Thrusts and Guidelines

It is incumbent upon all ATESEA member schools to perform faithfully their basic theological tasks of sound academic study, spiritual nurture, and practical service. To offer quality theological education in accord with accreditation standards, all schools are mandated to stimulate theological reflection and create forms of theological education by which the whole Christian community in South East Asia may:

1. be led to deeper commitment to God revealed in Christ through the Holy Spirit;
2. discern and respond to the signs of God’s activity in the living traditions and social changes in the region; and
3. witness more fully to God’s salvation in Christ by proclaiming the Gospel, and participating in the struggle of our peoples to achieve an abundant life, in a just, free, and sustainable society.

Theological institutions and their educational programs are seen to be advancing when:

1. They bring about a mutually creative relationship, between the theological schools and the churches, and among theological schools;
2. They foster a lively sense of the oneness of Christ’s body, the church;
3. They enter into dialogue with the world – its culture, ideologies, and religions;
4. They promote continuing involvement in the deep questions and vital issues of human existence, in the light of the Gospel;
5. It fosters renewing spiritual formation which is integrated effectively with academic study for Christian life, growth and action;
6. It affirms the wholeness of the theological community wherein the board, the faculty, staff and students interact creatively in planning and implementation of programs and projects that are responsive and relevant to the needs of the church and the society;
7. It encourages its faculty members to contribute to the life and work of the Church and the world through various forms of services, especially teaching, preaching, writing and research;
8. It continuously exerts efforts to improve the quality of education by developing innovative forms and methods of teaching;
9. It shares creative educational skills and tools with the wider community;
10. It fosters self-reliance in both human and material resources;
11. It engages in contextual theological reflection;
12. It equips the students with academic, practical, and human relation skills that will enable the Christian community to recognize its members’ gifts and varied talents, thus enabling them to carry out their diverse ministries;
13. It promotes the research and writing of contextual theology; and
14. It conducts a regular assessment to determine the relevance of the program offerings to the needs of the students and the stakeholders. The assessment covers the goals of the programs and their correlation with the vision, mission and goals of the institution, student learning outcomes, percentage of graduates and their placements.

Guidelines for Accreditation Teams

General Considerations

1. All team members are expected to have read and studied all documents sent by the school prior to the visit. If information is inadequate, accreditors are to secure these data upon arrival at the school to be visited; 2. Accreditors are invited guests when they visit a school. As such, they are to approach the task humbly as colleagues, friends and not as inspectors; 3. The school/seminary is to be evaluated within the context of its mission statement, goals and objectives and how successful it is in meeting its needs in the light of its unique situation; 4. Observe confidentiality in handling information; 5. Offer insights and observations that encourage the school to improve. Never prescribe personal theories, philosophies or techniques as solutions to the school’s problems; 6. Conduct an ocular visit to school facilities and programs; 7. Examine programs and observe classes to generate adequate information about the school; 8. Corroborate important facts and statements about the school through interviews of officers and representatives of various sectors of the institution in order to obtain an accurate and balanced report about the school; 9. Use the survey instruments and the accreditation notations as a guide in evaluating the school; 10. Avoid injuring the school by being either overly-strict or compound weaknesses by sentimental generosity; 11. Refrain from making remarks for or against the school during interviews, meetings, and group discussions; 12. Evaluate the educational experiences and determine if they are in accord with the school’s mission and objectives; 13. Be on the campus early and depart after the visit.

Responsibilities of the Team Leader

1. Secures from the school head/school representative a copy of the schedule of activities to be followed during the visit; 2. Makes a courtesy call to the school head along with his/her team members. State some needs/concerns needed for a smooth accreditation visit; 3. Meets the team members to:

1. Discuss the schedule of activities during the entire visit; 2. Ensure that team members know and understand their areas of responsibilities and their functions. Areas to evaluate may be assigned to each member; 3. Orient the members on how to write concise, readable and quality reports; 4. Discuss ways to generate important information and basic ethics to observe in handling persons and information; and 5. Process data and findings periodically with the members to arrive at a consensus for the final report.

4. Conducts meetings with major officers of the school, board members, faculty, student representatives, church leaders, alumni, community leaders and other stakeholders; 5. Conducts an exit interview with key school officials, especially with the school head, to corroborate findings and to share major concerns that may need urgent attention; 6. Advises the school not to publish the recommendation of the Accreditation Team, or any part of the report, until the Accreditation Commission has taken action; 7. Makes the final report based on the processed findings and reports of team members; 8. Ensures that the final report and recommendations are duly printed for submission to the Accreditation Commission; and 9. Edits the report before final submission.

Responsibilities of Team Members

1. Read all documents and survey reports being sent to them in order to have adequate information about the school;
2. Arrive at the school site early to corroborate facts/information about the school;
3. Ensure that they are able to stay on for the entire visit;
4. Gather adequate information about the areas/sections of the accreditation instrument assigned to them for evaluation;
5. Use the entire time for the accreditation task. Avoid using the official time for personal visitation and/or making/renewing acquaintances;
6. Ask well-informed questions during interviews and group discussions;
7. Examine all prepared exhibits and documents to know more about the school;
8. Handle confidential documents and information with care;
9. Check and cross-check information from disgruntled sources;
10. Write readable and quality report. Submit them report promptly to the Team Leader;
11. Perform other tasks that may be assigned by the Team Leader during the visit.