Anglican Communion Theological Education group (TEAC 2) commits to the work of ‘building up’ the Church through theological education
Meeting in Canterbury at the beginning of Lent 2010, the first meeting of the Steering Group of TEAC2, established by ACC 14 in Jamaica in May 2009, has been nourished and undergirded by the Scripture-soaked worship of this Cathedral in which we have been privileged to share.
(Editors Note: Traducción al español)
As we sought to express our vision for the fostering and celebration of theological education in the Anglican Communion, a wealth of scriptural wisdom formed and shaped our reflections. Lent is a time of discipline and catechesis, of preparation to enable the baptised to share more fully in the mysteries of the death and resurrection of Christ. We want to share our perception that the path of theological education appropriately reflects the Lenten journey in the life of the Church. This path may begin inviting us out to the wilderness where ‘silence reigns’ enabling us to listen more acutely to the voice of God; yet in the wilderness we are also invited to pitch a ‘tent of meeting’, of encounter with God and with others.
In the wilderness also God gives the gift of water and this visible symbol of his presence (Exodus 17.7) is a reminder that God meets physical and material, spiritual and intellectual needs of his people. Theological education needs to take account of all these aspects.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Gospel story of the encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well of Samaria (John 4.5-42) where the need for, and gift of, water, vital for human existence, provides the starting point for probably the most extended theological discussion which Jesus has with any individual in the Gospels. We noted that this text appears in the Revised Common Lectionary as a reading for the Lenten period (Year A). We have discovered that the well that this story taps into is indeed deep and offers rich resources to be explored in the context of theological education.
Earlier work of TEAC produced the ‘Signposts statement’ which sought to set out the essentials of the Anglican Way. This was widely shared in the Anglican Communion, and used as a resource for the reflection on Anglican identity at the 2008 Lambeth Conference. This statement about the Anglican Way suggested that as Anglican Christians we are:
- Formed by scripture
- Shaped through worship
- Ordered for Communion
- Directed by God’s mission
In our deliberations in Canterbury we have come to realise that this four-fold ‘Signposts’ statement not only sets out the structure of the Anglican Way but can also provide an appropriate framework for theological education itself. This too needs to be formed by scripture, shaped through worship, ordered for communion and directed by mission.
Our fruitful discussions have enabled us to draw connections between the ‘Signposts’, the Gospel narrative of John 4 and the needs of theological education. We have noted, for example, that the discussion between Jesus and the woman is embedded in the scriptural heritage which both shared; that the need for ‘true worship’ is a significant focus of their conversation; that it addresses the ordering of healthy relationships, and the priority of living in God’s time; and that the discourse has a profoundly missionary thrust, ending with the affirmation by the woman’s Samaritan co-religionists that ‘we have seen that this is the Saviour of the world’. (John 4.42)
We have established our goals and priorities for the work of TEAC 2. These will fall in five areas.
- Facilitation of networking
- Development of resources
We have discussed and assigned specific tasks for TEAC that come within these parameters. Out of this we have begun to develop our programme of work for the forthcoming year. We intend to hold a consultation for theological college principals, as well as building further on the work done at a consultation organised for women theological educators in 2008. We will develop a database of Anglican theological educators, and revise and update existing lists of Anglican theological education institutions. We hope to develop an email network of those with Provincial roles in training for ministry. We will seek to publish four more booklets in the ‘Signposts’ series, each of which will offer an accessible guide to an aspect of the ‘Signposts’ statement. We will continue our programme of translating key resources into a variety of the languages used in the Anglican Communion. We will explore the viability of developing a web-based course in Anglican Studies. We will work at issues of communication, developing further the TEAC section on the Anglican Communion website. In particular we will ensure that the ‘ministry grids’, already published on this site, become more widely known. We will continue, in so far as we are able, to work with a variety of regional bodies and groups, to strengthen Anglican theological education at the regional as well as Provincial level. We consider that theological education is vital for the whole people of God as they seek to give 'an account for the hope’ that is in them (1 Peter 3.15).
