“What are our visions for the future of theological education in mission in the face of permacrisis?” asked CWM General Secretary Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum during his welcome speech at the 2023 CWM Theological Education Consultation.
From January 24 to 27, thirty (30) delegates from theological institutions worldwide gathered at the Union Theological Seminary (UTS), Philippines, to re-envision the direction of theological education in a post-pandemic world during the Consultation themed “Life-Affirming Theological Education in Mission”.
Locating the timely nature of the Consultation, Dr Keum added: “We are gathered here as a network of alternative theological education institutes to pave a new way for theological formation by discerning the signs of times, resetting and revitalising theological education, and transforming and contextualising it to give deeper meaning to the communities at the grassroots.”
Mindful that 2023 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Bangkok Conference on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME), the CWM General Secretary also noted its significance in advocating a “holistic approach to the theme ‘Salvation Today’”, with equal emphasis on both its spiritual and socio-political aspects.
Bearing in mind that the mission of the church “is to be present within the creative liberation movements of our time” (M.M Thomas), Dr Keum affirmed CWM’s commitment to “engaging with partners for such theological and missiological discernment and promoting life-affirming theological education in mission.”
In his keynote address, Dr Eleazar S. Fernandez, President of Union Theological Seminary focused on the future of theological education, which stimulated lively group discussions and constructive dialogue between the delegates and the speaker. Regarding the envisioning for theological education, he said: “The vision is a new tomorrow that is life-giving or that which promotes greater well-being or shared flourishing, and it is the mission of the church and its institutions to carry out this vision in their mission and ministry.”
The CWM Theological Education Consultation is also the context of the official launch of the Master of Theology in Theological Education for an Economy of Life (MTh TEEL) programme. This online degree is a response to the increasing demand by member churches to educate young theologians and church leaders on the shape, content, and practice of an inclusive, alternative, life-flourishing economy.
Dated 25 January 2023