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.
A 111 year-old mosque in Thessaloniki, Greece has opened its doors to Muslim worshippers for the first time in 90 years at at the same time a planned mosque in Athens is moving closer to reality and as Turkey continues to prohibit the opening of the Halki Seminary which was shut down 42 years ago.
The Thessaloniki mosque allowed worship again on...
The world's first Arms Trade Treaty is “a milestone in efforts to bring commerce in deadly weapons under much-needed controls,” according to the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC).
“This long-overdue act of international governance means that people in many parts of the world who live in fear for their lives will eventually be safer,” the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said, commenting on the Arms Trade Treaty adopted on 2 April, voted by 155 countries at the United Nations in New York, United States.
“Churches in all regions share in the suffering caused by armed violence,” Tveit noted. “We can all now give thanks that national authorities responsible for public safety and well-being have finally adopted binding regulations for the global arms trade.”
Tveit praised efforts by the churches and organizations in more than forty countries who joined the Ecumenical Campaign for a Strong and Effective Arms Trade Treaty led by the WCC.
“Together, we have helped in the long struggle to make the treaty strong and effective so that it can save lives and protect communities. Our first reason for doing so is to put a human face on the heavy scourge of armed violence,” he said.
The campaign focused on the ways that the new treaty can help to save lives and protect communities. Campaigners made repeated contacts with governments in their countries in parallel with ecumenical lobbying related to treaty meetings at United Nations sessions in New York and Geneva.
“From Syria to Democratic Republic of Congo, from Sudan to Colombia, our prayers will continue for people afflicted by violence and injustice,” Tveit said. “With them, we all need weapons to be controlled, given up and melted down into useful implements.”
The campaign grew from a WCC Central Committee action followed by recruitment at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in 2011. With policy set by the WCC Executive Committee in early 2012 and almost two years of mobilization, the campaign eventually reached nearly 100 churches and ministries, who advocated for the Arms Trade Treaty.
States vote overwhelmingly for ground-breaking Arms Trade Treaty (Control Arms news of 2 April 2013)