The development of Theological Education by Extension (TEE) in the Third World may well be one of the most important religious innovations in the twentieth century. The program enables students to get a good academic preparation for the ministry without disrupting their productive relationship to society. They are not required to leave family, church, or daily work to pursue their studies. Instead, they work at home, using programmed texts. Teachers periodically come to centers near their homes.

TEE now is furnishing hundreds of trained leaders for churches and missionary organizations that might not otherwise be able to get educated persons. The graduates are at work in a variety of denominations and in many countries. The method has been used successfully in the developed nations and in urban areas as well as in developing nations and rural areas.

TEE enrollment has been rising steadily to reach a current level of over 25,000 students in more than 250 institutions in sixty countries. In the last two or three years the fastest enrollment increases have been in Africa and Asia, but Latin America still accounts for about half of the world total.

Nowhere else in the Third World has the TEE concept caught on so well and developed so steadily as in Brazil. The lack of trained pastors and the vast distances between church and educational institutions in Brazil are factors in the success of TEE there, but they alone do not explain its acceptance. The important factor is that Brazil had the resources, human and technological, that enabled TEE to spread; well prepared leadership—both missionary and Brazilian—that was willing to launch out to meet the needs; facilities for getting books printed; and a network of established theological ...

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