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The Christian and Missionary Alliance, Board of Managers

  • Instelling
  • 1897-

The International Missionary Alliance was founded in 1887 by Rev. Albert Benjamin Simpson, as the Evangelical Missionary Alliance, its major object being "to carry the Gospel 'to all nations', with special reference to the need of the destitute and unoccupied fields," seeking "to unite all Christians of evangelical denominations in its work." The EMA was governed by a board of managers, which was comprised of a president, seven vice-presidents, four other executive officers and 22 members-at-large from seven states. The Board was responsible to appoint foreign missionaries and to exercise general supervision over all the interests of the Alliance. A smaller executive committee, consisting of 13 officers, was charged with carrying out the Board's business between meetings. The organization’s name was changed to the IMA, coinciding with its incorporation in November 1887 (Alliance Yearbook 1888, p. 52-55).

The Christian Alliance was also founded in 1887 as a "fraternal union of believers in cordial harmony with evangelical Christians of every name." It was responsible to hold annual conventions and in conjunction with the districts, form local branches. These were seen as fellowships, not as churches, with the purpose of bearing testimony to the Four-fold Gospel, promoting diffusion of these truths, providing community for those who believe them, and praying for the evangelization of the world. The Christian Alliance was governed by an executive committee, consisting of a president, 29 vice-presidents, four other executive officers and 41 members-at-large (Alliance Yearbook 1888, p. 48-51).

On Mar 31, 1897, the two respective boards authorized the merger; it was made law on Apr 1, 1897 by a special act of the New York legislature and ratified by a special convention held Apr 14-18 at the Gospel Tabernacle in New York. The aims of the new organization combined those of the original bodies: (as stated by the Fraternal Letter that resulted from the 1898 annual convention) the C&MA was "to preach a full Gospel at home and send missionaries; to carry the same glad tidings to the unevangelized regions beyond; to preserve our non-sectarian and interdenominational attitude; to study to confine the [administrative] machinery to that which is necessary…." (Pardington, George P. Twenty-five Wonderful Years, p. 74, 75). The C&MA officially became a denomination in 1974.

The Board of Managers, elected by the annual General Council (the supreme governing body of the C&MA) provides general oversight and management and serves as the executive committee of General Council when General Council is not in session. The Board first met on Apr 17, 1897, with 18 members present. At this meeting it adopted a constitution and approved the sending of a number of missionaries. The Board of Managers currently consists of 28 members.

The Christian and Missionary Alliance

  • Instelling
  • 1 April 1897-

The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) is an evangelical Christian denomination dedicated to the promulgation of the fourfold Gospel. Christ as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King. It is rooted in the vision of a Canadian Presbyterian minister, A. B. (Albert Benjamin) Simpson (1843-1919). After serving prestigious pastorates in Louisville KY (1874-1879) and New York City (1879-1881) Simpson left the Presbyterian Church to found a ministry in New York City to “the poor and neglected masses.” The fruit of these labors was the Gospel Tabernacle. Out of the Gospel Tabernacle emerged two fraternal organizations for the promotion of evangelism and “the higher Christian life.”

The International Missionary Alliance (IMA) was founded in 1887 as the Evangelical Missionary Alliance (EMA). Its major object was "to carry the Gospel 'to all nations', with special reference to the need of the destitute and unoccupied fields." It sought "to unite all Christians of evangelical denominations in its work." The organization’s name was changed to the International Missionary Alliance on its incorporation in November 1887 (Alliance Yearbook 1888, p. 52-55).

The Christian Alliance, which was also founded in 1887, saw itself as a "fraternal union of believers in cordial harmony with evangelical Christians of every name." It was responsible to hold annual conventions and form local "branches". These were seen as fellowships, not as churches, for the purpose of bearing testimony to the Fourfold Gospel, diffusing its truths, providing community for those who believed them, and praying for the evangelization of the world. (Alliance Yearbook 1888, p. 48-51).

On 31 March, 1897, the boards of the two organizations authorized a merger; it was made law on 1 April 1897 by a special act of the New York legislature and ratified by a special convention held 14-18 April at the Gospel Tabernacle. The aims of the newly-minted Christian and Missionary Alliance combined those of the original bodies: (as stated by the Fraternal Letter that resulted from the 1898 annual convention) the C&MA was "to preach a full Gospel at home and send missionaries; to carry the same glad tidings to the unevangelized regions beyond; to preserve our non-sectarian and interdenominational attitude; to study to confine the [administrative] machinery to that which is necessary…." (Pardington, George P. Twenty-five Wonderful Years, p. 74, 75).

