At the recent 76th Church of God International General Assembly convening in Nashville, TN, a significant comprehensive Contemporary Ministerial Development Committee Report was adopted. The report “focuses on the development of a culture of learning to prepare every minister for the challenges and opportunities of ministry by mobilizing every agency and all available resources to invest in perpetual ministerial training.”
In keeping with the fulfillment of the adopted report, the newly elected Executive Committee made the decision to bring the global educational efforts of the Church of God together by assimilating the ministry work of the Division of Education and the Pentecostal Theological Seminary.
With this new direction, the Executive Committee initially appointed Dr. Michael L. Baker as Chancellor of Education and recommended the new structure to the Board of Trustees of the Pentecostal Theological Seminary. This concept has been considered for a number of years and this bold new course of action provides the assimilation of educational assets for an integrated, comprehensive, and cooperative global educational system in the Church of God.
As a result, the Board of Trustees received the recommendation with enthusiasm and began the designated protocol to bring the paradigm to fruition. Dr. R. Lamar Vest, who recently served as President, has been a strong advocate for this approach and expressed his affirmation of the expanded ministerial development initiative as an idea long overdue. He indicated that he felt this direction would require an expanded role of leadership in the administration of the new structure and expressed his belief that it was time for the next generation of leadership to see this initiative move forward pledging his support and assistance in any manner. Following the prescribed process as articulated by the PTS bylaws and appropriate accrediting agencies, the Board of Trustees elected unanimously Dr. Michael L. Baker to serve as President of PTS and their decision was approved by the Executive Committee. Martin Taylor, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, said, “On behalf of the Board, we believe in this visionary direction and that Dr. Baker is the right choice.”
While Dr. Baker will carry two titles, there is one purpose and that is to network Church of God educational assets with cooperative connectivity throughout the church. Dr. Tim Hill, general overseer, said, “I believe the time is now to see the realization of the FINISH Commitment and invest in Church of God leadership around the world. This approach of assimilating our global educational resources will provide impetus to maximize the mission of the church communicating the full gospel of Jesus Christ in the Spirit and power of Pentecost.” Dr. Baker states, “I’m excited about the possibilities of a preferred future for education in the Church of God. As a strategic team, the Division of Education and the Pentecostal Theological Seminary will join hearts and hands together, standing shoulder-to-shoulder committed to prepare relevant leaders to fulfill the Great Commission.”