Education and training institutions were not dominant features of the Church of God in its earliest days. However, the Church quickly came to realize the tremendous importance of ministerial training and Christian higher education. In 1918, the Bible Training School (BTS) was established in Cleveland, Tennessee. Training of the ministers was the focus of BTS, and as such, it laid the foundation for both Lee University and the Pentecostal Theological Seminary.
Since the 1930s, the Church of God has continued to expand Christian higher education and ministerial training around the world. Today, there are more than 263 Bible colleges, universities, and/or educational institutions in various countries. Today, there are more than 40 ministerial training schools in the United States, and there are more than 42 in various countries.
In September 1999, the Church of God Executive Council authorized the establishment of the Division of Education and School of Ministry. Dr. David Ramírez serves as the director and liaison. Dr. Michael L. Baker serves as the chancellor of education. Dr. Michael D. Reynolds serves as the director of Ministerial Development. The Division of Education has two primary responsibilities: (1) ecclesiastical oversight of the educational institutions, and (2) coordination of ministerial development and the continuing education of ministers.
The Division of Education has six departments:
- USA Educational Ministries
- Ministerial Development/School of Ministry
- USA Hispanic Educational Ministries
- International Educational Ministries