Evangel University Establishes The CBC Center for Vocational Ministry
At a special meeting in June 2019, the Board of Trustees of Evangel University approved a resolution to establish The CBC Center for Vocational Ministry.
“The purpose of the center, as a living legacy of Central Bible College, is to enhance the training of ministers and missionaries for the 21st century across all areas of pastoral, chaplaincy, and missionary service from undergraduate through doctoral level programs,” said Carol A. Taylor, president of the Springfield, Missouri, university.
The three Springfield-based schools of the Assemblies of God — CBC, AG Theological Seminary, and Evangel University — consolidated in 2013.
The CBC Center will be led by Timothy Hager, dean of the seminary and vice president of Evangel University. A formal dedication will be held at Homecoming this fall.
“The Center will seek the counsel of AG ministry leaders to ensure that all of our ministry degree programs remain relevant in meeting the needs of equipping today’s ministers and missionaries,” said Taylor.
“This will be done,” she continued, “through advisory group meetings, inviting ministry leaders to engage with current students, expanding internship opportunities, and hosting various seminars that will be open to all ministry leaders and students.”
Today there are 674 vocational ministry-focused students currently enrolled in one of 10 undergraduate programs, six masters degrees, and four doctoral degrees at Evangel and AGTS. An additional 117 students are enrolled in ministry minors, of which biblical studies is the largest. This makes ministry education the single largest area of study at the university today.
HONORING THE LEGACY OF CBC
Evangel University has completed several highly-visible projects to honor the legacy of Central Bible College and its almost 100 years of ministerial training.
This started in 2013 with the creation of a video that recounts the history of CBC, Evangel, and AGTS. It is featured on a continuous loop in the Heritage Room of the Riggs Hall Administration Building, along with specific photos, yearbooks, and artifacts displayed in the room.
“We have digitized the CBC yearbooks starting with the first one in 1938, and they are uploaded to a CBC legacy page on the Evangel University website,” noted Doug Jenkins, CBC alumni relations at Evangel.
“In addition, more than 240 recorded chapel sermons, ranging from 1970 to 2009, have been digitized and uploaded, with more in the works,” said Jenkins. “They can be heard on iTunes or Google Play. Names such as E.S. Williams, Melvin Hodges, Charles Crabtree, C.M. Ward, Opel Reddin, T.F. Zimmerman, G. Raymond Carlson, Spencer Jones, Mark Batterson, David Grant, David Wilkerson, J. Robert Ashcroft, William Menzies, and Stanley Horton are represented.”
Also, in 2013, members of Evangel's Athletics Department took the initiative to secure the trophies and sports memorabilia from the CBC field house. They created a prominent display in an Ashcroft Center trophy case, where they have been on display ever since.
On campus, Evangel replicated the CBC Walk of Faith pavers and placed them, along with the CBC Bowie Hall cornerstone, at the entrance of Spence Chapel, facing Glenstone Avenue.
With funding from donors, the university created a Prayer Garden in 2016 with the original CBC arch at its entrance. It is located near the north intersection of Spence Chapel and the Barnett Fine Arts Center. A dedication video was produced.
Ongoing communication has been strengthened by the creation of the monthly e-newsletter, The Centralite, and other special CBC-centric endeavors have been established, including hosting the CBC alumni reception at each General Council and scheduling specific opportunities for enrichment and fellowship at the joint Homecoming each fall.
IMAGE: The dedication service for the CBC Prayer Garden was held Oct. 21, 2016. Cutting the ribbon are EU President Carol Taylor, retired CBC President Maurice Lednicky, and retired superintendent of the Ohio District, Rev. Bob Crabtree. // PHOTO BY: Paul K. Logsdon