Over a 21-month period, the The Global Survey of Theological Education received over 1600 responses from theological educators and church leaders. You can find the entire study in .doc and .pdf format here. The survey aimed to provide data on current developments, challenges and major trends in theological education.
Here is a summary of their main findings:
- There are not enough theological schools in the regions of the world where Christianity is growing rapidly (Africa, Latin America, and parts of Asia).
- Theological education is financially unstable in many parts of the world.
- Growth is seen in Evangelical and Pentecostal/Charismatic theological education; decline is seen in mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions.
- There is significant interest in online theological education in some parts of the world, but many theological educators consider traditional formats more appropriate.
- Cross-cultural communication and practical skills related to ministry are the subjects respondents would most like to see added or strengthened in theological education.
- The "integrity of senior leaders" is seen as the most important element in determining quality in theological education.
- Institutional capacity building and the provision of scholarships are seen as the primary roles for international bodies with regard to theological education.
- There is a general understanding of achieving best theological education through a combination of experiential education (in congregations or other places of service) and traditional academic work (in class-rooms or online)
- Issues of theological education are seen as having strategic significance and are "most important" for the future World Christianity.
Darren Carlson is the Founder and President of Training Leaders International. As President, Darren oversees the general direction of the ministry and serves as an advocate for pastors with little access to formal training and thoughtful cross-cultural theological engagement. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.