HISTORY OF SUMMIT PACIFIC COLLEGE DISTANCE EDUCATION
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The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada have supported and advocated the development of Bible College education in Canada for almost a century. Along with formal residential Bible College education, correspondence courses have been available to its PAOC members since 1948. From that time, two main sources for correspondence study developed and one of them was called the Canadian Pentecostal Correspondence College (CPCC). The curriculum from this college was taken over and expanded when Dr. L. T. Holdcroft was President of Western Pentecostal Bible College (WPBC; 1968 to 1987). He continued to give oversight to the daily matters of ¬¬CPCC from his home office until 1999. During that period, WPBC faculty were involved in the writing and grading of courses. In 1999 WPBC officially took over the curriculum and incorporated it into the Distance Education department of the college. WPBC was renamed Summit Pacific College in 2004. Since that time the courses and curriculum have been expanded, updated and revised.
Although correspondence courses have been available for many years, registrants form a small fraction of the college’s enrolment. Distance Education programs are mainly a provision for those denominational members who desire or require pastoral education but are unable to study in a residential setting. This generally continues to be true for most of our Distance Education students—they do not have the opportunity for full-time residential study. The college primarily offers correspondence courses which to date are the preferred form of delivery by its Distance Education students.
It is important to note that although the Distance Education programs lead to a certificate, diploma, or degree, not all students study towards a ministry position or credentials. Many students take courses for interest or specifically to enable better service in church ministry. There are a significant number of church members who have volunteered their services to their church and now require specialized training for ministry. Their preference is to do this type of study and training while serving in a church. Summit continues to develop and provide resources for this important process.
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