Identity and Mission

Welcome to the ECTE. This is the official website of the European Council for Theological Education (formerly the European Evangelical Accrediting Association – EEAA), a quality assurance network serving evangelical theological schools in Europe.

The ECTE is an Affiliate Member of the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA),  a Charter Member of the International Council for Theological Education (ICETE), a Full Member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) and an Affiliate of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).

Identity

The European Council for Theological Education (ECTE)  is the new name for the European Evangelical Accrediting Association (EEAA) which was founded by the delegates of 23 schools on October 31, 1979, at St. Chrischona (Switzerland). Since then, over 70 institutions of evangelical theology in 28 countries have joined forces within the EEAA, reflecting their own national culture, history, and ecclesiological affiliation and contributing to the wealth of experience and diversity in European theological education.

Besides serving European schools, the ECTE  also seeks to cultivate a meaningful relationship with churches, denominations and evangelical organizations that are based in Europe. These relationships are particularly important as the ECTE  works to keep theological education relevant and sensitive to the needs of the churches. The ECTE is affiliated with the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) and all member schools subscribe to the statement of faith of the EEA. The ECTE is also a full member of the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education(ICETE) through which it is linked to nine evangelical quality assurance agencies across the world representing over 1200 training institutes of theology.

The ECTE also values the importance of educational quality standards in Europe and worldwide and is a full member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) and an Affiliate of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA). The ECTE’s standards and framework are designed to implement standards of the Bologna Process (European Standards and Guidelines) and of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in theological education. The ECTE’s quality assurance procedures are carried out in compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG).

Mission and vision

Mission statement:  The mission of ECTE is to assist evangelical theological education in Europe to become and to be ‘fit for purpose’ so that it equips the church for God’s mission.

Vision statement (the ECTE in 10 years): The ECTE is to be a vibrant community of 100+ theological schools that, rooted in Scripture, in commitment to God, to His church and to His mission to the world, impacts evangelical theological education in Europe through a vision for quality assurance, training and resourcing. Because of this impact, leaders of theological schools will consider the ECTE network to be of vital significance for them.

Strategic focus

The ECTE will develop as an organisation which fulfils its mission by strategically focusing on quality development, resourcing and networking to build capacity in European evangelical theological education. The ECTE will continue to seek to understand the movements in evangelical theological education now and in the next ten years, to deliver its services in the light of that understanding and to take part in developing a contemporary vision for theological education in Europe and beyond. This will be done in international collaboration where appropriate (especially in cooperation with partners, such as ICETE, OCI and Langham). The work of ECTE will be in three main areas;

  • Quality Assurance. The ECTE will continue to develop and certify quality through accreditation for theological education which wishes certified comparability according to European and international standards. It will investigate extending this to non-higher education programmes. This will continue under the EEAA branding (the European Evangelical Accrediting Association).  Quality assurance  of evangelical theological education in Europe is both sensitive to higher education issues in Europe and based on evangelical values. Thanks to this kind of accreditation, many schools have improved their educational programmes and have been able to offer study degrees that are recognized in many contexts. Schools accredited with the ECTE provide a witness to churches, missions and to the secular community of both the academic and spiritual values they wish to communicate to their graduates.
  • Resourcing. The ECTE will seek to further serve theological education in Europe and beyond through publication, the creation and maintenance of key resources, organisation of events and the training of those involved in the delivery of theological education.
  • Networking. The ECTE will seek to be a major voice of evangelical theological education in Europe connecting evangelical colleges and seminaries. The ECTE aims to create a dynamic network of European evangelical theological institutions and leaders, that effectively serve one another by connecting their strategic resources in a common evangelical educational enterprise. Networking among Christians has been done since the times of the early church and all ECTE member schools, regardless of their accreditation status, share this spirit of fellowship and reciprocal service.  The ECTE network aims  to connect evangelical colleges and seminaries
    • with each other,
    • with the wider international world of theological education,
    • with the broader church community (by enhancing our links with the church and fostering greater dialogue between the church and the academy), and
    • with the European academic higher education context, including reaching institutions with state accreditation or university validation. The latter will be a two-way benefit: The ECTE will link these schools at the European context and provide a platform for mutual interaction, reflection and cooperation. On the other hand, these institutions will bring invaluable expertise to the entire ECTE community. It will require a special effort to bring more of these schools into the ECTE-network. Schools need to be visited in order to listen to their needs and learn from their expertise.

From EEAA to ECTE

In 2017, the General Assembly  voted to change the name of the organisation from the European Evangelical Accrediting Association (EEAA) to the European Council for Theological Education (ECTE).

This was done in  order to meet the future challenges for evangelical theological education in Europe, in a newly re-developed and refocused vision that however maintained much of the organisation’s  historical identity and mission. The broader name of  the organisation is the European Council for Theological Education that will include the work of resourcing, networking and accreditation.

The EEAA will remain as a department of the ECTE and the work of accreditation will operate as a sub/brand.