is to support non-academic, formative aspects. This discrepancy between the actual support and the intention, or motivation, to give calls for more investigation to be described fully. For now, it suffices to note the fact that there is a preponderance of academic trained personnel among decision makers in Danish organizations.

A final analytical point was found when comparing global surveys presented above with legitimation of Danish support for theological education abroad. Here, only very few references to the needs of the partners were mentioned in the interviews. We did not hear gender, climate, poverty, or interreligious relations mentioned as motivations to support. Does this imply that the partnership surrounding support of theological education is strictly focused on internal matters and for various reasons finds no place for missiological considerations, perhaps because the needs of salaries, buildings, administration, and staff development overshadow other kinds of needs? Is it because the needs are known and taken for granted? Or is it, in fact, an indication that the Danish support is motivated primarily by internal Danish needs: for example, the need to maintain historical ties or a pecuniary need to raise support from a traditional constituency?

We do not have sufficient evidence to answer these questions, but it seems pertinent to raise them, pointing out that there is a real possibility of giving in to counter-productive aspects if we do not wrestle with the question of what actually is motivating support for theological education in a cross-cultural setting.

Critique of support for theological education

The Danish mapping has provided some evidence for the claim that support of theological education issued in Europe can be influenced by the climate of thinking around education. To some extent, this statement comes close to a truism. But as some of the influences have an origin outside the sphere of education (as in the case of economic development), while others are of historical character, it is in fact a real possibility that decision makers operating in this sphere are blind to the obvious. As such, stating the obvious is to insist that a critique of practice is needed if we really want to pursue the best way of supporting theological education.

A critical approach is also made relevant by the co-existence of formal and formative elements in education. A pedagogical perspective of learning differentiates between aspects of qualification, socialization, and subjectivation. Qualification refers to the hard content of education, that is, the knowledge and formal recognition in the form of academic grading or job relation. Socialization is the aspect of being introduced into a specific work situation or service. And subjectivation, finally, expresses the personal or forming (spiritual) process of the students. The balance between these three aspects determines the quality of education, which is a matter of dynamic interaction between the three, and not only about being able to identify that there are three separate aspects. But, the very same balance introduces an intricate aspect of power in education. (17)

Power is not evil, and education invariably involves some aspects of power. Knowledge entails an aspect of power, and so does finances. The question is not about power as such, but about abuse of power to control and manipulate, which is relevant in all kinds of education, including theological education.

Michel Foucault (1926-1984) made it clear that discipline in the church has been used as a control mechanism of the uncontrollable sexuality, aiming to subject the bodily desires to spiritual control. (18) Foucault did not criticize the spiritual discipline as such, but he made it painstakingly clear that spiritual discipline often has been used to protect the hierarchy of the church and social status. The abuse of power is, in this relation, when spiritual aspects are employed to secure mundane ends. This perspective is especially relevant in discussing formation, whether in the form of "character education," "spiritual formation," or "discipleship," or yet other expressions. And in this setting of a discussion of support for theological education, we need to realize that "personal, spiritual formation," as we have asked for in the Danish mapping, might become a tool to secure other, institutional ends. What we are touching on here is, in my view, a special challenge when the learning environment is dominated by academic standards and the formative aspects are left without indicators.

In other words, if the formative, subjectivation aspect is an end besides the overall, academic goal of education, not being integrated with the aspects of qualification and socialization, there is a special risk that spirituality is employed to secure the interests of the institution or the hierarchy of teachers, or for that matter of the church.

Indicators of the best way of supporting theological education

After having examined recently produced global investigations of the status quo of theological education and contrasting these with a mapping of Denmark regarding how theological education is actually supported in a cross-cultural setting, I can now return to the question of the best way of supporting it. Here, it is not a matter of identifying specific needs or challenges, since they have already been pointed out by the global reports and furthermore will depend on the ability and history of the supporting organizations, as well as the situation of the receivers. But what should be highlighted here are the cultural aspects involved when support is provided by northern Europe to theological education in other cultural contexts.


The first aspect to be mentioned draws on a latent line of thinking in the global reports. In Figure 2, this is represented by phrases such as "common voice," "common guidelines," "ecumenical standards," "synergy and exchange," and "overcoming mutual isolation." It is a line of thinking stressing reciprocity (expressing social bonds) in the work with theological education, or mutuality (expressing a social contract). Including reciprocity and mutuality as an indicator in considerations of support for theological education invariably involves an awareness of the cultural bias. But this awareness must be given specific form in activities for it to become visible and gain more importance. Visibility can be brought about, for example, by including intercultural aspects in theological education of the global North, including partners from the South as resources in courses offered in the North, or engaging partners as teaching staff. There are many ways to bring about visibility, but as a cross-cutting issue it expresses a concern to engage with current issues of global importance in teaching institutions of the global North. Without a concern to include current, global issues in theological teaching institutions in the North, it is doubtful that support to the global South is given in the best way, since it lacks apparent conditions to allow for expressions of reciprocity and mutuality.