By the 1920s the C&MA had taken root in both the United States and Canada. The best-known figure in the C&MA in the post-Simpson era was A. W. (Aiden Wilson) Tozer (1898-1963), whose devotional writings had an influence far beyond the Alliance. The C&MA officially became a denomination in 1974. Its missionary efforts have been quite successful: the Alliance now has around 6 million adherents worldwide, of whom only about 600,000 reside in Canada or the United States. The Alliance World Fellowship (AWF), a non-legislative body, was formed in 1975 "to facilitate cooperation among [these] churches as they work for the fulfillment of the Great Commission" (AWF website).

Canadian Bible College

  • Instelling
  • 10 April 1957-September 2006

Canadian Bible College was established in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1941 as Canadian Bible Institute. Classes were held in the refurbished basement of the Regina Alliance Tabernacle at 2080 Osler St. The new school was born of a need to train workers for the new churches that the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) had planted in Western Canada. At that point the Canadian C&MA had no training institutes of its own, for in 1929 the C&MA’s Board of Managers had closed both Canadian Bible Institute (established in Toronto in 1924), and Great West Bible Institute, (founded in Edmonton in 1924). The new school almost suffered the same fate, for it lacked the official approval of the Alliance. However, the founders Gordon Skitch, George Blackett, and W.H. Brooks reached a compromise with the Board whereby the school was permitted to continue so long as its name was changed to Western Canadian Bible Institute (WCBI).

This change of name was adopted in 1945, the same year that WCBI moved into new quarters, the former Clayton Hotel, 1720 Broad St., Regina. In 1949 the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan granted WCBI official incorporation as a non-profit educational institution, and in May 1956 the General Council of the C&MA recognized WCBI as the official school of the C&MA in Canada.

In October 1956, WCBI moved to 4400 4th Ave., Regina, which would be its home, until the move to Calgary in July 2003. On 10 April 1957 WCBI changed its name to Canadian Bible College (CBC). In the following decade, CBC dedicated its new campus, conferred its first BTh and BRE degrees, became a fully-accredited member of the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges, and began to develop plans for a seminary. The seminary, originally named Canadian Theological College (September 1970-June 1982), later changed its name to Canadian Theological Seminary (1982-2007), and Ambrose Seminary (2007-).

In September 2006 Canadian Bible College became the undergraduate ministry program of Alliance University College/Nazarene University College and ceased to have an independent existence. It is now (2016) known as the Ambrose University School of Ministry.

Canadian Theological College

  • Instelling
  • September 1970-June 1982

By the 1950's The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) had become increasingly concerned that potential Alliance missionaries and pastors who desired master's level formation had to look outside the Alliance to find it. To address the problem, the C&MA began The Jaffray School of Missions, a one-year post-baccalaureate missionary training program, which was housed on the campus of Nyack Missionary College, Nyack, N.Y., which was the movement's flagship undergraduate institution. However, this solution did not appeal to those who wanted a full master's degree. To address this concern the 1963 General Council voted to make Wheaton College Graduate School the official seminary of the C&MA until the Alliance could develop its own seminary. It took the Jaffray School of Missions until 1974 (when it changed its name to the Alliance School of Theology and Missions) to offer a two-year master's degree, and until 1979 (when it became Alliance Theological Seminary) to offer a full M.Div. degree.

Meanwhile, the faculty of Canadian Bible College (CBC) had become increasingly concerned about the dilution of the Alliance ethos and the loss of potential missionary and ministry candidates to other denominations. To address these concerns, Alvin Martin, president of CBC, along with academic dean Samuel Stoesz, began, in 1965, to lobby the C&MA's Education Department for permission to start a graduate school in Canada. The General Council of 1967 granted their request, and in September 1970 Canadian Theological College (CTC) began classes on the campus of Canadian Bible College. The new institution was called "College" and not "Seminary" in deference to those member of the Alliance constituency who equated seminary education with liberalism. Although continuing to share a president and board with CBC, CTC was granted a separate charter by the Saskatchewan Legislature in 1973. In the same year, CTC was approved for affiliation with the University of Regina. It offered six classes at the University in Hebrew, Greek and biblical literature, and the president of CBC/CTC served on the University Senate. Just over a decade later the school had become sufficiently established within the denomination to consider a name change, and in June 1982, by an act of the Saskatchewan Legislature, Canadian Theological College became Canadian Theological Seminary.