As we have begun to plan our Steering Group meeting for 2011, we state our commitment to using it as an opportunity not simply for meeting, but also to be a time for offering practical support and advocacy for theological education in an under-resourced part of the Anglican Communion.
As members of TEAC 2 we are very conscious that we are building on the foundations laid by the members of the earlier TEAC Working Party and we want to offer them our gratitude. (A brief resume of some of the work done by the earlier Working Party is listed at the end of this email.) TEAC 2 holds similar values to its predecessor in relation to theological education – that it should be life-long, multi-faceted, accessible to all, encouraging active learning, attending to context as well as content, and valuing the vital ministry of theological educators.
Christ our Teacher,
you alone are the way, the truth and the life:
so lead this Theological Education group in its work,
building trust and understanding,
that, in sharing our stories, vision and resources,
all your people may grow in faith
and your whole Church built up in love,
in the power of the Holy Spirit
and to the glory of the Father.
(Colleen O'Reilly, originally written for TEAC1)
Members of TEAC 2 Steering Group
Archbishop Colin Johnson (Toronto, Canada, Chair)
Revd Dr Sathianathan Clarke (India) *
Canon Dr Ed Condry (UK, Canterbury)
Rt Revd Dr Michael Fape (Nigeria and TEAC Regional Associate)
Rt Revd Dr Chad Gandiya (Zimbabwe)
Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley (UK)
Revd Sally Sue Hernandez Garcia (Mexico and TEAC Regional Associate)
Rt Revd Kumara Illangasinghe (Sri Lanka)
Revd Professor Cynthia Briggs Kittredge (USA)
Rt Revd Dr Stephen Pickard (Australia)
Very Revd Dr Patrick Tanhuanco (Philippines)
Revd Dr Joseph Wandera (Kenya and South Africa)
Ms Sue Parks (representing the staff of the Archbishop of Canterbury)
Mrs Clare Amos (Director of Theological Studies Anglican Communion Office, and Secretary to TEAC 2)
* Dr Clarke was unable to be present at the 2010 meeting.
For more information or to obtain resources referred to contact Clare Amos, Director of Theological Studies, at firstname.lastname@example.org
ACC 14 Resolution 14.08: Theological Education in the Anglican Communion (Theological Studies)
The Anglican Consultative Council:
- thanks the current members of TEAC for their work and contribution to the development of theological education in the Anglican Communion;
- welcomes the new phase of the Working Party;
- endorses the proposed structure and tasks as set out in the submission received;
- welcomes the establishment of the informal network “Connecting Anglican Women in Theological Education” and asks those responsible for the work of TEAC to support and encourage its further development.
The tasks accomplished by the first TEAC Working Party include the following:
The production of a series of ministry grids setting out necessary competencies, skills and qualities for the exercise of various forms of ministry and Christian discipleship in the churches of the Anglican Communion. These are available electronically at
- The setting out of a guidelist of books relating to the teaching of Anglican Studies, which the group believed ought to be in the libraries of all institutions training people for ordained Anglican ministry. Also the provision of these books to over 35 colleges/training courses in the developing world.
- The translation of a core textbook for Anglican Studies ‘Something in Common’, by Adrian Chatfield (published by St John’s College, Nottingham) into Spanish, Portuguese, Swahili and shortly French. Copies of the translations have been distributed. Copies will also shortly be available for purchase via a ‘shop’ on the Anglican Communion website.
- The ‘Signposts’ statement, ‘The Anglican Way: Signposts on a Common Journey’, which seeks to set out the essentials of Anglican identity and ministry, and which was used as the basis for the session on Anglican identity by the bishops at the 2008 Lambeth Conference. This is available in a number of languages. See http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/theological/signposts/english.cfm
- Establishing a series of booklets, ‘the Signposts series’, as a teaching resource linked to the above statement. Copies of booklets already published will be available via the Anglican Communion ‘shop’. Further booklets in the series will be published over the coming years.
- Seeking to support and develop the ministry of theological educators. A consultation for Anglican women theological educators was held in February 2009, and there are a number of follow up projects from this consultation.
- Beginning the development of the ‘Theological Studies’ section of the Anglican Communion website as a resource for theological education.