1. HISTORY OF ASSOCIATION FOR THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION IN MYANMAR
Association for Theological Education in Myanmar (ATEM) the only ecumenical-theological network in Myanmar which is one of the co-operating bodies of Myanmar Council of Churches (MCC). ATEM had its roots in the deeply felt need for national leadership back in the 1960s when the missionaries were forced to leave the country in 1966. Church leaders and theological educators in Myanmar have rendered various attempts and efforts to produce national theologians and leaders in collaboration with some of Asian theologians. Leadership has become central to the life and witness of the Church in Burma, especially, members churches BCC. In 1959, Dr. Kosuke Koyama, Dean of the South-East Asia Graduate School of Theology (SEAGST) met the local theologian Dr. Chit Maung and discussed on the promotion of Burma program. The meeting has resulted to start the Burma program in early 1960s, leading to the M. Theol. program with correspondence under the directorship of Dr. Yeow Choo Lak, dean of ATESEA. Burma became under the Section of BMST (Burma, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand).
Under the leadership of Dr. Werner Luoma from Indonesia who has a rich experience in upgrading theological education, Theological Education by Extension (TEE) program was managed in 1979. In the next year (1980), the commission called, Commission for the Co-operation of the Churches for Higher Theological Education was formed comprising 10 member churches in BCC, five principals of theological schools and 8 key leaders. The proposal of the commission was submitted to the 68th AGM of BCC on 6-9 May 1982 at Taungoo. The AGM unanimously accepted the five proposals and agreed to hold the first Ecumenical workshop on Curriculum and Seminar on Theological Education at Theological Institute, Mandalay from 1 – 4 November 1983. The seminar came up with the proposal to form the “Association for Upgrading Theological Education in Burma” which was sent to 12 member churches, asking their endorsement on two issues:
- The formation of Union Theological Seminary.
- The formation of Association for Theological Education in Burma.
The second seminar on the Theological Education was held on 24-26 October 1985 at Theological Institute, Mandalay where 8 schools expressed their consent to form the association. The Special Theological Assembly was convened at Burma Institute of Theology (BIT) and officially formed “Association for Theological Education in Burma” (ATB) on 12 May 1986 with the following aims and objectives.
- Pooling faculty resources from member churches for the promotion of Hihger Theological Educatio.
- To standardize the curriculum in the schools across Burma to which the Taungoo AGM responded by suggesting.
- WCC Bossey type to training be promoted.
- To form a Union Theological School while aiming and working towards Union Theological Seminary.
The founding institutions of ATEM
- Burma Institute of Theology (Rangoon)
- Burma Institute of Christian Theology (Rangoon)
- Holy Cross Theological College (Rangoon)
- Kachin Theological College (Nawng Nang)
- Zomi Theological College (Falam)
- Emmanuel Divinity School, Mohnyin
- Tahan Theological Seminary (Tahan)
- Methodist Theological Institute, Mandalay
Motto of ATEM: Equipping the Saints for Divine Mission (Eph. 4: 11-13)
Main Concerns of ATEM
- Faculty development
- Gender Concerns
ATEM ORGANIZATION SETUP
Association for Theological Education in Myanmar
Research and Administrative Center (ARAC)
No. 14/A-10, Block-2, Bawka Theikdi Street
Mayangone Township 11062, Yangon, Myanmar.
2. EC AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS (2022-2025)
President : Rev. Dr. Nang Sawm Piang (TCC
Vice President (1) : Ms. M. Nang Seng (KTC, Kk)
Vice President (2) : Rev. Saw Plar Soe (KTBTS)
Secretary (1) : Rev. Naw Tha Khoo (LRPMBS)
Secretary (2) : Rev. U Tun Tun Aye (MICT)
Treasurer : Daw Win Some (PKTS)
Members : Dr. Solomon Opehtoo (KBTS)
Rev. Dr. Aye Aye Maw (MICT)
MCC Representative : Sayama Kaythi Min Din (MCC, AGS)
Executive Secretary : Rev. Dr. Lal Tin Hre
Higher Theological Education (HTE) Committee
1. Rev. Dr. La Rip Marip (MIT), Chairperson
2. Saya Lar Mar Zar Baw (LITSOM)
3. Sayama Naw Patricia (MICT)
4. Rev. Dr. Ruth Daniel (MTI)
5. Rev. Dr. Lam Cin Thang (ANTS)
6. Rev. Dr. Yaw Ba (ACTS)
7. Rev. Dr. Van Ding Lian (LTC)
Theological Literature Committee (TLC)
1. Rev. Dr. Umnai Kui (ACTS), Chairperson
2. Rev. Dr. Pau Lian Mang (TCC)
3. Sayama Naw Ray Mu Dee (KBTS)
4. Rev. Dr. Thomas Cung Bik (MIT)
5. Sayama Naw Eh Khu (LRPMBS)
6. Dr. Layang Seng Ja (KTCS)
7. Rev. Dr. Soe Thi Ha (PKTS)
Finance and Property Committee (FPC)
- Sayama Hkawn Tawng (HCTC), Chairperson
- Dr. Mar Lar Myint (TTC)
- Sayama May Zar Maw (MIT)
- Sayama Khun Taung (HCTC)
- Rev. Dr. Octavius Aye (YKBBS)
- Rev. Dr. Than Zaw Moe (PKTS)
- Rev. Lalrinsanga (MTC)