Asia Theological Association
Asia Theological Association (ATA) is one of 8 Regional International Evangelical Accrediting Associations of ICETE (The International Council for Evangelical Theological Education). The other 7 members, or sponsors, of ICETE cover the other continents. ATA is a nongovernmental association formed by evangelical Christians in Asia to confer accreditation to theological institutions in Asia.
ATA was established in 1970 as a direct outcome of the Pan-Asia Congress of Evangelism held in Singapore in 1968. Its appointed primary goal then was to promote evangelical theological education including lay training. Accreditation services were rendered to institutions in 1978. Since then, it has developed in serving its member theological institutions in teaching evangelical biblical theology and in the training of Christian pastors and church workers. Its operating principles include strengthening partnership, enhancing scholarship, furthering academic excellence, fostering spiritual and ministerial formation, and mobilizing resources to fulfill global Christian mission within diverse Asian cultures. The main reason for the establishment of ATA was to be an aid to theological institutions in contextualising theology in the Asian context. Through this Christian pastors and Christian churches can be aided to be more effective in supporting Christian ministry more effectively with other Asians in their own context. Today the majority of Evangelical Bible colleges in Asia are members of ATA.
Statement of faith
The statement of faith of the ATA is in line with other such statements of bodies generally, seeking to follow the historical evangelical faith of the Church, and all its member institutions are expected to affirm it.
- The divine inspiration of the Holy Bible, of sixty-six books of the Old Testament and New Testament, as the infallible Word of God, its consequent uniqueness, entire trustworthiness and supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
- One God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- The full deity and humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ, His representative and substitutionary death, His bodily resurrection and personal return in glory to consummate His kingdom.
- The dignity of humans, made in the image of God, their universal sinfulness, their need of repentance, redemption and justification through faith alone in Christ crucified and risen from the dead.
- The resurrection of all humans, either to eternal life or to condemnation.
- The illuminating, regenerating, indwelling, and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, enabling Christians to witness effectively to the Gospel and to serve responsibly in the world.
- The unity in our Lord Jesus Christ of all believers, who comprise the Church.
- The total mission of the Church to the whole man in society in the contemporary context, in obedience to God, according to the Scriptures.
Asia Theological Association accredits theological seminaries in the Asian region.
ATA is the Asian sponsor of the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE), the theological education network covering all the continents that operates under the auspices of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA). This effectively partners ATA with established accreditation bodies from other regions of the world, such as The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) in North America.
ICETE is the umbrella organisation, and it includes in its membership of 8 sponsors the ABHE (The Association for Biblical Higher Education), which is a North American accrediting body recognised by CHEA (The Council for Higher Education Accreditation).
- Asia Theological Association
- http://www.icete-edu.org/ ICETE
- http://www.ataasia.com/pdfs/Accreditation%20Manual%20revised%20Dec%202007.pdf ATA Accreditation Manual
- ATA Accreditation Manual, page 6
- International Council for Evangelical Theological Education sponsor list
- http://www.worldevangelicals.org/members/globalpartners.htm WEA Global Partners
- Association for Biblical Higher Education
- http://www.icete-edu.org/ listing ABHE as one of the 8 member associations or sponsors.
- http://www.chea.org/Directories/faith.asp National Faith-Related Accrediting Organizations
- http://www.chea.org/pdf/2011_2012_Directory_of_CHEA_Recognized_Organizations.pdf (page 6)