Asia Theological Association (ATA) is one of 8 Regional International Evangelical Accrediting Associations of the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE). The other 7 members, or sponsors, of ICETE cover the other continents. ATA is a nongovernmental association formed by evangelical Christians in Asia to confer accreditation to theological institutions in Asia.
ATA was formally established in 1970 as a direct outcome of the Asia-South Pacific Congress of Evangelism held in Singapore in 1968. It grew out of a concern that "evangelicals had neglected theological scholarship in the past and that the Asian church leadership was increasingly being influenced by Western liberal theology." Its primary goal was to develop "evangelical scholars, thinkers and teachers" for the leadership of the Asian church.
Accreditation services were rendered to institutions in 1978. Since then, it has developed in serving its member theological institutions in teaching evangelical biblical theology and in the training of Christian pastors and church workers. Its operating principles include strengthening partnership, enhancing scholarship, furthering academic excellence, fostering spiritual and ministerial formation, and mobilizing resources to fulfill global Christian mission within diverse Asian cultures. The main reason for the establishment of ATA was to be an aid to theological institutions in contextualising theology in the Asian context. Through this Christian pastors and Christian churches can be aided to be more effective in supporting Christian ministry more effectively with other Asians in their own context. Today the majority of Evangelical Bible colleges in Asia are members of ATA.
Asia Theological Association accredits theological seminaries in the Asian region.
ATA is the Asian sponsor of the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE), the theological education network covering all the continents that operates under the auspices of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA). This effectively partners ATA with established accreditation bodies from other regions of the world, such as The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) in North America.
ICETE is the umbrella organisation, and it includes in its membership of 8 sponsors the ABHE (The Association for Biblical Higher Education), which is a North American accrediting body recognised by CHEA (The Council for Higher Education Accreditation).
The ATA published two journals: the Journal of Asian Evangelical Theology and the Journal of Asian Mission. Both are published twice a year.
- Asia Theological Association Archived March 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- http://www.icete-edu.org/ ICETE
- Yung, Hwa (1997). Mangoes Or Bananas?: The Quest for an Authentic Asian Christian Theology. Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. p. 191. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-09-05. Retrieved 2008-03-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ATA Accreditation Manual
- Yung, Hwa (2008). "Mission and evangelism: evangelical and pentecostal theologies in Asia". Christian Theology in Asia. Cambridge University Press. p. 257. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- International Council for Evangelical Theological Education sponsor list
- http://www.worldevangelicals.org/members/globalpartners.htm WEA Global Partners
- Association for Biblical Higher Education Archived July 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- http://www.icete-edu.org/ listing ABHE as one of the 8 member associations or sponsors.
- http://www.chea.org/Directories/faith.asp Archived 2012-04-28 at the Wayback Machine National Faith-Related Accrediting Organizations
- http://www.chea.org/pdf/2011_2012_Directory_of_CHEA_Recognized_Organizations.pdf Archived 2012-06-05 at the Wayback Machine (page 6)
- "Journals". Asia Theological Association. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2015.