The activities of the ECTE fall into three main areas. Please visit the appropriate section for each:
- Network. The ECTE seeks to be a major voice of theological education in Europe connecting colleges and seminaries with each to share strategic resources in a common educational enterprise. The ECTE network also seeks to reinforce connections with the wider international world of theological education, with the broader church community, with non-tertiary providers of theological training and with the European academic higher and vocational education contexts.
- Quality assurance. The ECTE seeks to nurture and certify a culture of quality assurance in theological education through institutional and programme accreditation. The ECTE is a registered agency on the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR). ECTE accreditation seeks both comparability to European and international standards and guidelines and coherence with the values of theology that respects the faith tradition of the stakeholders of each institution. The ECTE’s quality assurance services are subject-specific and cross-border in nature. Institutions that undergo quality assurance processes with the ECTE provide a witness to churches, missions and to the broader community of the academic, vocational and formational values they wish to communicate to their graduates. ECTE quality assurance activities fall within the scope of the European Standards and Guidelines and include Institutional and Programme accreditation. The ECTE aims to determine the quality and level of learning opportunities within levels 5,6 and 7 of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) corresponding to the Short Cycle, First Cycle and Second Cycle as defined in the Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA). As a cross-border QA agency, the ECTE does not determine the status of institutions nor their ability to award formal degrees, and makes a careful distinction between higher education institutions and alternative providers of higher education learning opportunities.
- Development. The ECTE seeks 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. The ECTE seeks to understand the present and future movements in theological education, in order to maintain relevance in delivering its services and to take part in developing a contemporary vision for theological education in Europe and beyond.
The scope of ECTE’s networking activities is to connect institutions of theology and theological educators within the European and Middle Eastern regions with each other and with the broader global network of theological education (mainly through the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education). ECTE networking also includes the cultivation of meaningful connections and, where possible collaboration, with other networks of higher education, quality assurance agencies, HEIs and service providers in Europe and globally.
The scope of ECTE’s development activities is to enhance the reflection and professional practice, with a primary focus on the practical and theoretical aspects related to the discipline of theological education. ECTE’s developmental activities of encouraging training and conducting research are not related to the discipline of theology, per se, but the educational theories and practices related to theological education. The ECTE’s main conversation partner in training activities is the ICETE Academy.
The scope of ECTE’s quality assurance activities includes service to higher education institutions and alternative providers in Europe and the Middle East that deliver higher education programmes in the discipline of theology. The ECTE aims to determine the quality and level of learning opportunities for Short Cycle, First Cycle and Second Cycle of the QF-EHEA and for Micro-credentials. The ECTE does not claim to determine the status of institutions nor their ability to award formal degrees.
In terms of the daily work of the ECTE, the activities outlined above translate into the following tasks (the list below is illustrative and not comprehensive):
- Membership expansion
- Communication with members by email, website, news blog, WhatsApp group
- Organisation of networking events, mainly the bi-annual General Assembly
- Information sharing on global items of interest and innovation in the sector
- Project management and fundraising for service initiatives
- Communication with international HEIs and other accrediting bodies on recognition issues
- Participation in the global board of the ICETE and membership in the INQAAHE
- Participation in higher education networks in Europe (ENQA affiliate)
- Production and sharing of research and trends in journals, thematic analysis, scholarship.
- Ongoing research into developments in the EHEA and the professional sector of global theological education
- Corporate training during the bi-annual General Assembly
- Partnership with the ICETE Academy, sponsorship of fellowship schemes and encouragement to institutions to pursue training for educational and non-educational staff
- Development of standards and guidelines for quality in theological education
- Development of procedures and criteria and response to change with appropriate procedures
- Training of peer experts (VETs)
- Organisation of site visits
- Production and publication of review reports
- Accreditation decisions and publication
- Bi-annual Council meetings and staff meetings as necessary
- Maintenance of database and institutional quality assurance records