News Bulletin from the General Superintendent
General Superintendent David K. Bernard
Spanish Evangelism Ministries
In the US and Canada, we now have 800 Spanish-speaking works and 1,150 ministers.
North American Missions
The director of North American Missions, Jimmy Toney, was recently elected as pastor in Gainesville, Florida, and is now working half time at World Headquarters. We will elect a new director at General Conference in September. Under Brother Toney’s leadership NAM has continued to grow, with an increase in new churches, a record Christmas for Christ offering, and a new initiative called Launch to recruit and train home missionaries. We appreciate his excellent service and wish him well in his new ministry.
Urshan Accreditation Process
Urshan College and Urshan Graduate School of Theology are pleased to report significant progress toward regional accreditation by seeking status with the Higher Learning Commission. HLC is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the US and is the largest of the associations, providing accreditation for institutions in 19 states. In addition to peer evaluation and institutional improvement, benefits of accreditation include the possibility of:
• federal student aid
• transfer of credits to other institutions
• recognition of degrees by graduate schools
• matching gifts by corporations
• employee tuition reimbursement
• foundation grants
Many of the above benefits often result from Candidacy, including especially federal student aid. Urshan has already met the first four steps toward Candidacy: Preliminary Evidence, Interview, Eligibility Requirements, and Panel Review. Next is a substantial five-step Assurance Review, due October 2017, and a Comprehensive Evaluation Visit in December 2017. Candidacy is a “preaccreditation status” and could be awarded as early as June 2018. The next step for institutions declared Candidates is to seek Initial Accreditation. HLC requires that institutions make it clear that “a recommendation by an evaluation team is subject to additional levels of Commission review and decision-making and that the award of Candidacy does not assure the eventual award of accreditation.” But it is exciting to know that Urshan is on target and ahead of schedule in seeking regional accreditation and that UPCI students, churches, and other educational institutions may soon benefit from Urshan taking this critically important step. Urshan Graduate School of Theology is already accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, but Candidacy would be a new status for Urshan College.
Urshan needs continued financial support for its pursuit of regional accreditation. The UPCI provides monthly support to Urshan Graduate School of Theology from investment income (not from ministerial dues or divisional funds), but the primary support for the two schools comes from tuition, monthly partnerships, scholarships, and special contributions. In recent years, Urshan has received $2.5 million in outside funding from foundation, estate, and business contributions to acquire and upgrade its campus and to pursue accreditation. In addition, the Missouri District donated equity in the campus of $3 million. Since Urshan is owned and operated by the UPCI, Urshan’s assets of over $7 million appear on the UPCI consolidated financial statements. Urshan has established partnerships or is in process of doing so with many other UPCI entities: with Global Missions and North American Missions to train those who feel a call to missions; with the Global Association of Theological Studies and various Bible colleges for blended programs and degree completion; and with ministerial training programs such as Purpose Institute for recognition and transfer of credits. In this way, Urshan expects to share the benefits of accreditation with all UPCI-endorsed educational institutions.
The Stewardship Group in Canada
The Stewardship Group provides many services for our constituents, but because of national laws it must operate differently in the US and Canada. Below are ways that Canadians can benefit from its services
- Canadian individuals can set up scholarships, endowments, trusts, and annuities in the United Pentecostal Foundation. Churches cannot.
- Canadian churches and other entities can receive distributions from funds in the Foundation.
- Canadian individuals can invest in the Loan Fund and receive interest payments. Churches cannot.
- Canadian churches can borrow from the Loan Fund, but with the current exchange rates it probably isn’t advantageous for them at present.
General Conference 2017 will take place in Kansas City, Missouri, from September 26-29, at the Kansas City Convention Center. The conference begins Tuesday night with the North American Missions service and will conclude on Friday evening with the General Superintendent’s message. For the complete schedule of events click here.
The business session will be held Wednesday, September 27, at 9:00 a.m. at the Kansas City Convention Center, and the ministers session will be held on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. in the same location on the topic of Stress, Burnout, and Self-care.
Early registration is $50.00, but after August 15 registration will be $75.00. Registration fees apply to persons 18 years or older. For more information and to register for the conference please visit www.upcigc.com. We hope you are able to attend!
Sincerely in Christ,
David K. Bernard