The launching of Global University
Thomas E. Trask, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, and John Bueno, executive director of Foreign Missions, spoke with the Pentecostal Evangel about the newly created Global University in Springfield, Mo., in operation since June. Global University is a 408,585-member university (ICI University, 392,585; Berean University, 16,000). Approximately 12,000 of the students are at the college level.
Evangel: How did the creation of Global University come about?
Trask: ICI University has been the distance-learning entity for the overseas fellowship since 1967. Berean University has been the distance-learning entity, particularly for credentialing, for the U.S. church for more than four decades. To avoid duplication of ministries, we wanted them together under one entity. So this is a joint venture of the General Council with Assemblies of God Foreign Missions.
We had three media entities as well the Cardone Media Center, and the Berean and ICI media divisions. With all of these now located centrally, we can do a better job. David Lee, who is with Foreign Missions, was brought to Springfield to direct the Media Center. That entity will be responsible for the media part of Global University. Its good stewardship.
The merger of ICI University and Berean University into Global University came at a strategic time. The state of Texas [where ICI University was located] said, "You dont fit into our states certification structure, so you need to move." We didnt know that when the merger was proposed, but Gods timing is evident.
Bueno: Assemblies of God Foreign Missions is in 163 countries of the world; ICI University is in 170, including some countries where missionaries are not permitted. The Great Questions of Life has been translated into many languages and breaks ground in countries where we have no Bible schools to train converts.
This is a win/win situation. Now we have the latest equipment and trained faculty to serve the Fellowship in the United States and overseas with one entity. Both entities will maintain their personalities.
Evangel: How can churches and individuals help?
Trask: There will be a savings in administrative costs, but support for Global University needs to escalate so this ministry can have even more far-reaching effects upon the world.
Bueno: Were on the edge of the greatest harvest ever reaped. We urge churches and missions committees to continue to help us make a major push in this hour. We already have materials. Now we need a boost to make this material available to anyone who wants it.
As ICI University continues its missions approach, it will need missions support. Often students in other countries cannot afford materials, so they need to be available at reasonable prices. The evangelism level will continue to be offered free. Its the generosity of the U.S. church that makes this happen.
Evangel: What educational needs does Global University meet?
Trask: The U.S. Assemblies of God has many pastors, evangelists and other ministers, who have received their credentials by taking Berean University courses by correspondence. This is still in place. Global University, with Ron Iwasko as president, will continue to facilitate the credentialing process for distance learning in the Assemblies of God.
ICI University continues to provide evangelism and discipleship courses, and bachelors and masters degrees to students in other countries.
Evangel: How will churches and individuals benefit from this merger?
Bueno: All the materials for all courses will be available to everyone, both in the United States and overseas.
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