ATTS Promotes APTEA
A central concern for Africa Theological Training Service (ATTS) is that Bible schools and extension programs seek to offer quality theological and ministerial education. In order to provide quality educational programs, ATTS strongly promotes and advocates for schools and educators to officially join the membership of Association for Pentecostal Theological Education in Africa (APTEA).
APTEA is an interdenominational Pentecostal group that gives oversight to member institutions that fall in the geographical region of Africa. The founding meeting convened in Nairobi, Kenya in February 2011 and included a number of Pentecostal groups from across Africa. At this meeting APTEA was officially established as a theological association with three commissions:
- Endorsement and Accreditation Commission
- Faculty Enrichment and Certification Commission
- Scholarly Research and Writing Commission
APTEA is officially recognized by the leadership of the Africa Assemblies of God Alliance (AAGA), and a growing number of Assemblies of God theological institutions across the continent have officially joined and enjoying member services. So, what is the primary mission of APTEA? APTEA seeks to do the following in cooperation with its member schools:
- Promote close working relationships and the sharing of resources among the Pentecostal theological institutions throughout Africa.
- Advance the adoption of endorsement and accreditation standards and procedures for members that encourage:
- Distinctives of the Pentecostal movement,
- Standards of academic excellence,
- Practices for student spiritual life development,
- Skills that aid practical leadership and ministry training,
- Programs of education that develop the needs of students to serve a national and local church.
- Organize meetings and consultations for the members to encourage networking and to create awareness of trends in theological, leadership, and ministry education.
- Encourage research and scholarship that informs the development of contextual theology, leadership and ministry education within the Pentecostal tradition.
- Provide faculty enrichment resources and establish standards for teacher certification.
I encourage all Assemblies of God institutions to seek membership with APTEA and ensure their programs of training hold to standards that reflect well on our calling to provide quality theological and ministerial education that prepares competent men and women for Spirit-filled, biblically grounded ministry in Africa today.
The Importance of Endorsement and Accreditation for Theological Institutions
As we progress deeper into this new century, the importance for Bible schools and theological programs to network together has become increasingly important. The growing complexities of our world impacting ministry practice have created new challenges to theological institutions seeking to train and equip men and women to be competent ministers of the gospel.
In view of this, ATTS encourages the process of endorsement and accreditation through the services of the Association for Pentecostal Theological Education in Africa (APTEA). Endorsement and Accreditation is defined to mean that a determination has been made that an institution is being guided by well-defined, appropriate goals to fulfill its mission, has established conditions and procedures under which its goals can be realized, is meaningfully accomplishing its goals and will continue to do so. APTEA’s concept of school endorsement and/or accreditation is that a school is substantially meeting or in process of meeting APTEA Standards.
Endorsement and accreditation includes the provision that an institution will complete a self-study based on the Ten Standards of APTEA. This self-study is the focal point of the process. It provides a clear, realistic and comprehensive look at all areas of the institution’s program as perceived by its administrators, faculty, staff, students and community. An on-site visit will be required for initial endorsement and for accreditation, as well as five-year renewals of endorsement and/or accreditation.
For Assemblies of God theological institutions, the Africa Assemblies of God Alliance (AAGA), along with ATTS, encourages Bible school leadership to network with APTEA in order to strengthen the bonds between AG schools across the continent. For more information about the process and nature of endorsement and/or accreditation, access the APTEA Standards by visiting the following website: www.theAPTEA.org.
John L. Easter, Ph.D.
Africa Theological Training Services (ATTS)