Accreditation procedures

The ECTE programme accreditation procedures and standards are published in the ECTE Manual – 6th Edition, 2018.  What follows is a brief synopsis.

  • Membership. The first step toward programme accreditation is membership in the ECTE. To do this a school must submit a Membership Application Form and provide the required documentation.  With this documentation in hand, the ECTE Council deliberates on Membership and advises the school on how to proceed.
  • Candidacy. The school must send in a Preliminary Questionnaire which will give the ECTE Council the grounds to decide on a Candidacy Visit and successively deliberate on Candidate status for the school.
  • Accreditation.  The school prepares and sends in a thorough Self-Evaluation Report as outlined in the ECTE Manual.  The ECTE Council receives this Self-Evaluation Report and decides on an Accreditation Visit. If there are no notations after this second on-site visitation, the Council will deliberate on programme and institutional accreditation for that school.
  • Accreditation maintenance.  Accredited schools must send in an Annual Progress Report every year to which the ECTE Council will respond and deliberate on accreditation confirmation.
  • Accreditation review.  Every 5 years, schools must undergo a review of their accredited programmes through a site visit and renewed Self-Evaluation Report (see section 3.4 of the ECTE Manual for guidelines).

Schools may write to the ECTE Coordinator and request a Courtesy Visit in order to obtain information of clarifications regarding ECTE membership and accreditation.  The ECTE Council may also take the initiative to offer an Orientation Visit to a school. In the latter case no visitation fees apply.

Full Full explanation of the stages, procedures and the standards that must be achieved to obtain accreditation can be found in the ECTE Manual – 6th Edition, 2018.

Visitation procedures

The EEAA visitation procedures are published in the ECTE Manual – 6th Edition, 2018.  What follows is a brief synopsis.

The general purpose of on-site visitations is to engage representatives of the ECTE with members of schools that are involved in being accredited by the ECTE.  Although much preparatory work can and must be done by correspondence, genuine evaluation can only be done through on-site reviews.  There are five categories of visits that a theological school may receive: an Orientation Visit, a Courtesy Visit, a Candidacy Visit, an Accreditation Visit, and a Review Visit.  Each of these visits is distinctive in its purpose and needs to be understood and prepared carefully. Generally speaking each visit consists of a preparation phase, a planning phase, the actual visitation and the reporting phase.  More details can be found in the ECTE Manual (section 6).

The ECTE Accrediting Council is responsible for designating Visiting Evaluation Teams (VET) (each with a team leader) for visitation to schools.  The ECTE Manual indicates the criteria for selection and appointment of the VETs, the method of training and a general deontology that is to accompany their work.  The goal of accreditation is to help institutions of biblical and theological training to achieve more effectively their objectives of preparing students for Christian service and to improve the quality of education at the respective levels of training offered in such institutions. Not all member schools have the same objectives. Each theological school has its own background and history, its own context and its own emphasis. Although these differences represent welcome richness, they may also cause misunderstanding. Therefore, it is necessary to create a climate of mutual confidence and understanding. The purpose of the Council and of the accreditation process is to assist institutions in the clarification of their goals and objectives, the critical evaluation of their present practice and in attaining their purposes as stated in their mission statements and learning outcomes.