Thursday, March 24, 2011

CPBC UNITES: Synchronizing the theological system

The CPBC Unified Theological Education System (UNITES) is an attempt to bring together all existing theological institutions affiliated with the CPBC under one system. It is an offshoot of previous studies and initiatives of various organizations. Conceptualized by the Theological Education and Ministerial Concerns Committee, it was subsequently approved the CPBC Board of Trustees in 2007. Prof. Josita Alpha Jalando-on and Pastor Billy Reyes, president and vice president of the Convention Baptist Bible College, respectively took the lead. Other committee members were Pastor Georem Gutierrez and Prof. DZ Lariza.

Foremost of its direction is the setting up of standard and policies for all member theological institutions. This is in consonance with needs of churches and institutions and the requirements of accrediting agencies both governmental and denominational. It includes among others the standardization of programs & curriculum, the faculty and library requirements.

The design promotes interrelatedness of theological institutions thru mutual partnership with one another and with CPBC Theological Education and Ministerial Concerns Committee. A support mechanism for faculty & library upgrade, scholarships, financial sustenance, and administrative/technical expertise is included in the concept. Likewise, the monitoring and evaluation of the level of each member institutions. There is also a provision for the continuing education program for alumni of respective theological institutions.

The CPBC UNITES is a breakthrough to reverse the perennial trend. Theological institutions are left on their own without clear cut policies and procedures. There is no deliberate and systematic effort for assistance as well as consultation, monitoring, evaluation, permit or sanction by the national body. As such, there is no sense of accountability and established system of relationship. While belonging to one denomination, theological institutions do not have close connection. In almost all aspects, “each to its own” mentality prevails.

The trend results to more diversities than commonalities. Subsequently, there has been lopsided development. In most instances, the rich resources are concentrated on theological institution with small number of students while those with scarce resources have the bigger population and needs. Academically, while some have geared for quality education, others have maintained the status quo with less effort to upgrade the faculty and facilities.

The wrong concept of autonomy has aggravated the situation. As an institution, complacency has set in. Nobody seems to call the shot except those who personally take the cudgel individually or as a group. Although there has been initiatives, most often such experience natural death due to lack of institutional support, if not adverse reactions.

To be continued

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