Soon after the decision to consolidate Central Bible College, Evangel University and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary was ratified at the 54th General Council of the Assemblies of God in Phoenix, Arizona, in August 2011, this initiative began to be bathed in prayer.
Following the Council meeting, Dr. Gary Denbow, president of Central Bible College, approached executive leadership about initiating focused times of prayer for God's blessing and guidance upon this monumental task.
Since September 2011, ten "Together in Prayer" gatherings have taken place alternately on the three campuses and at Maranatha Village, also located in Springfield; additional meetings are slated for January and April. Two of the gatherings have included campus prayer walks.
Many facets of the consolidation process have been covered in prayer during these gatherings. These include prayer for wisdom; for a sense of mission and purpose; for unity of heart, mind and spirit; for community among the three institutions; the guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout; for course programs that will provide strong spiritual and academic balance; for favor with accrediting bodies; for leadership and staff structures; for student housing; for wisdom in establishing student tuition and fee structures; for unity on essential theological and doctrinal positions; for a thoroughly biblical worldview in all academic disciplines, and much more. Prayers have been led by students, faculty, administrators and alumni.
As the consolidation process moves forward, myriad details are still before the various boards and committees. Preparation is underway for a key meeting with the Higher Learning Commission, January 21-22, 2013. Leaders ask for churches and individuals to bathe the consolidation initiative in prayer as the Commission visit approaches, asking God for His wisdom and favor.
The next Together in Prayer gathering will be held 7 p.m. Monday, January 14, at the Maranatha Chapel in Maranatha Village.