Tenth Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS–X) in 2024 will focus on ‘Echoes of Nicaea: Enduring Faith and Embracing Unity – Asian Ecumenical Responses’

Programme Review and Programme Direction

Two key deliberative sessions during the 15th CCA General Assembly are the Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions.

The Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions will both be conducted in three groups relating to the CCA’s programme areas, namely, (i) General Secretariat (GS), (ii) Mission in Unity and Contextual Theology (MU) and Ecumenical Leadership Formation and Spirituality (EF); and (iii) Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflicts (BP) and Prophetic Diakonia (PD).

Assembly participants will have the option to join one of three groups for both the Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions. For the sake of coherence, the assigned group will remain the same for both sessions.

General Secretariat

The General Secretariat oversees the coordination of programmatic, administrative, and financial activities of the organization. The GS comprises various departments such as church and ecumenical relations, relations with ecumenical partners, finance, administration, and communications, which provide crucial support and services for the implementation of programs and contribute to the overall functioning of the CCA.

Programmes: Relations with member churches and councils, ecumenical partners; advocacy at the United Nations; ecumenical responses to emerging issues in solidarity; income development and finance; and communications.

Mission in Unity and Contextual Theology (MU) and Ecumenical Leadership Formation and Spirituality (EF)

Under the MU programme area, the CCA accompanies Asian churches to strengthen their mission and witness in multi-religious contexts, revitalise and nurture church unity and the Asian ecumenical movement, and develop contextual theological foundations.

Programmes: Asian Movement for Christian Unity (AMCU); Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS); Asian women doing theology in the context of wider ecumenism; contextualisation of theology in Asia and ecumenical theological education.

The EF programme area focuses on nurturing and developing ecumenical leaders in Asia. The programme aims to enhance spiritual formation and theological understanding, enabling people to actively engage in ecumenical dialogue and collaboration.

Programmes: Ecumenical Enablers’ Training in Asia (EETA); Asian Ecumenical Institute (AEI); Youth and Women Leadership Development; Ecumenical Spirituality and Nurturing of Contextual Liturgical Traditions; Asia Sunday

Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflicts (BP) and Prophetic Diakonia and Advocacy (PD)

The BP programme area is dedicated to promoting peace, justice, and reconciliation in Asia’s diverse contexts. Through training, advocacy, and dialogue, the programme addresses the root causes of conflicts, empowers communities, and fosters sustainable peacebuilding initiatives.

Programmes: Pastoral Solidarity Visits; Churches in Action for Moving Beyond Conflict and Resolution; Young Ambassadors of Peace in Asia (YAPA); Ecumenical Women’s Action Against Violence (EWAAV); Eco-Justice for Sustainable Peace in the Oikos.

The PD programme area focuses on promoting justice, human rights, and social transformation in Asia. Through advocacy, capacity-building, and raising awareness, the programme addresses systemic injustice, empowers marginalised communities, and advocates for prophetic actions and meaningful change.

Programmes: Human Rights advocacy; Migration, Statelessness, and Trafficking in Persons; Asian Ecumenical Disability Advocacy Network; Asian Advocacy Network on the Dignity and Rights of Children (AANDRoC); Ecumenical Solidarity Accompaniment and Diakonia in Asia (ESADA); Health and Healing; Good Governance; Action Together to Combat HIV and AIDS in Asia (ATCHAA).

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    Chiang Mai, Thailand: The Advisory Group of the Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS) met online and decided to hold the CATS–X in 2024 on the theme ‘Echoes of Nicaea: Enduring Faith and Embracing Unity – Asian Ecumenical Responses’.

    The CATS–X, scheduled from 24 to 29 October 2024, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will bring together 100 Asian and Asian Diaspora theologians.

    Initiated by the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) in 1997, CATS, which started meeting initially as a biennial event and subsequently on a triennial basis, has been serving as a platform for Asian theologians to come together.

    “As a prelude to the commemoration of the 1700th anniversary of the First Council of Nicaea, (AD 325), the first ecumenical council of the Christian church, CATS–X will provide an opportunity for Asian theologians to reflect on the significance of the Nicene creed in contemporary Asian ecclesial and ecumenical contexts,” said the General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia Dr Mathews George Chunakara.

    The CATS, a major gathering of Asian theologians, aims to foster fresh and creative theological thinking among Asian theologians, including budding and upcoming theologians in Asia.

    The Advisory Group of CATS consists of representatives from the Federation of the Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) of the Roman Catholic Church, the Association of Theological Education in Southeast Asia (ATESEA), the Board of the Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore Colleges (BTESSC), Asian Evangelical Alliance (AEA), and the Christian Conference of Asia.  

    Following deliberative discussions, the Advisory Group decided on the theme, ‘Echoes of Nicaea: Enduring Faith and Embracing Unity – Asian Ecumenical Responses’.

    The Advisory Group has been tasked with developing three sub-themes of the CATS–X.

    More information about the registration process and criteria for submission of academic paper and presentations related to the main theme and sub-themes will be shared in January 2024.