Welcome to PTC Extension Education!
We believe in…..Theology for All for Life
One of the most inspiring movements in the Church around the world since the 1970s has been that of TEE – Theological Education by Extension. That means ordinary believers opening their minds and hearts to theological exploration in their normal, day to day lives. No College required. I’ve had the huge joy of meeting and working with TEE groups from Churches in Zambia, Brazil and Sri Lanka, to name just three places. And TEE is right here in the Pacific too: ready to serve, ready to equip. By the grace of God, helping a diverse variety of believers to do just what 1 Peter 3.15 urges: Always be prepared to make a defence to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence. (RSV)
Theology – we might call it ‘God-talk’ – is relevant whoever we are: market stallholders, managing directors, rugby players, farmers, sailors, teachers, taxi-drivers, nurses, teachers, police officers, parents, grandparents – you name it. If we claim to have faith then we seek understanding too. Christian faith and spirituality in Pacific people is deep, strong and sincere: commitment and loyalty to the Church commendable. But how’s our theological education doing – honestly? Do we know what we believe and why? Does faith enable us to understand and respond constructively to the changing and challenging contemporary world?
It’s simply not enough to leave theological education to Pastors, Priests and College lecturers. They may not be conveniently to hand when we find ourselves in a gripping theological discussion with our friendly, Muslim taxi-driver about why Christians recognise Jesus’s divinity and don’t regard him only as a prophet. Or when our children, who’ve been learning about Pacific climate change at school say, ‘But Mum, we learnt in Sunday School that God promised there’d be no more floods after Noah’s time’. Or when you come out of Church on Sunday having listened to a preacher saying things in a sermon that you felt were very suspect, but you don’t feel confident to challenge them theologically and respectfully. Have we found ourselves in any of those situations, or similar ones? What theological responses did we have?
And let’s remember, ‘theology’ isn’t about being brilliantly ‘academic’ and having super-human brains. The word (from theos and logos in the Greek) just means understanding or knowledge about the things of God. We can never get enough of that, surely?
TEE students generally study by themselves, in their own place and at their own pace, benefitting from courses which are accessible, affordable and fully accredited to international standards. TEE is also a thoroughly ecumenical movement, not a denominational one, and our courses are studied by Methodists, Catholics, Anglicans, Pentecostals and those outside the mainline Churches. All are welcome. PTCEE is an open door not a closed shop.
So, what are you waiting for? Contact us at PTCEE to sign up for one of our courses; currently print based but soon to be available online too. You can find all the details by clicking on the ‘Courses’ tab. We look forward to you joining the global movement of TEE with a particularly Pacific flavour – PTCEE.
Theology for ALL for LIFE. What a vital vision for the 21st Century.
Revd Dr Val Ogden (Former Director: PTCEE)