Global Survey Project on Theological Education in World Christianity

Workgroup Information

Joint Research Project on Current State and Future Trends of Theological Education in World Christianity (2011-2012)


Dr. Dietrich Werner, Ecumenical Theological Education, World Council of Churches

Since the famous empirical study on the role and challenges on theological education in so-called mission fields which was presented during the World Missionary conference in 1910 little if any empirical research has been done on trends, developments and major challenges in the area of ministerial formation and theological education in the Christianity of the South on global scale.

The following global research project on theological education has been started for a period of 12 to 18 month, beginning in October 2011. It aims at:

  • providing some empirical data on current developments, challenges and major trends in theological education in World Christianity by making available a qualified questionnaire to relevant partners, both individual theological educators as well as institutions for theological education, and at
  • combining an empirical data related part of the questionnaire (empirical data dimension, evaluated with statistics) with some questions related to qualitative assessments to be responded to in writing (narrative report dimension, evaluated by analytical tools of written answers provided), reaching out to all sectors of World Christianity, including both WCC member churches and non-member churches, Evangelical Churches, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Independent churches.

The goals of the working group are:

  • to share comments and written contributions to the global survey project on theological education,
  • to prepare evaluation, assessment and presentation of results both on regional and on global level of this research project, and
  • to relate results of this global survey project to empirical data on World Christianity made available by Global Christian database and the Centre for the Study of Global Christianity.

While access to the questionnaire of the global survey project on theological education is for everybody access to this accompanying working group is for all those who want to contribute to the evaluation and results of this global research project on the trends of theological education in World Christianity in the period between October 2011 and June 2013.
The results of the global study project will be made available late autumn 2012 for both WCC Central Committee and other partners involved in the study and research process.

Supporting bodies:
The supporting institutions which are responsible for designing and carrying out this survey project are the following:

  • The Institute for Cross-Cultural Theological Education, McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago (Dr. David Esterline)
  • The Centre for the Study of Global Christianity, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, (Dr. Todd Johnson)
  • World Council of Churches, Program on Ecumenical Theological Education (ETE), (Dr. Dietrich Werner)

Target Groups:
The survey project is directed to three categories of target groups:
a)    to individuals interested in or responsible for theological education,
b)    to representatives of an institution of theological education, and
c)    to representative of associations of theological schools

The research project is accessible for all those interested and can be visited and answered under: