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Standards and Guidelines for Global Theological Education

History of the SG-GETE

The Standards and Guidelines for Global Evangelical Theological Education – 2023  consists in a set of shared quality assurance standards for global evangelical theological education (click here for a translatable version using the icete.info automatic translation features).

On September 4-9, 2017, and on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education(ICETE) held a global consultation in Rome, Italy. Theological educators from seventeen nations and nine regions participated in the consultation and discussed the future shape of global evangelical theological education. The below Declaration and Commitment was issued at the conclusion of the consultation.

ICETE Rome Declaration and Commitment:

Based on the values stated in the ICETE Manifesto and in re-affirmation of our mutual respect and trust, while recognising our regional identities, and in relation to our calling as evangelical theological educators and accreditors,

We commit to:

  1. Strengthening the identity, transferability, and consistency of ICETE criteria and procedures for quality assurance and improvement;
  2. Developing a common global framework for the accreditation of evangelical theological education, including: global indicators of quality assurance and comparability of regional degree specifications;
  3. Formulating quality assurance indicators for technology-enhanced learning;
  4. Integrating principles, quality measures and assessment of character education into our global indicators, within our vision of holistic theological education;
  5. Exploring our specific calling to be a prophetic voice for service of God and his church and world, with particular attention to relationships with the ecclesial communities in our regions;
  6. Revising the ICETE member recognition process and encouraging members subsequently to engage with it;
  7. Ensuring the vital sustainability of ICETE and ICETE member bodies and leaders.

These, we must accomplish, by God’s grace

Following the consultation, a team took the ‘raw materials’ developed during the consultation and elaborated a first draft of the ‘Rome Roadmap (V.1)’. A second draft was refined by a small working group in January 2018 and was distributed internally as the ‘Rome Roadmap (V.2)’.

In February 2019, the ICETE Board adopted the document and renamed it: Standards and Guidelines for Global Evangelical Theological Education – 2019 (SG-GETE). After further revision, in April 2019, was formally recommended to the ICETE network of quality assurance agencies.

In 2021, a second revised edition was approved, featuring a broader scope that also includes quality assurance standards for doctoral level education programmes, thus integrating the ICETE Beirut Benchmarks (2010), the Bangalore Affirmations (2011) and the work of the Doctoral Initiative Steering Committee (DISC) into a comprehensive document.

The current third edition, 2023, has broadened the scope of doctoral programmes beyond just research-based programmes.  This has coincided with the publication of separate guidelines for research programmes and practical programmes (such as the DMIn) in the ICETE supplemental guidelines series.

Scope of the SG-GETE

The SG-GETE lists core standards that represent agreed common denominators in quality assurance work of global theological education.  It is a global summary that includes a list of essential standards, guidelines for each standard, examples of evidence and further resources.

The SG-GETE includes undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level theology degrees.

In its service to theological institutions worldwide, the global Church and the mission of God, the SG-GETE presupposes and seeks to promote the convictions and aspirations expressed in the ICETE Manifesto on the Renewal of Evangelical Theological Education.

Structure of the SG-GETE

The terms ‘Standards and Guidelines’ is used to denote both the norms and the means to achieve them. The structure of each standard reflects this and the guidelines are divided into explanations and examples of evidence.  Examples of evidence are not intended as exhaustive or normative, but only as illustrative. This is common practice in quality assurance.

The standards distinguish areas of Institutional (A) and Programme (B) related standards.  The institutional standards look at the quality of an institution, and deal with areas such as identity and purpose, governance, etc. The programme-related standards examine the specific norms and guidelines that can enhance the quality of programmes of study, including issues of design, teaching and learning, student services, etc.   This division is useful for accreditors who wish to distinguish institutional and programme-related dimensions in their own procedures.

Appendixes of good practice are provided to supplement selected guidelines.

Use of the SG-GETE

ICETE accrediting agencies are warmly invited to reference and incorporate parts or all of the SG-GETE in their own Accreditation Manuals. Agencies may also wish to supplement the SG-GETE with additional or modified standards, examples of evidence or explanations that are relevant to their contexts.