The ECTE is a cross-border, professional, discipline-specific, independent accreditation agency that operates according to the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) and in line with the ICETE Standards and Guidelines for Global Evangelical Theological Education.
Through its activities, the ECTE contributes to the continuous enhancement of the quality of higher theological education in Europe and the Middle East. Accreditation by the ECTE involves external reviews institutions and programmes of theological education by independent, international peer experts, providing statements of comparability to published standards and certifying levels within the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA) and in reference to international comparability schemes.
As a cross-border QA agency, the ECTE serves both higher education institutions and alternative providers of higher education learning opportunities, but the ECTE does not determine the status of institutions nor their ability to award formal degrees.
The ECTE conducts both autonomous, voluntary reviews and reviews in cooperation with national QA requirements. The ECTE is currently applying for registration on the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR).
The ECTE is a not-for-profit association, registered on 14.10.2018 (with its current name) in Baden-Württemberg, Germany (Registration Number: VR 201286) and formally recognised by German public authorities as an association whose purpose includes: ‘the promotion of religion and education. This is achieved both at home and abroad, in particular by promoting and securing the quality of the theological training of the member institutes based on uniform standards’ (ECTE Statutes, 2.1).
The ECTE (formerly the European Evangelical Accrediting Association – EEAA) was officially founded by the delegates of 23 institutions on October 31, 1979, at St. Chrischona (Switzerland). To date, approximately 80 institutions have joined forces with the ECTE. The work of the association is carried out by a Council, an Accreditation Commission, a General Secretary and a staff team. It is funded by member fees and is governed by a General Assembly of member institutions that meets on a bi-annual basis.
The ECTE is registered in Germany, operates out of offices in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Ireland, and serves a constituency comprised mainly of European institutions of theology (together with a number of institutions from the Middle East). Each institution reflects its own national culture, history, and ecclesiological affiliation and contributes to the wealth of experience and diversity in European theological education.
The ECTE aligns its operations with European quality assurance standards, being sensitive to higher education issues in Europe and encouraging institutions to adapt to national situations. The ECTE is also sensitive to sector-specific issues and participates actively in global networks of theological education.