Member Seminaries of ACTS
The acronym "ACTS" stands for Associated Canadian Theological Schools. ACTS represent the Graduate School of Theological Studies of Trinity Western University and provides the best of graduate level education, in the context of a multi-denominational mentoring training environment, each seminary commits to provide its students with essential training for Christian service.
This unique consortium, consisting of five seminaries:
- Canadian Baptist Seminary
- Canadian Pentecostal Seminary
- Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary
- Northwest Baptist Seminary
Trinity Western Seminary
The ACTS Consortium
As a whole, the ACTS consortium constitutes the Graduate School of Theological Studies of Trinity Western University. Degrees are offered "conjointly" by the University and the participating seminary, which together, provides students with the best of university education and professional seminary training.
TWU maintains membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and ACTS maintains membership in the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
All partners agree on fundamental biblical principles. Each seminary appoints faculty members, who provide common core courses. Courses on denominational history, theology and identity are also available. All courses are accessible to students enrolled in any of the partnering seminaries.
When students apply to ACTS, they enter through one of the five seminaries. This is simply done by checking off the seminary of choice on the application form. If a student has no preference, he will be assigned to the next seminary in the round-robin rotation.
Because the seminaries share professors, students will be exposed to a larger spectrum of thought within the evangelical tradition. In some instances, a specific seminary will require one or more denominational distinctive courses for students seeking ministry within their denomination. These courses typically will fit into the program of study chosen by the student.
Upon completion, students graduate conjointly from their seminary of record and from Trinity Western University. Their transcripts are issued by TWU.
A Little Bit of History
In 1985, representatives from 4 denominations including The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Canada, The Associated Gospel Churches of Canada, The Evangelical Free Church of Canada, and The Baptist General Conference of Canada met to discuss the possibility of cooperating in post-secondary education. This training would prepare pastors, church planters and missionaries for the challenges of the 21st century.
Through prayer, planning, and much consideration, a new vision developed to work together in the Believers' Church tradition to reach Canada and the world with the Gospel.
These historic decisions are now a reality! The Baptist General Conference established Canadian Baptist Seminary. The Evangelical Free Church, along with TWU, established Trinity Western Seminary. These two, combined with Northwest Baptist Seminary, established in 1976 by The Fellowship of Evangelical Churches, B.C./AB, began work together in a consortium as part of Trinity Western University.
In 1999, Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (based in Fresno, California) relocated its BC Centre to the TWU campus as a formal member of ACTS. In 2010, MBBS became connected to Fresno Pacific University and was renamed Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary. The Canadian MB Conference, desiring to continue to devote resources to theological education in Canada, formed a new institution, and the Mennonite Brethren representation at ACTS became a part of the new Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary Canada in 2011.
In 1996, the Canadian Pentecostal Seminary West (CPS) became affiliated. Since then ACTS has worked with CPS to provide ministry leadership training for their emerging leaders. Two years ago CPS applied for membership in the consortium. A very careful process of review and evaluation led the 5 current members to affirm that CPS fully supports the seven Believers' Church principles and meets the requirements for membership. At the ACTS Joint Administration Committee meeting on February 19, 2004 a motion was passed accepting CPS as a member of the consortium.
The seminaries are all located in Fosmark Centre on the TWU campus. It is the goal of the consortium to strengthen each denomination's distinctive and mission; to provide exceptional training to accelerate evangelism and the planting of New Testament churches at home and abroad; and to witness to our essential oneness of purpose in Jesus Christ our Lord.