History Global University has a distinguished heritage spanning almost six decades. Its rich history is a blending of the achievements of two distance-learning institutions. This dual foundation of experience adds academic strength to the entity created by the merger of ICI and Berean Universities.
Berean School of the Bible
The Assemblies of God Fellowship recognized that not everyone who desired ministerial preparation could attend a residential Bible training institution. Therefore, a distance-learning program for ministerial candidates was begun in 1947. This program developed into the Berean School of the Bible by 1958 and was headquartered in Springfield, Missouri.
International Correspondence Institute (ICI)
In 1967, International Correspondence Institute (ICI) was founded under the auspices of the Division of Foreign Missions. This second distance-learning school was designed to provide evangelism, discipleship, and workers’ training courses as well as bachelor’s degrees to students all over the world. George M. Flattery, who first envisioned the school, was its founding president. Its offices moved from Missouri to Brussels, Belgium, in 1972 and remained there until 1991.
Both Berean School of the Bible and ICI grew rapidly, adding courses and programs to meet the growing needs of their students. Berean, which was utilizing courses developed by ICI for its degree programs, became Berean College in 1985 and Berean University in 1995. ICI moved from Brussels to Irving, Texas, in 1991 and became ICI University in 1993.
Both institutions remained faithful to their respective missions. Similarity in educational approach, mission, and services made a merger of the two institutions logical. Both universities were making significant advances in electronic delivery via the Internet and other technologies. Rather than duplicating costly delivery systems, a united university would result in better stewardship of technological and human resources. Thomas Trask, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God at that time, and L. John Bueno, executive director of World Missions at that time, agreed to initiate the merger that was completed in 2000.
Global University now has four schools: (1) School for Evangelism and Discipleship, (2) Berean School of the Bible, (3) Undergraduate School of Bible and Theology, and (4) Graduate School of Theology. All of these schools of Global University are truly global in outreach. Students at home and abroad enroll in all levels of study. Global University works closely with Assemblies of God World Missions, US Missions, and other divisions of the General Council.
Global University continues to write new chapters of history as it impacts eternity by winning the lost and training the found—everywhere! This means using various media technologies through anointed courses, curricula, consultation, and cooperation, equipping people to be Christ’s disciples with the help of God to His glory and the expansion of His kingdom.