Quality standards

The second aspect also draws on the global reports and, coupled with the socioeconomic aspects presented cursorily, it draws attention to the global challenges facing theological education. There is development taking place in educational systems affecting our understanding of education, and there are economic and demographic changes that change the whole context of education. These and other issues are overwhelming and call for networking and close collaboration, since they surpass even the best-qualified theological institutions, not to mention the many small organizations supporting education in a cross-cultural setting. In other words, in order for support for theological education to become best support, it needs qualification through engagement with national and international structures of quality standards, which calls for specific networking in the field of theological education.

Formation and spirituality

Spiritual formation has a central place in all kinds of theological education, and this is the third aspect to consider if support from northern Europe should quality as the best way of support. Of course, it may take many different forms, such as "transformative discipleship," (19) charismatic equipment, and social activism. Yet, as a central aspect in all kinds of theological education, the best way of supporting theological education is to include this aspect actively, as a concern for listening and praying that affects support for academic and social learning. (20) It is a matter of "joining in with the Spirit in transforming the Church," to borrow an expression of former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, which holds the message that before the world can be changed, the church must change. Accordingly, the challenge sounds: Before local society and Christian fellowships can be changed, theological education must change in the sense that it needs to join in with the Spirit.

Taking the spiritual aspect seriously in support of theological education is a way of realizing the so-called pneumatological turn, with an increased focus on the presence and activity of the Spirit, (21) drawing attention to the practise of faith life, (22) where it is more important to serve the world than to train the mind. (23) A pneumatological turn involves a practise of renarrating and healing memories of wounds and ruptures of the past, and it is furthermore critical of the narrative of the church-as-institution, especially when this narrative is dominated by concerns to maintain property, pay salary, and serve ethnicity, instead of guiding "our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:79). (24)

Support of a spiritual aspect involves a concern for the more practical aspects of theological education: that is, engaging with congregations, meeting with people in need, but also equipping the students to discern situations and problems. (25) If these aspects are not purposely supported, they most likely remain neglected in accrediting standards, and continue as isolated activities. A dynamic interplay between academic, socializing, and subjectivation is precisely a mark of a real concern to engage the spiritual aspects, which is of more value than a lot of spiritual activities isolated from academia. (26)

Social responsibility

Theological education exists and develops in interaction with its primary impetus, that is, the Christian fellowship and its perspective: the local society. In other words, we find a dialectical movement inherent in theological education, between local society, theological education, and the owners of theological education. (27) This is the reason why contextuality again and again is mentioned in descriptions of modern theology, and it is repeated in the reports we have referred to above, as a concern of "contexts of poverty," "regional associations and regional funds," and "regional developments" (Figure 2).

The concern for context should not be downplayed here, but from experiences in India and the eastern part of Africa, I believe we need to balance contextuality with a concern for ecumenism and for social aspects. Ecumenism is a concern that theology in general, and theological education specifically, is not lost in communitarianism. In other words, that it does not become so absorbed by local reality and confessions that it loses sight of the universal church and the universal signs of what it implies to be church. Social responsibility is, on its side, a concern for a better world for all, not only for those belonging to the same context. In India, this last aspect has found a profound expression in a stalemate between contextual theology and Dalit theology. (28) Jurgen Moltmann has described the tension with an excruciating question: "Does liberation theology lead to the liberation of the poor and women from Christian theology?" (29) Using the vocabulary of this paper, we touch on a tension between a constructive (contextual) and critical (liberation) aspect, which cannot be resolved since it expresses two vital elements in the formation of Christian expressions of faith. Namely, it is formed in and by local "soil," but these local elements need a universal vision to be fully released as life-giving elements. (30)

The aspect of support for theological education, which I have named social responsibility, is not, primordially, a matter of supporting social or diaconal activities. It is first of all a movement ad fontes to the sources. That is, it is a prioritization of the sources of Christian faith: the Bible, prayer, and history. (31) This movement to the sources needs to be accompanied by care and critique in order to avoid the risk of being closed upon itself, nurturing isolationism and totalitarianism. Care and critique are expressions of social responsibility, drawing on sources from deep within the Christian tradition, and they unfold in diakonia as well as in a critique of religion: intra-religious critique, we may call it. This is the social responsibility we need to develop in theological education, oscillating between the sources of faith, diakonia, and critique. This allows students to be engaged in church and society, developing understanding and empathy with needs, sorrows, and fears, and being critical of all kinds of life-threatening forces, in church as well as in local society.

Instead of a conclusion...