Canadian Theological Seminary

  • Instelling
  • June 1982-1 May 2007

By the 1950's The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) had become increasingly concerned that potential Alliance missionaries and pastors who desired master's level formation had to look outside the Alliance to find it. To address the problem, the C&MA began The Jaffray School of Missions, a one-year post-baccalaureate missionary training program, which was housed on the campus of Nyack Missionary College, Nyack, N.Y., which was the movement's flagship undergraduate institution. However, this solution did not appeal to those who wanted a full master's degree. To address this concern the 1963 General Council voted to make Wheaton College Graduate School the official seminary of the C&MA until the Alliance could develop its own seminary. It took the Jaffray School of Missions until 1974 (when it changed its name to the Alliance School of Theology and Missions) to offer a two-year master's degree, and until 1979 (when it became Alliance Theological Seminary) to offer a full M.Div. degree.

Meanwhile, the faculty of Canadian Bible College (CBC) had become increasingly concerned about the dilution of the Alliance ethos and the loss of potential missionary and ministry candidates to other denominations. To address these concerns, Alvin Martin, president of CBC, along with academic dean Samuel Stoesz, began, in 1965, to lobby the C&MA's Education Department for permission to start a graduate school in Canada. The General Council of 1967 granted their request, and in September 1970 Canadian Theological College (CTC) began classes on the campus of Canadian Bible College. The new institution was called "College" and not "Seminary" in deference to those member of the Alliance constituency who equated seminary education with liberalism. Although continuing to share a president and board with CBC, CTC was granted a separate charter by the Saskatchewan Legislature in 1973. In the same year, CTC was approved for affiliation with the University of Regina. It offered six classes at the University in Hebrew, Greek and biblical literature, and the president of CBC/CTC served on the University Senate. Just over a decade later the school had become sufficiently established within the denomination to consider a name change, and in June 1982, by an act of the Saskatchewan Legislature, Canadian Theological College became Canadian Theological Seminary.

The seminary became a fully-accredited member of the Association of Theological Schools in 1989. That year it began a doctor of ministry program, which it offered until 1997. Along with Canadian Bible College, it moved to Calgary in the summer of 2003 and became a part of the joint venture known as Alliance University College/Nazarene University College. On 1 May 2007, when AUC/NUC became Ambrose University College, the seminary changed its name to Ambrose Seminary. .

The Church of the Nazarene

  • Instelling
  • 1908-

The Church of the Nazarene traces its anniversary date to 1908. Its organization was a marriage that, like every marriage, linked existing families and created a new one. As an expression of the holiness movement and its emphasis on the sanctified life, our founders came together to form one people. Utilizing evangelism, compassionate ministries, and education, their church went forth to become a people of many cultures and tongues.

Two central themes illuminate the Nazarene story.

The first is "unity in holiness."

The spiritual vision of early Nazarenes was derived from the doctrinal core of John Wesley's preaching. These affirmations include justification by grace through faith, sanctification likewise by grace through faith, entire sanctification as an inheritance available to every Christian, and the witness of the Spirit to God's work in human lives. The holiness movement arose in the 1830s to promote these doctrines, especially entire sanctification. By 1900, however, the movement had splintered.

P. F. Bresee, C. B. Jernigan, C. W. Ruth, and other committed leaders strove to unite holiness factions. The first and second general assemblies were like two bookends:

In October 1907, the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America and the Church of the Nazarene merged in Chicago, Illinois, at the First General Assembly.

In April 1908, a congregation organized in Peniel, Texas, drew into the Nazarene movement the key officers of the Holiness Association of Texas.

The Pennsylvania Conference of the Holiness Christian Church united in September 1908. In October 1908, the Second General Assembly was held at Pilot Point, Texas, the headquarters of the Holiness Church of Christ. The "year of uniting" ended with the merger of this southern denomination with its northern counterpart.

With the Pentecostal Church of Scotland and Pentecostal Mission unions in 1915, the Church of the Nazarene embraced seven previous denominations and parts of two other groups.1 The Nazarenes and The Wesleyan Church emerged as the two denominations that eventually drew together a majority of the holiness movement's independent strands.

"A mission to the world" is the second primary theme in the Nazarene story.

In 1908 there were churches in Canada and organized work in India, Cape Verde, and Japan, soon followed by work in Africa, Mexico, and China. The 1915 mergers added congregations in the British Isles and work in Cuba, Central America, and South America. There were congregations in Syria and Palestine by 1922. As General Superintendent H. F. Reynolds advocated "a mission to the world," support for world evangelization became a distinguishing characteristic of Nazarene life. New technologies were utilized. The church began producing the "Showers of Blessing" radio program in the 1940s, followed by the Spanish broadcast "La Hora Nazarena" and later by broadcasts in other languages. Indigenous holiness churches in Australia and Italy united in the 1940s, others in Canada and Great Britain in the 1950s, and one in Nigeria in 1988.

