The World Council of Churches has launched a global online directory of more than 7000 theological education institutions to promote mutual sharing and dialogue between establishments in different parts of the world, a WCC statement says.
The Global Directory of Theological Education Institutions is one of the results of the Global Survey on Theological Education, launched in October 2011. This was the first major world survey on the trends, needs and challenges in theological education and ministerial formation since the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh.
"This interactive global directory aims at facilitating mutual connectivity, exchange, ecumenical dialogue and research cooperation between theological education institutions in all regions of the world and from all Christian denominations," said the Rev. Dr Dietrich Werner, coordinator of the ecumenical theological education programme of the World Council of Churches (WCC).
“As the enhancement of theological education is a strategic task for the future of mission in World Christianity in the 21st century, churches need to give more attention to the potential, needs and challenges in theological education programmes,” said Werner.
The directory is located within the Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism (GlobeTheoLib), a joint project of the WCC and Globethics.net, a Geneva-headquartered foundation promoting dialogue on ethical issues.
"The online Global Directory of Theological Education Institutions is a monumental achievement in that it offers quick and easy access to the world's theological training centres, formal and informal," said Dr Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) in Boston, USA.
The CSGC is one of the partners that developed the directory, together with the WCC’s ecumenical theological education programme, the Institute for Cross-Cultural Theological Education of McCormick Theological Seminary, and Globethics.net.
The directory is interdenominational and inclusive in its widest sense, including all types of Christian institutions of theological education and ministerial formation: church based theological seminaries, Bible schools, university departments of theology, faculties of religious studies and mission training institutes.