In May 1990, about sixty scholars, pastors, and other interested persons met together in Toronto to form the Canadian Evangelical Theological Association (CETA), a new theological society oriented towards the renewal of theology and the church in Canada. To that end CETA sponsored its first academic conference in Kingston, Ontario in May 1991, as part of the Learned Societies of Canada (now known as the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences). Every year since then (in late May or early June) the CETA annual meeting has been held in conjunction with the Congress at a different university campus in Canada.
Beginning in 2012 CETA began partnering with a different theological institution each year to offer regional conferences in the Fall, at which theological students and more established academics would present papers on a given theme.
The first Fall regional conference, entitled “New Voices in Canadian Evangelical Theology” was cosponsored with McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, ON, in October 2012. The conference was attended by over seventy faculty and graduate students and featured some twenty-five papers and responses. The second CETA regional Fall conference entitled “New Creation” was cosponsored with Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, NY, in October 2013. There were forty-five papers at the 2013 Fall conference, with almost 120 attending.
Through these conferences CETA intends to bring together pastors, theology students, and faculty around serious engagement of issues relevant to theological scholarship, with implications for the church. It is our hope that these conferences might contribute to mentoring a new generation of Evangelical theologians for the benefit of the church and the wider world.
As CETA begins transitioning to a bi-national organization, the Canadian American Theological Association (CATA), fall conferences will probably alternate between Canada and the United States.
CETA launched a newsletter in 1991, which later developed into an academic journal, the Canadian Evangelical Review. Along with the CETA annual meetings, the Canadian Evangelical Review has provided an important forum for scholarly contributions from Canadian theologians in the Evangelical tradition that would speak to a general theologically-educated audience on matters of interest and concern to the church.
Beginning in 2012 the CETA executive changed the name of the journal to the Canadian Theological Review and made it into a peer-reviewed journal with an editorial board, under the editorial guidance of Kent Clarke, New Testament professor at Trinity Western University. Although the Canadian Evangelical Review was never intended to be limited to Evangelical points of view, the name has perhaps communicated an unduly narrow focus. The new name signals the Association’s desire to engage a broad range of theological discourse in order to ensure that Evangelical views are thoughtfully weighed and evaluated in conversation with others from different traditions. To that end, the Canadian Theological Review has solicited articles from scholars of diverse theological views. A subscription to the journal is included in CETA membership.
Beginning in 2017 the journal is expected to transition to its new name, the Canadian-American Theological Review.