Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS)
In 1985, representatives from four evangelical denominations (The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Canada, the Baptist General Conference of Canada, the Associated Gospel Church and the Evangelical Free Church of Canada) came together for a series of informal meetings ...
From those early meetings a clear vision emerged: for denominations that share the tradition of the Believers’ Church to work together in a new, cooperative venture in theological education.
The decision was to develop a consortium of three seminaries…
To further strengthen the consortium, the two Baptist seminaries would affiliate with Trinity Western University and locate on or near the Trinity Western campus. Such affiliation would allow each independent school to retain its own identity yet take advantage of the academic strengths and credibility of Trinity Western.
ACTS was born.
Celebration of Praise program, October 21, 1988 [TWU Archives: F 2 B 73 File 2]
In 1997, ACTS became an accredited member of the Association of Theological Schools. In the summer of 1999 Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (Mennonite Brethren Conference) joined the ACTS Consortium. In 1996 Canadian Pentecostal Seminary West (CPS) became affiliated with TWU. At the ACTS Joint Administration Committee meeting February 19, 2004 a motion was passed accepting CPS as a member of the consortium.
http://acts.twu.ca/ accessed January 16, 2010
See also 1993 – Fosmark Centre
Signing the affiliation agreement between TWU and ACTS. Pictured, back row (l to r) are: Bruce Traub, Ken Davis, and David Fairbrother; in the front row are Neil Snider, Gerry Kraft, and Doug Harris, ca. 1987.
[TWU Archives: 1998-01-4446]
Celebration of Praise program, October 21, 1988.
[TWU Archives: F 2 B 73 File 2]
The first ACTS students - numbering twenty-four in all - attended classes in portables erected next to the Enarson Gymnasium, ca . 1989.
[TWU Archives: 1998-01-0186]
In His Own Words ...
During Founder’s Week in February, 1987, President Snider shares his excitement regarding plans for a “consortium seminary.”
[TWU Archives: Audio Visual Collection. Aud 178]
[24:42] Just this past week – my heart is thrilled – we had a meeting earlier this week on Tuesday when denominational leaders from several evangelical denominations met on this campus for the fourth time in the last year, planning strategically to move ahead for the fall of 1988 to begin our graduate school for pastoral preparation. It was a moving thing. I had the privilege personally January 28th a year ago of introducing some of these men to each other for the first time, and my purpose in calling them together at Trinity Western was to say: “We have so many of your students here. We want you to acknowledge in your leadership, to your denomination that Trinity Western is your university; we need a Christian University in Canada, and we want you with us to say ‘this is our University.’”
In the year since then, those denominations have all done that. They have taken [it] to their leadership, and they have formally said Trinity Western is our university. To my surprise, the top item on their agenda was not just that – they said, “What are you going to do to lead us in terms of pastoral preparation? We need an institution that goes for excellence as Trinity Western has done. We need an institution secondly,” they said, “that is Canadian, not simply a transplant from somewhere else that will meet the unique needs of Canada. We need an institution that is building on a liberal arts education, a solid base before they come to the years of specialized preparation. Our churches are still requiring seminary trained people. Where can we do that? What are you going to do about it?”
As of this past week, we had a- an enthusiastic endorsement by each of those, having gone to their leadership and having come back. And this summer, at the conferences of four denominations the major item will be a consortium seminary at Trinity Western to begin in the Fall of 1988. It’s not time to sit and simply reflect on the past. It is time to realize that God is moving still and that he has something in mind for Trinity bigger than any of us ever dreamed. We look forward to what can happen.