CEBTS - Consortium of European Baptist Theological Schools

CEBTS guideline Human Resources Development Policy

CEBTS is a learning community

We are seeking to become a community where individual and community learning, training, education and personal development are integral to the whole seminary organisation and community, and where we recognise that formal and informal learning takes place for all within the community, whatever their position. Such learning is understood to be a continuous process and is not a bolted-on activity at various points in the lives of students, staff and those living within the campus.

CEBTS learns as individuals learn. Individual learning does not guarantee organisational learning, but without it the seminary as a whole cannot be a learning community. We understand such a learning community to be one where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free and where people are continually learning how to learn together. In this approach we seek to facilitate the learning of all our community and understand this as a process of ongoing transformation.

We understand the importance of learning as a function of all our activities, and not simply the academic, in order to sustain our ability to make a relevant contribution to general academic life, to the life of the European Baptist Federation and to European society.

Within our overall ethos of seeking to become a learning organisation we perceive the following values:

  1. Team learning, recognising teams to be the fundamental learning unit in a modern organisation or community.
  2. Building and working with a shared vision, which is based upon the seminary Mission Statement.
  3. Each member of the seminary community seeking in a disciplined way to clarify a personal vision and in focusing energy to bring that about.

Policy on developing Human Resources

It is the belief of the CEBTS (Seminary) of the European Baptist Federation that people are the most important resource available to the seminary, and the culture of the seminary is one that values human resources at every level. It is, therefore, the policy of the seminary to encourage every member of staff to develop their full potential – spiritual, personal and vocational – in the service of the seminary, the EBF, and the EBF Unions and churches. To this end we commit ourselves to a policy of Human Resource Development. We invite staff to acknowledge and take advantage of this policy.

CEBTS (the seminary) is committed to:

  1. recruiting and inducting gifted people and deploying them effectively. The induction programme for all staff will normally include a formal induction course with an evaluation after three months;
  2. identifying and improving the skills and motivation of all employees, focusing on peoples skills and general intelligence;
  3. regularly analysing job content in relation to the long-term plans established by the Union and Seminary Board of Trustees, general organisational objectives and individual skills;
  4. reviewing the use of technology through the Information Technology Development Group and identifying appropriate technological solutions to replace routine tasks and enhance the resources offered to the seminary community;
  5. identifying training needs and offering training and learning opportunities to all staff on a regular basis and providing training to improve current performance and to enhance individual careers;
  6. providing opportunities for individual self-development and personal growth including helping employees manage their own careers;
  7. encouraging employees to accept change as an organisational ‘norm’ and an opportunity;
  8. seeking to develop a mentoring programme for new members of staff.

Staff employed by the seminary are expected to:

  1. take some personal responsibility for their own skills, personal, spiritual and career development;
  2. participate, as appropriate, in the staff training programme;
  3. participate in the Performance Appraisal Scheme.

Human Resources Development Policy for Academic/Teaching Staff


CEBTS recognises that a clear and comprehensive policy of staff development is essential for the following reasons –

  1. The future educational development of the Seminary depends on the ability and willingness of all staff to meet new challenges and assume new responsibilities.
  2. As an institution of higher learning, the Seminary has a particular responsibility to further the academic and professional development of its teaching staff.
  3. The Baptist Union Board rightly expects this institution to be able to demonstrate that such a policy exists and is operational.


The objectives of the Academic Human Resources Development Policy at the seminary are as follows –

  1. To encourage recently appointed members of the teaching staff to raise their academic qualifications, to PhD or Masters level as appropriate.
  2. To promote staff research in specific areas dictated by the needs of proposed course development at the seminary.
  3. To enable teaching staff to contribute significantly to theological knowledge by means of publications and participation in the wider academic community.
  4. To further the professional development of all members of the teaching staff as those engaged in Christian ministry and theological education.
  5. To encourage all teaching staff to relate to the appropriate commission of the Baptist World Alliance; to participate in the European Baptist Theological Teachers Conference; to work with the EBF Theological Assistance Group; and through the CEBTS networking functions, to participate in seminary exchanges and teaching assignments in other EBF and BWA related seminaries.

All five objectives are of prime importance. However, decisions on such matters as allocation of sabbatical leave will frequently involve the evaluation of the relative priority to be given at any one time to satisfying one objective rather than the others.


CEBTS seeks to meet these objectives by the following means –

  1. By the provision of sabbatical leave (see section 4 below).
  2. By giving full-time teaching staff one day a week free of teaching and administrative responsibilities in order to concentrate on the pursuit of the objectives set out in section 2.
  3. By assisting teaching staff financially to participate in the wider academic community. The Seminary provides a book allowance and funding to enable each member of the teaching staff to participate in academic conferences as agreed within the Directorate.
  4. All full-time teaching staff are provided with a personal microcomputer with word-processing facilities and full internet services.
  5. By encouraging all full-time teaching staff to participate regularly in the Seminary’s programme of post-graduate seminars.
  6. By the provision of professional assistance to teaching staff in improving their teaching methods (see section 5 below).
  7. By an annual procedure for staff appraisal (see section 6 below).
  8. By the use of the experience and expertise of a Human Resources Development Group formed by the Rector.

Sabbatical Leave Policy

  1. Allocation

    Sabbatical leave is granted for a period of up to one trimester after nine trimesters of service (3 years). The allocation and timing of the sabbatical is arranged by the teaching staff member with the Rector.

  2. Finance

    The Rector has the power to recommend to the Board of Trustees that appropriate and specific financial provision be included in the academic budget for the forthcoming year to enable sabbatical leave to be taken and used to maximum profit. Such financial assistance would be given to provide teaching and administrative cover where necessary, and to meet travel and other expenses incurred in the course of a sabbatical. Staff members are encouraged in their application for sabbatical leave to make specific request for such financial assistance.

  3. Reporting

    Within a month of the conclusion of a period of sabbatical leave, the staff member shall submit a written report on the work achieved to the Rector, who shall circulate the report among the members of the Human Resources Development Group and the Board of Trustees.

  4. Short-term study leave

    Teaching staff may also make written application to the Rector for permission to take paid study leave for short periods (such as one month). The recommendations of the Group regarding the allocation of such study leave will be made in the context of the overall allocation of sabbatical leave.

  5. Unpaid leave of absence

    Staff members may also submit formal application to the Rector for permission to take unpaid leave of absence from the Seminary for a period of up to one year. Such leave of absence will be considered in cases where staff members are engaged in research or writing projects of major importance, or where staff members wish to obtain further teaching or professional experience outside the Seminary. Where such leave of absence is desirable, the Group will offer appropriate advice and assistance in obtaining external funding. The recommendations of the Human Resources Development Group regarding unpaid leave of absence are subject to ratification by the Board of Trustees.

Professional Training Policy

The Rector and Human Resources Development Group are committed to improve the quality of teaching and therefore will organise annual learning experiences in teaching, supervision assessing and related disciplines.

All members of the teaching staff are encouraged to become familiar with the issues raised in ‘Learning to teach in Higher Education’ (Paul Ramsden).

Reports on this process of professional training will be made to the Human Resources Development Group for inclusion in their report to the Board of Trustees.

Staff Appraisal Procedure

These procedures are listed in a separate document attached to this policy.

CEBTS guideline document
June 2007

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