The boards of directors of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Central Bible College and Evangel University have voted by secret ballot to proceed with the consolidation plan for the three institutions.
Boards met in Springfield this week to discuss and consider the proposal presented by the Consolidation Task Force, together with the resolution for consolidation. The boards' action was referred to the church's Executive Presbytery in session and was approved. This report and resolution will now go to the General Council in Phoenix, Ariz., in August.
George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God and chairman of the Task Force, summarized the report and the resolution in a plenary session and then the boards met individually to discuss the recommendations of the Task Force, which included the mission statement and core values, institutional structure, governance, and bylaws. The boards were asked to bring back recommendations for any of these areas to be considered by the church's Executive Presbytery.
The combined boards of directors met in January to consider a strategic vision for transformation, which was presented by Dr. Wood. At that time the boards unanimously agreed to work toward the consolidation for the purpose of strengthening the overall academic offerings and the financial base of the schools. Following that meeting, the Task Force for Consolidation was appointed consisting of four members of the Executive Presbytery, presidents of the three schools, chairs of the three boards, a faculty representative from each school (selected by the faculty), and a donor representative from each school.
This Task Force met monthly from February through May to refine the mission, core values, bylaws, governance, and structure of the proposed consolidation.
"The consolidated University will seek to become a model for a comprehensive education, from undergraduate degrees to doctoral programs, with the strengths of each institution as part of its DNA," Wood said. "Future generations will look back on this moment in our history and express gratitude for the foresight and action that brought together three great schools into one and positioned the University for Growth, for the benefit of 21st century students, for the advancement of the kingdom of God and the Assemblies of God.
If the General Council approves the consolidation, Wood noted that work would begin to satisfy the requirements of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and that no actions will be taken that endanger HLC accreditation.