Accredited programs in TEAE

We find the principle of mutual accountability given in Scripture to be of the utmost importance. In a world of increasing entropy, disorder, and sin, we are called to demonstrate the values of the Kingdom of God, where order and order are present, and we are called to help each other build it not alone, but together, as the Bible teaches.

The ministry of educational institutions — evangelical seminaries and universities — plays a key role in the building up of the Church, and thus requires special mutual accountability in a spirit of love and sincerity to prevent the enemy of God from damaging the body of Christ. Scripture also warns us against carelessness in the performance of our work and encourages us to do it with quality, diligence and dedication. At the same time, man tends to evaluate the results of his labor subjectively, hence the necessity of an external, independent evaluation prescribed by God’s Word: «Let another praise you, not your mouth, let another praise you, let another praise you, let another praise you, let another praise you, let another praise you not your tongue» (Proverbs 27:2). By the way, the high importance of the principle of accountability is also realized in the secular world, which, among other things, is expressed in regular independent audits of the work of various businesses and organizations. Managers know that the difficulties and costs associated with such audits pay off in full: enterprises become more efficient and competitive.

One of the instruments of mutual accountability and mutual assistance in the educational sphere is the accreditation procedure. It is no coincidence that it has become the main way to determine the level of compliance of the quality of educational activities with the established standards.

The accreditation of evangelical educational institutions, while intended to help improve the quality of educational provision, is essentially aimed at the more global task of supporting the building up of the church. Recognizing the need to achieve and maintain high educational standards, evangelical educational institutions have over the years formed associations to assist schools in improving the effectiveness of their ministry. For example, in the mid-1990s, the Euro-Asian Accreditation Association (EAAA) was established in the former Soviet Union, a professional association that helped develop ministerial education programs in our region. There have always been close fraternal and friendly relations between EAAA members, an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect. EAAA was part of the family of international evangelical accreditation agencies ICETE, and therefore EAAA accreditation confirms the quality of programs not only in Eurasia, but also internationally. In 2022, events in the geopolitical arena brought about a transformation that caused EAAA to cease to exist. But God has not abandoned his educational institutions. At the initiative of 25 evangelical educational organizations from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Belarus, South Korea, and other countries, the Theological Evangelical Association of Eurasia (TEAE), https://tea-e.org/, was established in October 2022 with the vision of continuing the mission of the EAAA. At this stage TEAE already includes more than 30 organizations from 8 countries, including all leading evangelical educational institutions in Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus. Its activities are aimed at strengthening solidarity, mutual support and cooperation of evangelical educational institutions through joint academic projects and activities, improving the level and quality of theological education through accreditation assessment and mutual recognition, developing national theology and spiritual education (including in different languages).

TEAE’s educational standards incorporate the best of the EAAA and ICETE experience and represent the fruit of years of work by evangelical ministers united in a sincere desire to make seminaries and universities more effective. TEAE accreditation is based on values that represent more than just educational standards. The TEAE Standards reflect not only academic and organizational rigor similar to that required for secular higher education standards, but also typical evangelical values reflecting sound doctrine and practice, discipleship, spiritual direction, personal growth, and practical competencies for effective ministry.

TEAE accreditation is a productive cooperation of professionals in the field of evangelical education: mutual assistance, exchange of experience, assistance in acquiring skills and knowledge necessary for fruitful ministry; it is an independent opinion, an outside view, so necessary for an objective assessment of the state of affairs in the educational institution and subsequent improvement of its work; it is the assistance of experts, brothers and sisters, who are aware of the most current trends and challenges in the field of education and are able to update the basic standards and requirements in a timely manner Accreditation assessment is advisory in nature, and school leaders reserve the right to follow or not follow these recommendations based on their goals and mission. However, practice shows that school leaders find these recommendations extremely useful, as they help to adjust goals and objectives, as well as serve as a good support and additional tool for timely implementation of necessary changes.

Accreditation encourages the staff and faculty of a seminary or university to do a better job, to self-evaluate, and to conduct their own internal checks and examinations for compliance with standards and requirements. This creates additional internal incentives to work diligently for the glory of God. In addition, accreditation serves as an encouragement to the staff of educational institutions, as they find themselves in the circle of those who perform similar tasks and who, more than anyone else, can understand their difficulties and worries. The accreditation process improves the climate within an educational institution, which is so important for its long-term ministry. That is why evangelical seminaries and universities seek to be part of such a professional community and realize the value of accreditation visits as a measure that contributes to their development and provides an opportunity to meet the demands of the times.