ICETE Competency Based Theological Education and Micro Credential – Rome


In February 2024 Daniel Magagnin and Doug Ingram participated in the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education’s (ICETE) Competency-Based Theological Education (CBTE) and Micro-Credentials (MC) Consultation in Rome. The event, set against the stunning backdrop of the Instituto Maria Santissima Bambina, with views extending to St Peter’s and the Vatican, was an opportunity for the Trust to gain a better understanding of the most recent innovations in theological education at ICETE. 

The consultation had over 60 attendees from various global regions, including Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa region, and North America. The delegates comprised representatives from both the formal and non-formal theological education sectors, accreditation bodies, and church and para-church organisations.  The aim of the consultation was to consider the potential use of CBTE and MCs for the future of Christian training, with a particular focus on bridging the divide between traditional and non-traditional theological education. 

The first half of the conference was focused on CBTE.  While based on practical ministry training, that is seen across the world, CBTE has been codified by Kairos University in the United States.  CBTE sees a shift towards a more integrated, context-sensitive, and mentorship-driven model of theological education, than is traditionally found in the university system. Its core principles include: 

  • Collaborative Mission: Emphasising the integration of diverse perspectives to achieve a unified educational mission, prioritising collective goals over institutional maintenance. 
  • Mentored Teamwork: Promoting a co-learning environment where students are guided by a team of mentors, facilitating discipleship that is responsive to the student’s context. 
  • Contextualised Discipleship: Encouraging a discipleship model that is deeply rooted in the student’s life situation, moving away from conventional, school-centric approaches. 
  • Customised Proficiency: Advocating for educational paths that are tailored to the individual needs and contexts of students, challenging the traditional one-size-fits-all methodology. 
  • Integrated Outcomes: Aiming for interdisciplinary learning outcomes that respect the diversity of Christian traditions and communities. 
  • Holistic Assessment: Implementing an assessment strategy that spans various domains, requiring evidence of proficiency in knowledge, character, and skills. 

Both Doug and Daniel felt that while the specific structure of CBTE in the US may not neatly fit into the context of many of our partner churches, the ethos behind it would.  Many of the principles have the potential to really enhance training with our partners across the Anglican Communion. 

The second part of the conference was focused on Micro-credentials (MCs).  MCs are concise, focused courses designed to deliver accredited, high-quality learning outcomes in a streamlined format. The key features of MCs encompass: 

  • Short learning experiences  
  • Transparent proof of acquired competences   
  • Relevant ‘just in time’ learning and assessment  
  • Student centred  
  • Designed at different levels  
  • Flexible in their access requirements  
  • Delivered by a variety of providers 

Daniel and Doug felt MCs have the potential to be hugely impactful within the Relay Trust’s operational contexts, enabling direct alignment with ecclesiastical requirements and offering certified development paths for both clergy and lay members. 

Both CBTE and MC’s could enhance the mission of the Trust, through support to our partner churches. While both were presented at the consultation in a very western focused manner, there are several components that are directly transferable to the majority world grassroots situation.  This is particularly relevant, as we continue to develop medium term strategies with each of our partner churches and their development.  We would ask if you would continue to pray for the mission of the Trust and for our partner churches as they seek to find or develop high quality contextually based training for their congregations.  Also please pray for the work of ICETE as it continues to tell and teach people about the Good News of Jesus.