Global Survey on Theological Education

The Global Survey on Theological Education was designed to gather data and perspectives on all forms of theological education from every Christian tradition in every part of the world. Launched in October 2011 by the World Council of Churches in partnership with the Institute for Cross-Cultural Theological Education in Chicago and the Centre for the Study of Global Christianity in Boston this survey aimed to provide empirical data on current developments, challenges and major trends in theological education in World Christianity by sending out 70 items questionnaire to relevant partners, both individual theological educators as well as institutions for theological education.

The Survey was launched in October 2011 (at the Global Christian Forum meeting in Indonesia) and concluded in June 2013. In this 21-month period, more than 1'650 theological educators and other church leaders concerned with theological education and preparation for ministry responded to the Survey.

Download the report of main findings with links to further information

Word Format | PDF Format

Summary of 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.

Global Directory of Theological Education Institutions

One of the most significant outcomes of the Survey is the development of the Global Directory of Theological Education Institutions, an online database containing information on more than 7,000 seminaries, theological colleges and faculties, and other theological training institutions. The Directory can be found at http://www.globethics.net/web/gtl/directory.

The Global Survey on Theological Education was conducted as a joint research project by

This report is hosted by the Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism (GlobeTheoLib), a multilingual online library offering access free of charge to more than 650'000 full-text articles, journals, books and other resources (www.globethics.net/gtl).