Anglican Communion Commission for Theological Education creates resources to equip churches, seminaries

Posted Oct 26, 2023

[Anglican Communion News Service] The new Commission for Theological Education in the Anglican Communion (CTEAC) has developed outlines of educational resources that will equip churches and seminaries for mission in the 21st century. That was the outcome of a CTEAC meeting held last week at Virginia Theological Seminary in the United States.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Canon Stephen Spencer, the Anglican Communion’s advisor in theological education, said, “This, the first in-person meeting of the Commission for Theological Education, was crucial in building relationships and in responding to some of the specific requests in the Lambeth Calls. In particular, commissioners and consultants were able to create a set of draft outlines of educational resources for use in seminaries and church programs in intentional discipleship, safe church theology, slavery reparation, faith in science, and reconciliation.

“These will be finalized over coming months and then rolled out across the Anglican Communion over the next couple of years. This workshop was a key moment in the essential work of equipping our churches for mission in the 21st century.”

The chair of CTEAC, the Most Rev. Howard Gregory, archbishop of the West Indies, said, “In terms of the work of the commission, I want the churches to understand that we are an instrument of the Communion to facilitate theological education across the world but also in terms of the provision of resources. We are all differently resourced, and the commission will facilitate that, but also to help the Communion to understand the theological reflection, the theological education going on in different contexts which is a way of enriching our Communion so we have a better understanding of each other and what we are doing in theological education.”

The Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee approved the establishing of the CTEAC in February 2022. Under the chairmanship of Howard, it has taken over and is extending the work of the former Anglican Communion Office department for Theological Education in the Anglican Communion through provincial commissioners, consultants and working groups. It will strengthen networking across seminaries and churches and develop online resources. Seminaries and training programs are being invited to become associate members. Commissioners from 38 of the Anglican Communion’s 42 provinces have been nominated by their churches. The Commission was officially launched at ACC-18 in Accra, Ghana.

CTEAC commissioners and consultants attended the meeting from across the Anglican Communion.

Raewynne Whitely from Perth in Australia, said that CTEAC was “important because it brings us together to talk about issues in theological education, to learn from one another, and, particularly, to listen to one another as we seek to train people for ministry.”

Natalie Blake from Jamaica, in the Church of the Province of the West Indies, said, “The greatest challenge that my church faces at the moment is the provision of resources. We have a dearth of vocations but even for the persons who are offering themselves for training, there is not enough funding for them.”

The Rev. James Fakafu from the Solomon Islands said, “The greatest challenge my church faces is delivering theological education for lay people.”

Natalie Arendse from Cape Town, in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, said, “Being together at VTS for this meeting has been great for conversation, but also so important to understand where we are coming from and the stories we are bringing from our spaces to help us to understand and to get to know each other on a deeper level which will help us to bring scripture, lived context and experience into the spaces where we do ministry.”