bachelor’s degree, but would like to study
LAND: A minister with 15 years of active
Dr. Steven Jack Land
experience, and at least 35 years old, can
President of the Pentecostal Theological Seminary (PTS)
apply to our master’s programs as a min-
isterial experience (ME) student. If they can
do graduate work for one year, they are
schools have changed their name when officially enrolled in the program—about
COSSEY: What is the reasoning behind they changed their focus or watered 90 percent of ME applicants go on and
changing the name of the Church of God down their theology. With us, it is the do fine.
Theological Seminary to Pentecostal Theo- opposite. This new name claims a deep
logical Seminary? part of our heritage, and identifies us as a COSSEY: What about those who do not live
Spirit-filled community. near Cleveland, Tennessee? Do they have
LAND: There are about 250 schools in the to uproot their family and move in order to
United States accredited by the Association COSSEY: But the school is still owned by enroll in PTS?
of Theological Schools (ATS). None had the the Church of God?
word Pentecostal in its name. After years of LAND: This is the day of technology. We
study and discussion, we felt the new name LAND: Yes, every teacher signs an agree- can create a mixture of Internet, face-to-
better identified who we are. The Church ment not to teach anything contrary to face, and group studies. One-half a degree
of God (Cleveland) is America’s oldest our Declaration of Faith. The PTS Board can be earned online, and on-campus
“HISTORICALLY, SOME SCHOOLS HAVE CHANGED THEIR
NAME WHEN THEY CHANGED THEIR FOCUS OR WATERED
DOWN THEIR THEOLOGY. WITH US, IT IS THE OPPOSITE.
THIS NEW NAME CLAIMS A DEEP PART OF OUR HERITAGE,
AND IDENTIFIES US AS A SPIRIT-FILLED COMMUNITY.”
Pentecostal denomination, but there are of Directors and teachers are our people, requirements can be fulfilled through
scores of smaller denominations called committed to what we believe. intensives, directed study, or transfer
Church of God in one way or another, credit. We offer weeklong intensive class-
many of which are not Pentecostal. Quite COSSEY: Some readers may not understand es, called “J-Terms,” during the months of
frankly, we wanted to own this word Pen- the difference between a college or univer- January, June, and July.
tecostal when it comes to graduate and sity and a seminary. Could you explain this?
post-graduate education. From a practical COSSEY: So nothing has changed about
perspective, if someone from anywhere in LAND: Our degree programs presuppose the seminary except the name. Correct?
the world does an Internet search for the an accredited bachelor’s degree or its
words “Pentecostal seminary,” he or she equivalent. A seminary is a professional LAND: Correct. Our commitment is the
will be directed to us. graduate school for those engaged in or same. The name change emphasizes three
planning to enter the practice of ministry. things. First, there is a deeper identification
COSSEY: Will this help us in our associa- We offer master’s degrees and a doctoral with our Pentecostal heritage and distinc-
tion with other Pentecostal churches and degree for pastors, missionaries, counsel- tives. Second, it gives us a broader appeal
ministers? ors, chaplains, and others for the practice to the Pentecostal/Charismatic population.
of ministry. With Church of God teachers Third, it allows us to be the Pentecostal
LAND: Yes. Many Pentecostal groups leading them, students can earn a Mas- seminary of record. We like that!
do not have a seminary and are inquir- ter of Arts diploma, Master of Divinity
ing with us to be their seminary. The degree, or the Doctor of Ministry. COSSEY: Thank you, Dr. Land. We encour-
Church of God of Prophecy, for example, age our readers to log on to the seminary’s
has voted to make us their official affili- COSSEY: What about that minister who has website, www.ptseminary.org
, for more
ate school of choice. Historically, some been in ministry for years, doesn’t have a information.
EVANGEL • FEB 2010 19
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