The Association of Theological Institutes in the Middle East - ATIME
The Association of Theological Institutes in the Middle East (ATIME) - designated as such since the 1980 General Meeting- was established in 1967 with the name ATENE (Association for Theological Education in the Near East).
ATIME is considered as an important axis for the Ecumenical movement in the Middle East. Hence, it was affiliated to The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) in 1975. It functioned in tight collaboration with MECC Secretary General and the Director of the Faith and Unity Department.
At the time, it included 18 Institutes belonging to the four Families of Churches in the Middle East (Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq).
Connecting the theological colleges and institutes in order to exchange resources, as well as academic and church experiences to better witness for Faith and Unity in the context of the Middle East.
Strengthening and promoting cooperation between the academic theological institutes of diverse agents (clergymen and lay people) of the Churches in the Middle East in view of contributing to implement « koinonia in praxis » among the Institutes, professors, researchers, and students.
1. At the Academic Level
To provide a quality theological education in conformity with the contemporary requirements of the Middle East region through:
a. Establishing a collaboration platform between professors and researchers
b. Creating courses common to all the theological education Institutes.
c. Creating access to shared material and pedagogical resources (Libraries, Electronic resources, MA and PHD theses, etc.) as well as a human potential to better supply for the academic requirements.
d. Developing theological cooperation with other theological Institutes at the regional and international levels.
2. At the Ecclesial Level
To preparing the future clergymen and lay people to carry out the tasks of the churches, in an ecumenical spirit capable of meeting the contextual challenges of the region through:
a. Promoting the secondary objectives of the above mentioned academic plan
b. Providing the environment conducive to fraternal, personal and institutional relations between all partners: teachers, researchers and student-agents of the ecclesial mission