On the campus of PTS, August 14, 2023, a celebrated ceremony signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), convened with two significant Pentecostal denominations: the Pentecostal Theological Seminary—A Church of God Ministry, and the Charles H. Mason Theological Seminary of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). Following months of planning and preparation, executives and educational representatives of the COGIC Commission of Education and executive leadership of PTS and the Church of God (COG) signed the MOA. The MOA provides for a collaborative partnership reflecting a primary purpose to promote the highest quality in academic programming in the area of theological studies. Dr. Michael L. Baker, PTS President, stated, “Today was momentous and historic as representatives from both Pentecostal denominations signed the MOA joining hearts and hands to prepare men and women, called of God for Spirit-filled, Spirit-led ministry around the world. Together, our Pentecostal synergy will touch every nation on every continent with the Spirit and Power of Pentecost.”
On behalf of PTS, the signatories of the MOA were Dr. Michael L. Baker, President, and Dr. David Han, VP of Academics and Dean of the Faculty. On behalf of CHMTS and the COGIC, the signatories included Bishop Chadwick F. Carlton, Commissioner of Education, and Bishop Keith Kershaw, Chief Operating Officer. As a demonstration of the collegial connectivity of the Church of God and Church of God in Christ, Dr. Timothy Hill, COG Presiding Bishop, and Dr. J. Drew Sheard Sr., COGIC Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle, together signed the MOA. Their signatures to the MOA affirms as witnesses, the agreement, educational ministry partnership, and expectation of empowerment of the Holy Spirit for Kingdom impact.
Representatives of the Church of God in Christ included the following: Bishop J. Drew Sheard Sr., Presiding Bishop; Bishop Chadwick F. Carlton, Commissioner of Education; Bishop Keith Kershaw, Chief Operating Officer; Dr. Monica Clayton, Deputy Commissioner of Communications; Bishop John Mark Richardson, Jurisdictional Prelate-Cal Jurisdiction; Bishop David Hall, Member of the General Board; Bishop Brandon Porter, Member of the General Board; Dr. Harold Bennett, President/Dean of the Charles H. Mason Theological Seminary; and Bishop Antoine Shaw, Assistant Dean of Administration, Episcopal Academy. Other special COGIC guests included pastors, leaders and COGIC PTS graduates.
PTS representatives and special guests present for the ceremony included the following: PTS faculty, staff, students; PTS President’s Council members, Dr. Oliver McMahan, VP of Accreditation and Institutional Effectiveness; and Caleb Peacock, Director of Finance. Representative members of the PTS Board of Trustees were Board Chairman, Dr. J. Martin Taylor, Dr. Hugh Bair, Dr. Dennis McGuire, Dr. Wayne Brewer, and Dr. Luis Rodriguez.
Demonstrating support for the MOA and collegial connectivity of the Church of God and the Church of God in Christ, was the presences of the Church of God International Executive Committee: Dr. Timothy Hill, Presiding Bishop; Dr. Raymond Culpepper: 1st Asst. General Overseer; Dr. Tony Stewart, 2nd Asst. General Overseer; Dr. David Ramirez, 3rd Asst. General Overseer; and Dr. Gary Lewis, Secretary General. Several members of the Church of God International Executive Council were present to affirm this historic occasion including Bishop Bill Lee, Pastor of Victorious Life Church and Chairman of the Executive Council; Dr. Ken Hill, Administrative Bishop of Southern New England Region; Bishop Anthony Pelt, Administrative Bishop of the Florida Cocoa Office; and Dr. James McIntyre, Director of COG Intercultural Ministries. The presence of these executive and other departmental leaders demonstrates their support and affirmation of the agreement. Leaders of the COG Pentecostal Resource Center were Dr. Louis Morgan, Director of Squires Library, and Dr. David Roebuck, Director of the Dixon Research Center.
Following the conclusion of the ceremony, special guests shared lunch, tour of the PTS campus, Squires Library, Lee University campus, and a tour of the Church of God International Offices hosted graciously by the Executive Committee.