Global Forum in Germany

Global Forum in Germany

Dr. Limuel Equina and Dr. Joas Adiprasetya participated in the Global Forum of Theological Educators held in Dorfweil, Germany on May 16-20, 2016.  Dr. Daniel Aleshire from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and Dr. Manfred Kohl, representing Overseas Council, an evangelical group, and other partners organized this gathering of theological educators.  One of the partners is the Foundation for Theological Education in South East Asia (FTESEA).

The forum was an occasion not only to know some people who are engaged in seminary education, but also a chance to explore some possibilities of future collaborations with them.

Dr. Equina led the opening presentation during the Session Eight on May 19, 2016 on the topic “What is the role of theological education and the church in God’s mission in the world?” Basing on the context of ATESEA, he concluded this issue with the following statements as described in the ATESEA Guidelines:

“Therefore for ATESEA, the specific tasks of theological education and the church in God’s mission involve:

1. restoring the inter-connectedness of the whole creation;
2. encouraging interfaith dialogue as well as intrafaith communion and communication;
3. enhancing capacity building in order to serve people experiencing disaster, conflict, disease and disabilities;
4. prophetic resistance against the powers of economic imperialism;
5. equipping Christians for witnessing and spreading the gospel of Jesus with loving care and service to fulfill the Christian mission of evangelism.”

Dr. Equina stressed that these engagements point to the goal of theological education and ministry of the church which is the transformation of the world. “Transformation is what constitutes the essence of God’s mission. However, all transformation efforts remain provisional.  They are provisional in the sense that even the agents of transformation—theological education and the church need to be transformed as well.”

The eighty-six (86) theological educators from six major church confessional families agreed that, “Cooperation and dialogue in the theological formation are required in the major settings in which the church finds itself in the 21st century … We are  aware that we can complement each other and need each other with the different gifts we bring to the common table in the area of theological education… We have been made aware of the need to continue conversations started in this first gathering, to foster friendships and collaboration birthed from our dialogue, and to seek together, as educators, to work towards transformative  theological education that serves the churches and God’s kingdom.”

[1] ATESEA Handbook (2014 ed.), 80.

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