FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2022
ORLANDO, Florida – The Association for Hispanic Theological Education, also known as AETH, celebrates and congratulates the staff, faculty, and students of Spirit and Life Seminary for completing all the requirements for the status of AETH Certified Bible Institute.
The Certification that AETH grants is recognized by the Association of Theological Schools. This Certification indicates compliance with minimum educational and institutional standards and recognizes that such programs meet the expectations of equivalence of studies at the university baccalaureate level. The AETH Certification not only contributes to the improvement of the quality of the programs offered to Hispanic leadership but also opens doors for graduates of those programs to continue master’s level studies in ATS member seminars that accept such certification as a valid criterion and sufficient for admission to such programs.
The certificate warrants the relevance and top quality of the programs offered by the educational entities. With this service, AETH is closing the gap between what happens in Bible Institutes and what happens in formal theological education in seminaries.
About Spirit and Life Seminary
Since 2016, Accredited Ministry Development, a ministry of Church of God of Prophecy, has partnered with other institutions of higher learning to provide accredited theological education for its members. At that time, AMD Director Bishop Shaun McKinley was tasked by then executive director of Leadership Development and Discipleship, Dr. Brian Sutton, with developing an accredited certificate program in partnership with a seminary partner. With this arrangement, AMD was responsible for marketing, admissions, and registration with the goal of utilizing an all-COGOP faculty. In August of 2017, AMD began regular certificate program courses using Church of God of Prophecy instructors. In October of 2017, Dr. Michael Plumley was hired to examine the requirements of THEC authorization due to his rich background in accreditation after more than forty years as an educator.
In September of 2018, the newly appointed director of AMD, Dr. Michael A. Hernandez, was tasked with beginning the process of applying to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for authorization by the executive director of Leadership Development and Discipleship, Reverend Kathryn Creasy. Dr. Hernandez worked with Dr. Plumley to meet all the requirements of THEC authorization, which was granted in November of 2019 for the new institution: Spirit and Life Seminary.
Immediately upon receiving THEC authorization, Dr. Hernandez and Dr. Plumley began working towards receiving certification from the Association for Hispanic Theological Education. In September of 2021, AETH completed the SLS institutional self-study and was notified that certification would be forthcoming. On April 18th, AETH announced that the Spirit and Life Seminary Certificate in Ministry and Theological Studies program has been granted authorization by the AETH Board of Directors. The SLS Board of Directors, Administration, Faculty, and Students give God the glory for this significant achievement in the history of higher education pursuits within the Church of God of Prophecy.