The South Pacific Association of Theological Schools (SPATS) celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its establishment at PTC’s Jovili Meo Mission Centre from May 28-31.
Members of the SPATS Council were given a full itaukei traditional welcome performed by students of the Fijian Methodist Church’s Davuilevu Theological College and a celebratory dinner.
The meeting covered aspects of the theme – ‘Challenges and Prospects of Theological Education in the Pacific.’
SPATS General Secretary Reverend Rusiate Tuidrakulu said the Conference meeting and celebration was an effort to analyse and plot the way forward for theological education in the region.
Reverend Tuidrakulu noted in a SPATS Conference paper that the meeting intended to provide an account of challenges and prospects of the SPATS journey and to plot a way forward.
The 27 members SPATS was formed in 1969 as an outcome of the 1961 Malua Conference to look at theological education across the Pacific Islands.
Members of SPATS span the Pacific, including national theological colleges with the exception of three that serve the entire region; Pacific Theological College, Pacific Regional Seminary and Fulton College.
Discussions ranged from eco-theology, the organisation’s financial situation that was observed as poorly to the inclusion of disability and climate change.
The meeting also heard from visiting speakers like Setareki Macanawai of the Pacific Disability Forum and from various schools principles talking about the progress in the different theological schools.
It ended with the elections of the new SPATS council led by Rev. Dr. Moreli Niuatoa as its President, Rev. Dr. Jolame Lasawa as its Vice President, with three other committee members.