Participants of Asia regional consultation on ‘Towards Theological Education on Good Governance and Integrity Leadership’ in Chaing Mai
Chiang Mai, Thailand: An Asia regional consultation on ‘Towards Theological Education on Good Governance and Integrity Leadership,’ organised by the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), began today, 28 November 2022, at the CCA headquarters at the Payap University Campus, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Around forty participants, including heads of theological institutions, and related associations from across Asia, are attending the consultation.
In his opening address, CCA General Secretary, Dr Mathews George Chunakara, spoke about how important it is for theological educators to train theological students, from the very beginning of their studies, in good governance and integrity leadership. A church or related institution that ensures good governance can enable future leaders to succeed in church administration and build up a corruption free church.
The CCA General Secretary highlighted the importance of instilling ideas and concepts of good governance into the programmes and curriculums of theological educational institutions in training future leaders and church workers, especially pastors and ministers in Asian churches. This is a matter of great relevance in the context of the rather frequent reports of corrupt practices in churches and related institutions in these days.
How a church is administered at the local or national level is important, especially when Christians in Asia live as minorities. In an ethos characterised by religious plurality it is imperative that Christian witness remains uncompromised. To this end, church leaders are expected to be trustworty and known for their integrity, stated Dr. Mathews George Chunakara.
The CCA General Secretary expressed hope that this consultation will spark new ideas for making qualitative differences in improving the curriculum of Asian theological institutions training a new generation pastors and church workers who will nurture good governance and integrity leadership in churches.
Prof. Dr. Christoph Stückelberger, an ethicist and theological educator from switzerland, addressed the group about the ethical challenges faced by churches and theological institutions across continents and countries around the world.
Prof. Dr. Christoph Stückelberger, reminded the participants of the need to be model servants and to promote servant leadership in their roles as academics. He underscored the importance of openness and honesty in the light of the corruption issues that often bedevil churches these days.
He added that, everyone should learn precisely about good governance mechanisms, and apply what they have learned to improve ministry and mission work in churches and theological institutions.
An academician of long standing who is the founder of the Globethics in Geneva, Prof. Dr. Stückelberger drew on his rich experience to analyse the relationship between good governance and good stewardship.
“Good governance with Christian values has specific roots in stewardship, discipleship, and especially the double commandment of loving God and neighbour as oneself,” Prof. Dr. Stückelberger added.
In the second session, which was on ‘Church Leadership Models and Their Roots in Ecclesiology’, Stückelberger added that good governance requires all three levels of ethics – individual, interpersonal, and institutional. He challenged the theological educators from different institutions in Asia to train future church leaders in the type of leadership that is consistent with their values and characters.
The first day of the consultation concluded with a group discussion focused on governance challenges in churches, theological institutions, and the wider society, allowing theological educators and leaders of theological institutions and organisations to delve deeper into their respective contexts and situations.
The CCA has organised this three-day consultation with a view to motivating theological institutions and associations in Asia to incorporate management, accountability, stewardship, good governance, and principles of integrity in leadership into the curriculum of theological schools.