Global University has a distinguished heritage spanning more than 5 decades. Its rich history is a blending of the achievements of two distance-education universities. This dual foundation of experience adds academic strength to the new entity created by the merger of ICI and Berean Universities.  Groundwork for the Assemblies of God Fellowship’s distance-education program was laid at the 1941 session of the General Council. The Council appointed J. Narver Gortner to head a committee to prepare a reading course for a 3- year ministerial preparation program. Leaders of the Fellowship encouraged ministerial candidates to take advantage of this opportunity to prepare for full-time ministry.  Students who were not able to attend a residential Bible school could now study at home, preparing mentally and spiritually for preaching the gospel. District councils participated by giving examinations based on the books in the recommended courses. The ministerial studies program went a step further in 1948 when Frank M. Boyd officially established the General Council Correspondence School. By 1958, the school’s curriculum consisted of 11 courses, and its name changed to Berean School of the Bible. In 1967, the Fellowship’s Board of Education suggested that the ministerial training program be officially assigned to Berean School of the Bible.  That same year saw the launching of a second distance-education school: a missions organization designed to provide evangelism/discipleship courses and bachelor degrees to students all over the world. Thus International Correspondence Institute (ICI) was founded under the auspices of the Division of Foreign Missions. George M. Flattery, who had made the proposal to establish the school, was appointed as president. For its first 5 years, ICI operated its ministry out of a small office in Springfield, Missouri. To meet an expanding international constituency, in 1972  ICI moved to Brussels, Belgium, where the rented facilities soon became too small for the institution. To meet the growing needs, a five-story building was constructed in Rhode-Saint Genese. This facility housed the ICI International Headquarters from 1975 until 1991.  Back in the United States, the Fellowship faced a growing need for stateside distance education, so the Assemblies of God Board of Education in August 1969 recommended that three levels of study be provided for those preparing for ministry. Berean School of the Bible then expanded its basic course studies for those preparing to become exhorters (now called certified ministers), licensed ministers, and ordained ministers.  In March 1973, a unified ministerial training program of 17 courses was approved as one phase of Berean’s continued efforts to serve the Fellowship’s stateside needs for distance education in the Bible and Bible-related areas. Between 1973 and 1995, course requirements for the Ministerial Studies Diploma increased by intervals to what they are today: 33 courses. Berean School of the Bible became Berean College in 1985 when college-level curriculum was incorporated into the program. Another name change came in 1995 when the graduate programs were added: the school became Berean University. However, Berean School of the Bible has always been retained as the name of the division of the institution having oversight of the adult continuing education ministerial training programs.  In 1993, 2 years after the transition of the ICI International Offi ce from Brussels, Belgium, to Irving, Texas, several factors indicated the need for a name change: (a) its growth, (b) its varied structure of schools and centers, (c) the addition of a School of Graduate Studies, and (d) the need for an all-inclusive name recognizable to other educational and governmental institutions around the world. International Correspondence Institute became ICI University. But through the move and the name change, the school’s mission remained the same: evangelism, discipleship, and training.  The leaders of the Fellowship had been anticipating a merger of the two institutions for several years. The advent of electronic delivery of learning materials and instruction via the Internet eliminated all geographical barriers, accelerating the need to unite the two into one. In consultation with the Foreign Missions Board, General Superintendent Thomas Trask agreed to initiate the merger. The move toward a unified operation came at an opportune time. Both universities were on the brink of significant advances in electronic delivery via the Internet and other advanced technologies. Rather than duplicating costly delivery systems, a united university results in better stewardship of both technology and human resources. In the coming years, Global University will write new chapters of history as it fulfills its commitment to take All the Word to All the World Historical Day A Historical day for Global University was Saturday 28, 2009 when for the first time the Maltese National Office had a board of directors to oversee its management. For a briefing of this day click the here
History