TEE originally stands for 'Theological Education by Extension'. But the Increase Association explains it as Tools to Equip and Empower:
Tools for local churches to Equip and Empower all their people to grow in Christ and serve him actively in their homes, communities and church.
The picture below shows how the TEE method works. A railroad is designed to take you on a journey: you end up in a different place than where you began. In the same way TEE is designed to take participants on a journey: a journey of lifelong learning. A journey as a disciple of Christ.
A railroad track needs two rails and many beams to hold the rails in place. In the same way TEE is designed of three components: home study (one rail), practical application (the second rail) and regular group meetings (the beams).
These three components together make TEE so effective and so encouraging for the learners who take the journey together.
- In home study the learners focus on knowledge. All courses are Bible based and there will be passages to read, verses to remember and questions to answer. The questions help learners prepare for group discussion.
- In group meetings a small group of learners comes together with a facilitator. Students learn from each other’s experience and they participate in discussions based on their home study. A facilitator's handbook gives guidelines to each meeting and helps the facilitator to lead the time effectively. The facilitator is not a lecturer but is trained to help everyone participate.
- The practical application helps learners to put into practice what they have taken away from the home study and group learning. The practical application takes place at home, at work, in the community and at church. Sometimes the application is done in the group, sometimes individually.
This combination of three components is designed to encourage all round growth in Christ and greater integration of personal faith in people's daily lives and in the ministry of the local church. In this way people are equipped and empowered live as disciples of Christ in their everyday context. Churches are equipped and empowered with practical and biblical tools to make disciples of all people.