'21st Century TEE in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities'
The Conference Statement
Our gathering was the first pan-Asia TEE conference for 25 years, and the largest ever. It therefore provided a special opportunity to express the vision and values which unite us as national TEE programs right across Asia.
The Conference Statement was developed in a very participatory way, as follows:
A group of twenty or so participants met for three days before the main conference, and were asked to write their personal response to the question 'What excites you about TEE?' Their ideas were gathered up and included as bullet points on a large 6 m x 2 m banner. When the rest of the conference participants arrived, they were asked to complete a sheet asking the same question. All these responses were added to the banner.
A group gathered to discern the consensus themes that were emerging. They compared them with the widely-accepted ICETE Manifesto and the ATA Statement of Values1, finding broad agreement, but a freshness of expression from our participants' own vocabulary.
The key themes were then written up as paragraphs and discussed in the closing plenary session of the conference. After proposing some improvements, the whole conference affirmed the statement with enthusiasm. Their improvements are included in the Conference Statement, which is now circulated for consideration by the wider community of theological educators.
Of course, any document developed in such a short time can only be provisional, and we look forward to receiving suggestions on how to improve it further. Please send any such suggestions to us on .
The Increase Committee, October 2010
We are excited about TEE!
We have seen repeatedly, consistently and in many regions, the life-changing, transforming work of God in people's lives as they study through TEE. We know the joy of seeing them grow.
We believe that TEE has a solid educational foundation combining home study, regular group meetings and practical application. The TEE method promotes immediate and ongoing application, and should lead to holistic, all-round growth, not just growth in knowledge. It is people-oriented and learner-centered. This method develops a whole range of skills: personal study skills, listening and communication skills, and skills of critical thinking and evaluation according to Biblical values and a Biblical worldview.
The TEE courses we use are faithful to the Scriptures, and encourage students to engage in close, deep, regular and ongoing study of God's Word. They bring sound teaching, and help people to understand and apply the Bible in their context.
TEE materials can be widely used across denominations, promoting the unity of faith, and have been tried and tested in many contexts and countries. There are materials at all levels, including those that are easy to use and understand, practical and not too academic. TEE is therefore a tool for training from the ground level to the highest levels of learning. TEE learning materials can also be delivered in a great variety of ways, by printed media and multi-media electronic tools.
The TEE method allows great flexibility: groups can study anywhere at any time. It can be used in all kinds of situations, city and countryside, including in a blended form alongside residential training. It is especially appropriate where there is persecution. It is a great tool for serving diaspora communities. Because the costs to the student are low, the program is affordable. Because group meetings usually take place weekly, students can learn alongside the continuing responsibilities of their daily lives in their homes, workplaces and communities. Through a TEE program, training and learning are made accessible for everyone who wants to learn, regardless of location, salary, age or gender.
The TEE method provides training in the context of everyday life and ministry - training people where they live and work and serve - in this way integrating learning and living. TEE in Asia is indigenous, rooted in national movements, giving many opportunities for creating contextual training in partnership with the local churches.
Therefore we affirm that TEE can provide a sound framework for discipleship: spiritual formation, mentoring and character development. It can help Christians grow in the knowledge of God. It is a means to go forward in obedience to the Great Commission, as it combines materials for discipleship, training of church leaders, and church-planting. As group facilitators give rise to new facilitators there is inbuilt multiplication. It is local church related, and often local church based. Through TEE groups, relationships are deepened, and real community grows.
Above all, we believe TEE has the potential to equip all Church members as agents of transformation, moving them from being passive receivers to active servants, salt and light where they are.
That's why we are excited about TEE!