Central Pentecostal College

Central Pentecostal College traces its origins back to the initiative of George Hawtin, a Pentecostal pastor who began a small school in his church in Star City, Saskatchewan, in 1935. Two years later, he moved the school, then known as Bethel Bible Institute, to Saskatoon. In the mid-1940s, the school officially became the property of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Shortly thereafter, conflict over management decisions and theological differences between school administrators and denominational leaders made the school a focal point of a theological controversy that resulted in one of the most serious schisms in the denomination's history: in 1947 several faculty members, including the founder, and a significant proportion of the student population started Sharon Bible School in North Battleford, which became a centre for the Latter Rain Movement. Despite low enrolments, the Bethel Bible Institute managed to survive and rebuild its support during the 1950s under the leadership of Robert Argue and Carl H. Stiller. During the 1960s the school purchased the former Lutheran Theological Seminary building and some land. With the erection of a new residence in 1969, capable of housing seventy-six students, the Institute began to develop a campus more suited to its needs and purposes. In 1972, an agreement was negotiated with the Lutheran Theological Seminary whereby qualified students could study at Central and earn credit towards a graduate-level theological degree program. The school was granted affiliate college status by the University of Saskatchewan in 1983, and obtained full accreditation with the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges in 1997. A significant percentage of its graduates from the ministerial training program have chosen professional ministry and missionary careers.

Bruce Guenther

Further Reading

Miller, T.W. 1994. Canadian Pentecostals: A History of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Mississauga, ON: Full Gospel Publishing House.