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THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION

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					                          THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION

Chairperson: the Very Revd.Rowan Smith [Dean of Cape Town]
Scribe: The Revd. Patrick Nene [Diocese of Natal]


INTRODUCTION
Questions were asked on the state of theological education in the CPSA. Is there
more being done towards local diocesan training schemes than residential training at
COT?
What is the big picture? Noted that the number of students training at the college is
relatively small.

Yet another question was posed as to why dioceses were opted for local training
schemes when we’re saying that residential training is the better? It was pointed
however that for some dioceses, local training worked out better due to the language
factor – especially in Angola, Lebombo and Niassa. Immigration problems made it
difficult for students in those dioceses (including Namibia) to come for residential
training – so local training worked better as it also saved large amounts of money!

COT (as well as TEEC) is currently in the process of obtaining accreditation with the
Council for Higher Education, as is the law of South Africa regarding all institutions
of higher learning.

We were urged in the group to be honest about what problems existed I theological
education in the province, to name them! Noted that even before we could do this, to
ask ourselves, what kind of leaders [lay and ordained] do we want in the church
today? Also to ask, what do we want to do regarding on- going formation after
college?

It was noted that people are entering theological college at a much older age, then was
the case, say, twenty years ago! What is more they even have families. Sometimes
this very fact made it difficult for dioceses to relocate such people to college, as most
would be working. TEEC worked very well in this case. The latter college also was
useful for gauging the student’s academic capability. Point was made that we must
do theological education ecumenically. TEEC has been doing this since its inception.
What is more, diocese use TEEC study materials and are therefore not doing their
own thing! Noted that a new Diploma is being offered in place of the old “Joint Board
Diploma’. At TEEC, also a degree program is now being offered.
Do we have a ‘Central Board’, which sets the standard in theological education in the
CPSA [as they do I the church of England]?

RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommended that Lay people be included in the composition of the Board of
Theological Education. At the moment clergy make up the board!

Suggested that resources be shared in the Province to make it possible for more
people to attend COT, who would otherwise not be able to go due to financial
constraints in the poorer dioceses.
Pointed out that the discernment process be centralized in the Province, so that each
diocese will know what the other is doing.

CONCERNS

A concern was raised as to the whereabouts of white students, why has the number of
white students dropped at COT? Also suggested that a bridging program be
introduced because of language difficulties. Noted that college is a microcosm we
live in – a divided past!

Noted that there is a shortage of teachers of theology.

Noted too that we in the Province have not ‘owned’ COT enough!

Formation is happening in challenging times these days; therefore appropriate skills
are needed to do this. Need to begin training he lay people of our church. New
models of theological education must be found within all the training schemes, as the
Archbishop said in is Charge.

Noted that the House of Studies does exist, and has aligned itself with the University
of Natal’s School of Theology.

CONCLUSION

The discussion ended with the group considering the motions due to come before
synod, on theological education, namely Agendum: 12, 13 and 23 in the second
agenda book.

				
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