History of the Division of Education

The Church of God, from its beginning, saw the need for education and ministerial training. The first educational institution of the Church of God was the Bible Training School (BTS), founded in 1918 in Cleveland, Tennessee. Since that beginning of ministerial training, the Church of God has continued to expand Christian higher education (such as Lee University and the Pentecostal Theological Seminary) and to increase ministerial training around the world. As international educational efforts became increasingly diverse, in 1998 the Executive Council decided to combine these training venues under a single structure. The Division of Education, formed in September 1999, is directed by the General Board of Education and is dedicated to serving the broad educational needs of the Church of God.

The Division coordinates and gives oversight to traditional institutions of Christian higher education in the Church of God; today, there are more than 225 Bible colleges, universities, and seminaries in various countries. Also, the Division coordinates training and development for ministers who are unable to attend college or seminary. This training is coordinated through the School of Ministry, a nontraditional continuing education program for ministers and laity. This training is also coordinated through emerging twenty-first century technological delivery systems and through training programs such as the Ministerial Internship Program, Calling and Ministry Studies, and MOBILIZE.