There are many advantages to a European network of theological schools: within the network members become acquainted and confident in each other, overcoming cultural and theological barriers in order to enrich each other and stimulate their schools. The bonding and peer friendships within a network also create a forum where problems can be faced together, and solutions elaborated while avoiding the dangers of isolation.
The human resource “multiplier effect” that occurs within a network of higher education is also of great value and the influence of many schools together is much greater than the sum of all participating schools. Many projects (ie. investments in e-learning technology) that cannot be managed by a single school, may well be jointly sponsored within the network and made available to all members. Networking students in theology in exchange programmes (i.e. Erasmus) can also contribute to creating future Christian leaders with a European mind-set that will be able bear a positive influence beyond their national borders and interact significantly in a unified Europe with a greater sense of European evangelical identity.
Many other advantages have been found by higher education networks in Europe and worldwide, such as curriculum innovation and development, student mobility, shared intensive short courses, summer schools, training periods, double diplomas or multinational diplomas, postgraduate activities, mutual knowledge of partners in specific areas of competence, PhD joint supervision, research co-operation and formation of faculty research clusters where members list their areas of interest to collaborate in trans-national research, mobility of teaching staff and course sharing, common alumni databases and placement services for alumni and faculty.
The ECTE network also aims at providing specific services to its members. These could include seminars and upgrading tools for staff and faculty in the areas of management and teaching or contact with other evangelical organizations, foundations, missions and resource providers in Europe and worldwide on behalf of its members. Theological schools that network with other schools and with the European evangelical world at large can benefit from many opportunities of ministering and being ministered to within a healthy and learning community of like-minded men and women with similar dreams and goals.
Schools and organizations not seeking accreditation, can become part of the ECTE network through membership. Membership in the European Council for Theological Education is of two kinds.
- Associate Membership for organizations and individuals who wish to support the ECTE and network with theological educators in Europe. Associate members have a voice but no vote in the business of the association.
- Regular membership in the ECTE is open to all theological educational institutions that subscribe to the Basis of Faith of the European Evangelical Alliance and to that of their national evangelical alliance. Schools must share ECTE Core Values, submitting a brief written response to each of them. The ECTE also reserves the right to determine that the school is in good standing in its local evangelical context (usually evidenced by an acceptable letter of reference) and to visit the school and carry out any other investigations it deems necessary. Schools may choose regular membership in the ECTE for one of two reasons: either to become part of the ECTE’s network or as a first step to programme accreditation.
The following steps are necessary to become a member of the ECTE:
- Fill out the Membership Application Form and send it to the ECTE General Secretary who will confirm reception and bring your application form and supporting documents the ECTE Council. The Council meets twice yearly in Spring and Autumn. Following acceptance as member, the General Secretary will notify in writing of membership approval.
- Once you have been officially advised on your membership status you will receive a yearly invoice to remind you of your membership fee.
- New member schools may include the statement “Member of the European Council for Theological Education (ECTE)” or equivalent expression in their publication and use the ECTE logo as appropriate. The name of all member schools will be published in the ECTE’s directory on this website as an ECTE Member School.