As the church grew culturally and linguistically diverse, it committed itself in 1980 to internationalization—a deliberate policy of being one church of congregations and districts worldwide, rather than splitting into national churches like earlier Protestant denominations. By the 2001 General Assembly, 42 percent of delegates spoke English as their second language or did not speak it at all. Today 65 percent of Nazarenes and over 80 percent of the church's 439 districts are outside the United States. An early system of colleges in North America and the British Isles has become a global network of institutions. Nazarenes support 14 liberal arts institutions in Africa, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Korea, and the United States, as well as five graduate seminaries, 31 undergraduate Bible/theological colleges, 2 nurses training colleges, and one education college worldwide. From nazarene.org/history

Western Canadian Bible Institute

  • Instelling
  • September 1945-10 April 1957

In July 1929 the Board of Managers of The Christian and Missionary Alliance decided to close six of the C&MA’s nine training schools, including Canadian Bible Institute (Toronto) and Great West Bible Institute (Edmonton) to offset a movement-wide decline in revenues.
All attempts to reopen CBI during the 1930’s were quashed by the leadership of the C&MA. Finally, pastors Willis Brooks (a CBI alumnus) and George Blackett (a former board member) took matters into their own hands. In October 1941, with the blessing of Gordon Skitch, superintendent of the Western Canadian District, they “re-established” Canadian Bible Institute in Regina, Saskatchewan. Convinced that the initiative would be rejected if they went through normal channels, they consulted neither the Eastern and Central Canadian District nor the Board of Managers. As a result, the school had to wait another four years for official recognition. It was also required to change its name to Western Canadian Bible Institute (WCBI). However the official publications of the Institute did not begin to use the new name until September 1945.
In 1944, the Eastern and Central District received approval to establish a school in Toronto, but the project foundered for lack of leadership and proper facilities. Two years later, the Glen Rocks estate came up for sale. The District concluded that it needed a Bible camp and conference centre more than it needed a training school, and so it sold off the Institute building to help pay for Glen Rocks. In 1956, WCBI was declared to be the national school for the C&MA in Canada. Western Canadian Bible Institute officially changed its name to Canadian Bible College on 10 April 1957.

Church of the Nazarene Canada

  • Instelling
  • 1902-

The first Church of the Nazarene in Canada was organized in 1902 at Oxford, Nova Scotia. It began as a member of the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America but merged with the Church of the Nazarene and Holiness Church of Christ in 1907. Members of that congregation moved to Calgary, Alberta and joined other holiness believers to form the Calgary Holiness Association. Upon hearing about the Holiness Association, Dr. P. F. Bresee of Los Angeles sent a representative to Calgary to meet with the group and by August 1911 the first Nazarene Church in the west was organized with Thomas Bell as pastor. A Holiness movement in Victoria, under the leadership of Rev. G. S Hunt, followed in 1912. L. J. King, the converted Catholic Priest from Oxford, Nova Scotia who started the work of the Church of the Nazarene there, held revival meetings in Windsor Ontario in 1919. In 1920, Rev. C. L. Bradley, district superintendent of the Michigan district, organized the first Nazarene church in Ontario.

From their beginnings, the Maritime Provinces and Alberta were organized as their own districts, the Northeast District (1908) and Alberta District (1911). The churches in British Columbia had a variety of district organizational structures but became their own entity, Canada Pacific District, in 1956. The Manitoba-Saskatchewan District was organized in 1916 but joined with Alberta in 1948 to create the Canada West District. Ontario fell under the jurisdiction of the Michigan-Ontario District until 1936 but it was not until 1952 that it adopted its current title, Canada Central District. The Maritime Provinces, including Newfoundland –Labrador have since adopted the title Canada Atlantic District and Quebec is now its own district, Canada Quebec District.

The Canadian districts, sensing the need for national incorporation, established the Executive Board of the Church of the Nazarene by Act of Parliament in 1946. In 1960, all the Canadian districts sent resolutions to the General Assembly requesting that Canada become its own educational region. This was granted and as a result Canadian Nazarene College moved to Winnipeg and became the national school. The General church regionalized in 1980 making Canada its own region and the only region to have a National Executive Board.

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