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Sound the Bamboo
[CCA Hymnal]



Theological Roundtable Follow-up

As mandated by the theological roundtable meeting in Tainan, representatives of existing theological consortia were invited to a meeting on July 11, 2005 at the CCA Centre. The existing consortia are the Association of Theological Education in South East Asia / South East Asia Graduate Studies (ATESEA/SEAGST) and Board of Theological Education-Senate of Serampore College / South Asia Theological Research Institute (BTE-SSC/SATHRI).

The purpose of the meeting was to share with the consortia the recommendations from the Tainan roundtable for an Asian theological union that would be degree-granting and specializing in contextual Asian theologies, would use the best faculty as well as use the approach of mobile faculty and mobile studentry.

The group of the July 11 meeting affirmed the desire expressed at the Tainan roundtable but suggested that the process would take some steps or stages. During this first stage, the group felt that the following steps would be appropriate:
(a) conduct an orientation for first year doctoral students from both existing consortia (BTE-SSC and SEAGST) for three weeks;
(b) strengthen the disciplines for doctoral students before dissertation level; and
(c) foster interdisciplinary research (partly IASACT) for ABD (all but dissertation) doctoral students.

It was emphasized that the need is to conduct an inventory/evaluation of existing consortia and to strengthen them to respond to existing needs. Later, the consortia should also think of how to bring in NEAATS and to help facilitate and bring in a China consortium.

Thinking long-term, the possible union (beyond the consortium) will involve the following: (a) sharing of faculty between the ongoing consortia; (b) institutionalized associations will continue to need constant challenge from theological movements, hence, the role of the movements should be kept and encouraged; and (c) it should provide faculty orientation/development in a wider framework.

The first stage to reach the dream of a theological union is for a strategic alliance of existing consortia – to enlarge the resources of both faculty and students. In view of this, it was suggested that both BTE-SSC/SATHRI and ATESEA go back to their respective faculty to share these suggestions, with the emphasis that this move towards a consortium and perhaps a union is without prejudice to one or the other. Instead there is mutual recognition of the programs that are ongoing; but there are suggestions for programs of mutual enrichment; and there are concerns for mutual exchange of students.

CCA-FMU will continue to help facilitate this process of building the alliance.

posted by hope on Wednesday, July 27, 2005  

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