Theological Education by Extension (TEE)

TEE Program is one of the long-standing effective theological training programs of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY). It is a ministry-oriented model of theological training its primary purpose is to provide training for lay ministers in the place where they are living and serving the congregations. Historically, Guatemala Presbyterian Seminary started TEE program for the first time in 1993. It was launched in response to the observation that the conventional theological curriculum that they were offering was not meeting the needs of the young, growing church. As one of the fast-growing Lutheran Churches in Africa, EECMY also adopted TEE Program and launched it in 1970 at the certificate level in response to the shortage of trained ministers in the newly established congregations.

It is one of the programs of Mekane Yesus Seminary (MYS) College of Theological Studies. Based on the EECMY congregations' request, the seminary upgraded the program to diploma level in 1984 and bachelor's degree level in 2021. Since its establishment, more than 5,200 students were graduated both at certificate and diploma levels. The 2022 statistics show that within 16 synods of the church, there are 77 TEE groups with a total of 1,049 participants. The curriculum of all TEE programs is equivalent to corresponding EECMY residential programs.

TEE Philosophy

TEE is a Theological Education by Extension program that is different from residential and distance education programs. It is a decentralized and alternative theological training program. It is based on three pillars:

The department prepares the lesson materials for each course for daily individual study by the student at home. Through these materials, the student gains the facts and knowledge relating to the course of study. Many of the materials are in the form of programmed instruction.

Weekly Seminar Meetings

students participate in weekly group discussions based on their daily readings, share their experiences, and learn from each other by relating it to their life and ministry.

Field Work: Because TEE is training for ministry, field experience is an important part of a TEE program. The lesson materials are written to include fieldwork assignments that relate in practical ways to the student's own ministry. Since the students are normally involved in congregation ministry, students immediately apply the knowledge gained from the lesson materials and through sharing in the seminars.


The general objective of the program is to prepare theologically informed, spiritually matured, and practically committed ministers by providing quality theological training with subsidized payment in the place where the students live. In this way, the program serves the vision and mission of the seminary as well as the church.

Advantages Of TEE Program

  1. The accessibility of the program in the place where the students live and serve the congregations enables lay ministers to develop their gifts and ministries without leaving their homes, jobs, communities, and their congregation ministry.
  2. It does not require special facilities like classrooms, offices, and related equipment as well as full-time teachers. Thus, it is a cost-effective education program.
  3. TEE fees are subsidized due to the volunteers’ and partners’ contributions.
  4. It offers an opportunity for employed workers to attend the program without quitting their regular activities or work.
  5. It enables students to have well-developed and complete study materials for all courses at the end of the study.
  6.  It offers 50%, 60%, and 70% scholarship support for women participants in Degree, diploma, and certificate programs, respectively.

 Registration Procedures

A synod, a parish, a presbytery, or a congregation can organize a group wherever a minimum of 2 volunteer tutors and more than 12 candidates are available and officially request for the entrance exam.

The TEE Department will send certificate program entrance exam to the organizing body but diploma and degree program entrance exams will be administered by the department.

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