Having presented four aspects (Figure 3) that aspire to qualify support of theological education to be the best way, it is relevant to ask, I believe, why these four elements are especially interesting in consideration of support from Europe. It has to do with cultural aspects again. The two first aspects are reflections of some of the recommendations formulated in the global reports on theological education, and as such they apply to Europe as everywhere else. The third aspect, about formation, is an aspect that does not play a big role in the main educational system of Europe, and as such it calls for specific attention in order to be included positively and to avoid the potential of abuse. The final aspect of social responsibility draws attention to the sources of Christian faith, which often are lost sight of in the academic training of northern Europe.
Figure 3. Indicators of Quality for Support of Theological Education in
a Cross-cultural Setting.

Indicator        Expressions

Reciprocity      Engagement with intercultural and current global issues
                 in theological educational institution of the global
Quality          Collaboration with networks
Formation        Engagement with practical theology in the global South
Social           Support of (expressions of) care and critique in global
responsibility   theological education

In this argumentation for the reasonableness of the four aspects to qualify the best way of supporting theological education, other contributions might also be made. The point here is not to make a universal claim for superiority by the adjective best, but to indicate a comparative aspect. The way indicated here might not be the best way universally, nor historically, but it is, in my view, one way of considering the current global knowledge of theological education and the critical awareness of cultural bias.

All this allows us, finally, to revisit the initial definition of theological education, adding to it the critical aspects, which were not mentioned at the beginning of this paper. Theological education, and support of it, is accordingly motivated by a vision of communities where the gospel is freely shared, peace is upheld without the use of violence, and the Christian fellowship is held together by the Spirit, creating a space where people of different backgrounds are free to meet each other and worship God.

Henrik Sonne Petersen

Henrik Sonne Petersen works with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark. Previously, he worked from 2007 to 2018 with Danmission.

(1) This paper draws on three papers published in Danish in the journal Ny Mission 34 (2018), which had the theme of "Theological Education in the Global South": (1) Henrik Petersen, Michael Munch, and Henning Christensen, "Dansk stotte til teologisk uddannelse i Det globale Syd" (translated: "Danish Support for Theological Education in the Global South"), 35-52; Henrik Petersen, "Agenda TE 1: status og baggrund," (translated: "Agenda TE 1: Status and Background"), 53-64; and Henrik Petersen, "Agenda TE 2: Agenda for teologisk uddannelse i tvaerkulturel sammenhaeng" (translated: "Agenda TE 2: Agenda for Theological Education in a Cross-Cultural Situation"), 65-74. The English version owes several enhancements to comments by Dr Amele Ekue.

(2) Scott Paeth, "Whose Public? Which Theology? Signposts on the Way to a 21st-century Public Theology," Public Theology 10:4 (2016), 461-85; Chul Ho Youn, "The Points and Tasks of Public Theology," Public Theology 11:1 (2017), 64-87.

(3) Samuel Rubenson, "Darfor blev Gud manniska" (translated: "Therefore God Became Human"), Pilgrim 2 (2017).

(4) Stephen Bevans, "Theological Education as Missionary Formation," in Reflecting and Equipping for Christian Mission, Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series, vol. 27, ed. Stephen Bevans et al. (Oxford: Regnum, 2015).

(5) WCC and WOCATI, Theological Education in World Christianity: World Report on the Future of Theological Education in the 21st Century (Geneva: ETE/WOCATI, 2009; reprint 2011).

(6) David Esterline, Dietrich Werner, Todd Johnson, and Peter Crossing, Global Survey on Theological Education 2011-2013: Summary of Main Findings, Report for the WCC 10th Assembly in Busan (2013).

(7) Marvin Oxenham applies a sociological perspective borrowed from Zygmunt Bauman to describe the changing conditions of theological education. Marvin Oxenham, Higher Education in Liquid Modernity (New York: Routledge, 2013).

(8) Reinhold Bernhardt, "Bolognanization of Theological Education in Germany and Switzerland," in Handbook of Theological Education in World Christianity: Theological Perspectives--Regional Surveys--Ecumenical Trends, ed. Dietrich Werner et al. (Oxford: Regnum, 2010). For more information about the Bologna process, see the European Higher Education and Bologna Process website,

(9) UNESCO, Position Paper on Education Post-2015, UNESCO-ED-14/EFA/Post-2015/1 (2014).

(10) Jesse N. K. Mugambi, "The Future of Theological Education in Africa and the Challenges It Faces," in Handbook of Theological Education in Africa, ed. Isabel A. Phiri and D. Werner (Oxford: Regnum, 2013).

(11) Peter Berger, The Many Altars of Modernity: Toward a Paradigm for Religion in a Pluralist Age (Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2014); Dena Freeman, "The Pentecostal Ethic and the Spirit of Development," in LSE Research Online (September 2016); Paul Freston, "Prosperity Gospel: A (Largely) Sociological Assessment," in Prosperity Theology and the Gospel, ed. Daniel Salinas (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2017).

