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Association for Theological Education in South East Asia

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Dr. Wilson and Dr. Equina visit seminaries in Baguio City, Philippines

Executive Directors, Dr. HS Wilson (FTESEA) and Dr. Equina (ATESEA), paid a visit to the member schools in Baguio City, Philippines on March 19-21, 2016. They engaged in a conversation with the heads of schools and faculty on some of the current initiatives, challenges, and plans of the seminaries. The following schools were visited:

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ATESEA leaders join consulation meeting with FTESEA in Hong Kong

A consultation meeting between FTESEA and its partners Nanjing Union Theological Seminary (NJUTS),  China Christian Council (CCC), Association for Theological Education in South East Asia (ATESEA) and Ecumenical Theological Education/World Council of Churches (ETE/WCC) was held from April 25 to 27, 2016 at the Mariner+s Club, 11 M...

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Central Philippine University to host the 2017 ATESEA General Assembly

Central Philippine University in Iloilo City, Philippines will host the ATESEA General Assembly on March 21-24, 2017 as approved by the ATESEA Board of Trustees.  All member schools are encouraged to send their representatives.   


Association for Theological Education in South East Asia

is an organisation of seminaries and other tertiary institutes of theology.  It currently networks 93 member institutions and schools in 13 countries. It also acts as an accreditation agency for theological education in the South East Asian region.

ATESEA publishes the Asia Journal of Theology, provides accreditation services, operates the ATESEA Theological Union, formerly the South East Asia Graduate School of Theology, and promotes faculty development, theological renewal and contextualization in the light of the “Guidelines for Doing Theologies in Asia”, while coordinating regional planning in theological education.




Basic Baccalaureate Degree for Ministerial Leadership

BACHELOR OF ARTS in [Academic Discipline]

Basic Baccalaureate Degree for General Theological Education

Master of Divinity /Bachelor of Divinity

Basic Master’s Degree Programs for Pastoral/Ministerial Leadership

Master of Arts in [acad. discipline]/[Theo. Studies]

Basic Master’s Degree Programs for General Theological Studies

Master of Theology

Advanced Program for Theological Research and Teaching I

Doctor of Ministry

Advanced Program for Ministerial Leadership

Doctor of Philosophy      /Doctor of Theology

Advanced Programs for Theological Research and Teaching II

ATESEA History

A historical picture taken in August 1957 after the first Theological Study Institute in Singapore which marked the beginning of ATESEA.

  ATESEA has pioneered in establishing an Asia-wide venture of cooperation among the theological schools in the areas of research, consortium programs for advanced studies, seminar-workshops for lecturers and heads of schools, and other forms of innovative programs. As an accrediting body, ATESEA has established a set of accreditation standards to level up the quality of theological education in the region...
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-2006 Oct 6-7/ drafted by discussion group in STM, Malaysia
-2006 Nov 18/ approved with comments by Excom, Jakarta
-2007 Jan 10/ circulated to member schools for feedback
-2007 Mar 30/ final approval by Excom, Sabah
-2007 Jul 15/adopted by SEAGST Senate in Manila
-2007 Nov/ celebration for departure, Golden Jubilee, Singapore...Read More

The Critical Asian Principle (CAP) has a history, purpose and direction. Since its formulation and implementation about thirty years, we believe it has achieved its purpose reasonably well in assisting the process of doing theology and teaching theology in Asia. However in today's context, given its peculiarities and changing needs, we realize there is a need to review the CAP in order to intensify Asian theological reflection and theological training. Hence the need to revisit and rethink the CAP was suggested at the Taipei 2004 meeting by the ATESEA Executive Committee. Member schools, colleges and seminaries were requested to facilitate and participate in the re-assessment process. The process was to focus on relevancy, sufficiency and adequacy of CAP for today's Asia.
The Critical Asian Principle has been the framework applied by the ATESEA and the SEAGST in theological education. In 1972 at the Senate meeting in Bangkok, the CAP formulation was introduced by Emerito P. Nacpil and officially adopted to provide the basis for theological construction and education in Asia. The primary concerns behind the implementation of the CAP were twofold: To promote an Asian orientation in theological education in the Southeast Asian region; To seek and identify what is "distinctly Asian and use such distinctiveness as a critical principle of judgment on matters dealing with the life and mission of the Christian community, theology, and theological education in Asia." -(Report on Rethinking the Critical Asian Principle, ATESEA Members Schools Myanmar, 2005/2006)...Read More

As mentioned in the preamble, the need to revisit and rethink CAP has been made necessary by the constantly evolving Asian context. Many things have since changed and would require different approaches and modus operandi in theologizing and teaching of theology in Asia. The revisiting and rethinking should rightly raise critical questions in relation to the adequacy, relevancy and sufficiency of CAP in current Asian situations. The following comments are findings compiled through the various regional discussions....Read More

As noted in the keynote paper "Covenant with the Churches in Asia" presented at the ATESEA General Assembly 2005, "the Asian world has changed rapidly in all aspects of economic, political and social development. Christian Churches in Asia continue to struggle to witness the message of the gospel and the promise of the reign of God to be actualized among the people of Asia." (Huang Po Ho: Covenant with the Churches in Asia - Retargeting Theological Education in Responding to the Life and Death Struggles of the People of Asia - ATESEA General Assembly Meeting, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2005). Since the 'changing context' is the key factor which induced the reassessment of the effectiveness, functionality and suitability of the CAP, we need to identify what features color the changed context of today's Asia and what paradigm shift has taken place between Bangkok (then) and Singapore (now). The following are some propositions:...Read More

The purpose of these guidelines is to allow a redefinition and a retargeting of the role of theological education and its methodology in Asia by addressing the actual situation of a local community and at the same time ensuring it is "biblically based, missiologically oriented, educationally shaped, pastorally advocated and spiritually empowered." (Report on Rethinking Critical Asian Principle, Eastern Indonesia Area). Theologies in Asia must be authentically Asian in its content, shape and processes. Thus we propose the following guidelines. Theological education should promote:...Read More

Association for Theological Education in South East Asia

A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image.

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