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Ministry Training Institutes

Ministry training institutes provide Foursquare churches with the opportunity to invest in leadership the way Jesus did, with relational teaching and opportunities for hands-on practice. They offer a cost-effective and convenient option for ministry training, ideal for leaders and laypeople alike.

What are Ministry Training Institutes?

In 1923, Aimee Semple McPherson founded Angelus Temple Evangelistic and Missionary Training School, which later became known as L.I.F. E. Bible College, and now is Life Pacific College. The purpose of that original Foursquare training institute was the same as the mission of our contemporary ministry training institutes—in Sister Aimee’s words, “the practical training of evangelists for the harvest fields of life.”

Download our 21 Questions and Answers for Prospective Institute Leaders (PDF, 144 KB) to learn more about how to launch and run an effective Ministry Training Institute.

What Types of Institutes Are There?

Schools of Ministry provide education solely as an extension of local church training, both to strengthen local leadership and to train men and women for Foursquare ministry.

Formal and Non-Formal Bible Institutes offer training that falls between the types of training offered by colleges and those offered by Schools of Ministry. Institute training culminates in a diploma or certificate of completion, and the purpose is often to train leaders to go out and pastor Foursquare churches. The scope of training at an institute is much broader than a School of Ministry.

Church-Based Bible Colleges have been authorized by their states to award associate's and/or bachelor's degrees, but are also hosted by a strong and healthy local church affording its students the opportunity to experience hands-on ministry skill training and character formation that is not typically found at most traditional Bible colleges.

What is the Emerging Leader Network (ELN)?

The Emerging Leader Network is an alliance of full-time, immersive schools of ministry designed to empower, train and release young leaders between the ages of 18 and 25. These “immersion discipleship” environments blend hands-on ministry, focused academic and mentoring relationships.

Learn more about ELNs by visiting

Can my Foursquare church launch a Ministry Training Institute?

Yes! Though starting an institute requires intensive preparation and a long-term commitment from church staff, the results can be very rewarding.

Consider the following to see if a ministry training institute is the right fit for your church at this time:

  • Since ministry training institutes are a long-term commitment, consider your church’s vision for ministry over the next 10 years.
  • Do you have qualified faculty available? Each instructor should have a minimum of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution along with ministry experience.
  • Are you willing to release people to become licensed ministers after they have completed training?
  • Are there nearby churches that could partner with you in establishing an institute?
  • Do you have facilities that can accommodate institute classrooms and a library, on a consistent, long-term basis?
  • Does your church have the finances necessary to launch an institute? Facilities, equipment, and salaries all must be considered.
  • Check out our 21 Questions and Answers for Prospective Institute Leaders, and prayerfully consider whether God is calling your church to launch a program at this time.
Help me get started!

If your church would like to launch a ministry training institute, here’s how to get started:

  • One year before your targeted startup date, contact your district supervisor and request approval to start an institute.
  • Then contact the National Church Office of Leadership Training and Education, and we will guide you through the startup process.
  • Download the Institutes Start-Up Manual, the Institutes Handbook, and the Application for Certification:

    Institutes Handbook Revised Edition (616 pages, 16.8 MB)
    Application for Certification (4 pages, 180 KB)
  • Mail the completed Application for Certification, together with a check for the $100  application fee (made payable to I.C.F.G.) to:

    Foursquare Ministry Training Institutes
    P.O. Box 26902
    Los Angeles, CA 90026
  • The Leadership Training and Education office will contact you in regard to an on-site appraisal of facilities and resources, as well as provide assistance in laying the foundational elements necessary for an institute. You will then receive a written review of the on-site appraisal, including observations and recommendations. You can then make any necessary adjustments in order to comply with guidelines and standards, and submit verification of compliance.
  • Your application will be reviewed by the Institute Committee and submitted to the Foursquare board of directors for approval.
Contact Us

We are here to help! If you have any questions about the Foursquare Ministry Institutes, just contact us via e-mail, or call us directly at 213.989.4258.