(12) CDE (Centre for Development and Enterprise), Under the Radar: Pentecostalism in South Africa and Its Potential Social and Economic Role, CDE In Depth no.7 (Johannesburg: CDF, 2008).

(13) The following section summarizes Petersen, Munch, and Christensen, "Dansk stotte til teologisk uddannelse i Det globale Syd."

(14) The inclusion of "materials" at the end of the definition is not understood as an invitation to include all kinds of support for buildings as support of theological education. It is understood as support provided to theological institutions in the form of grants for buildings, salary of professors, etc.

(15) This last aspect was a part of the interviews, but as we found so many ways of calculating support, it was impossible to establish a relevant comparative presentation.

(16) It is interesting that the expression "personal spiritual development" has caused quite a bit of discussion in the Danish setting involved in this mapping. For what does it imply? Does it imply that personal and spiritual development is one and the same, or is there a differentiation involved? The discussions draw on different traditions; some are familiar with spiritual aspects of education, whereas others are more reluctant. Some of the discussion is captured by Marvin Oxenham in his blogon character formation,, but it is also a central aspect in Stephen B. Bevans' understanding of contextual theology.

(17) The power-dynamics of theological education reflects the understanding proposed by David Tracy and public theology that a theologian has three audiences: the church, the academy, and society. Mark Cartledge, "Public Theology and Empirical Research: Developing an Agenda," in Public Theology 10:2 (2016), 151. Frieder Ludwig, "Intercultural Perspectives on Education," in Mission and Power: History, Relevance and Perils, Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series vol. 33, ed. Atola Longkumer, Michael Biehl, and Jorgen Skov Sorensen (Oxford: Regnum, 2016).

(18) Michel Foucault, L'Histoire de la sexualite. La volonte de savoir (Paris: Gallimard, 1976).

(19) Bevans, "Theological Education as Missionary Formation"; Steven A. Hardy, Excellence in Theological Education: Effective Training for Church Leaders (Edenvale, South Africa: SIM, 2006).

(20) The concern for spiritual formation or character building is shared in many Christian denominations. At Edinburgh 2010, Theme 6 was "Theological Education and Formation." See Daryl Balia and Kirsteen Kim, Witnessing to Christ Today (Oxford: Regnum, 2010). Character education is also an issue in the newly established ICETE Academy.

(21) WCC, Together towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes (Geneva: WCC Publications, 2012).

(22) Amos Yong, "Towards a Trinitarian Theology of Religion: Pentecostal-Evangelical and Missiological Elaboration," International Bulletin of Missionary Research 40:4 (2016).

(23) Stanley Hauerwas, The State of the University: Academic Knowledge and the Knowledge of God (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007).

(24) Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996), 131ff and 233ff. Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Religious Identity and Renewal in the Twenty-First Century: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Explorations, LWF Documentation vol. 60 (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2015), 113ff.

(25) According to James D. G. Dunn, discernment is a critical awareness of the congregation, holding freedom, revelation and authority in creative tension. James D. G. Dunn, The Christ and the. Spirit (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998); WCC, Moral Discernment in the Churches: A Study Document, Faith and Order Paper No. 215 (Geneva: WCC Publications, 2013). Discernment is also a theme in WCC, The Church: Towards a Common Vision, Faith and Order Paper No. 214 (Geneva: WCC Publications, 2013), [section][section]30, 51, and 63.

(26) Senate of Serampore College, Theological Education and Ministerial Formation: A Dialogue between Church Leaders and Theological Educators (Serampore Senate: Communique, 2017); Tamil Theological Seminary (TTS), Impact Study Report of Theological Education in Tamilnadu Theological Seminary (Madurai, Arasaradi: unpublished report, 2011).

(27) WCC and WOCATI, Theological Education in World Christianity, 24ff.

(28) Dhyanchand Carr, "Jesus' Identification with Galilee and Dalit Hermeneutic," CTC Bulletin 19:3 (2003), and Dhyanchand Carr, "The Poor God and the Poor of the World," Religion and Society 51:2-3 (2006).

(29) Jurgen Moltmann, Experiences in Theology: Ways and Forms of Christian Theology (London: SCM Press, 2000), 298.

(30) Global University Network for Innovation (GUNI), Higher Education in the World: Towards a Socially Responsible University: Balancing the Global with the Local (GUNI, Report 6, 2017).

(31) WCC and WOCATI, Theological Education in World Christianity, 26.

DOI: 10.1111/irom.12269
COPYRIGHT 2019 World Council of Churches
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2019 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Petersen, Henrik Sonne
Publication:International Review of Mission
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 1, 2019
Previous Article:Paul's "Thorn in the Flesh" and Christian Mission to People with Disabilities.
Next Article:The Spirit-led Church: Mission in Action in the Contemporary World.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters