In 1985, representatives from four denominations, including The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Canada, The Associated Gospel Churches of Canada, The Evangelical Free Church of Canada, and The Baptist General Conference of Canada met to discuss the possibility of cooperation in post-secondary education, including the preparation of pastors, church planters and missionaries for the challenges of the 21st century. Through prayer, planning, and much consideration, a new vision developed to work together in the Believers' Church tradition to reach Canada and the world with the Gospel.
In 1987, the Baptist General Conference established Canadian Baptist Seminary, and the Evangelical Free Church of Canada, along with TWU, established Trinity Western Seminary. Northwest Baptist Seminary, established in 1975 by the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches, relocated its operations from Vancouver to the Langley campus of TWU.
In the summer of 1999 Canadian Theological Seminary, operated by the Christian and Missionary Alliance, opened a western campus as part of ACTS. At the same time, Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Fresno, California, relocated its BC Centre to the TWU campus and became part of the Consortium.
All the seminiaries are affiliated with TWU, with TWS being an operational part of the University. As ACTS, the five seminaries constitute the Graduate School of Theological Studies of Trinity Western University and enjoy maximum cooperation, effectiveness, efficiency, and quality. Part of this effective cooperation is the ACTS/TWU library.
Degrees in the consortium are offered "conjointly," that is, by the University and the participating Seminary together. In June, 1997, ACTS became an accredited member in the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
A new ministry of ACTS was created in the Spring of 1998, the ACTS Intercultural Ministry Centre (AIM).
The ACTS Seminaries also maintain effective, on-campus partnerships with Canadian Pentecostal Seminary, the Canadian Institute of Linguistics, and a number of other ministry organisations.
All five seminaries occupy space in the Fosmark Centre (completed in 1993) on the TWU campus. The Consortium's goals are to strengthen each denomination's distinctives and mission; to provide the finest training designed to accelerate evangelism and the planting of New Testament churches; and to witness to our essential oneness of purpose in Jesus Christ or Lord.
The mission of ACTS is to develop godly servant leaders who have a love and burden for people based on a strong commitment to Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and the ministry of His church, who will energetically strengthen, revitalize and actively multiply communities of effective ministering believers in Canada and around the world.
As of 2002, seminary presidents were:
R. Neil Snider, President of TWU/TWS
Henry Schmidt, President of MBBS
Daryl Busby, President of CBS (since 1997)
Larry Perkins, President of NBS
George Durance, President of CTS
Source: 2001-2002 ACTS Catalogue
Wendell Phillips was appointed Registrar for ACTS in 1995. In August 2001, Phil Zylla was appointed Executive Director of ACTS.
In October, 2004, the Canadian Pentecostal Seminary joined the ACTS consortium.
As of 2008, seminary presidents were:
John Auxier, Acting President of TWS
Jim Holm, President of MBBS?
Daryl Busby, President of CBS
Larry Perkins, President of NBS
George Durance, President of CTS (Renamed Ambrose in 2007)
Jim Lucas, President of CPS
News Release, January 7, 2008:
Trinity Western University is pleased to announce that Ronald W. Toews has been appointed to the combined position of Principal for ACTS Seminaries and Associate Vice President of Graduate Theological Studies.
The position of Principal is not new to the Seminary but where it fits in the organizational structure of the University is. Responsive to the ACTS Joint Governance Committee, the Principal will sit and serve as a functional member of the TWU President's Cabinet and Provost's Office Team and will facilitate the ongoing integration of the Graduate School of Theological Studies within the greater University, among other responsibilities and roles.
Dr. Howard Andersen’s term as ACTS Academic Dean ended on April 30, 2008; he moves on to new employment at Power To Change.
Dr. Ken Radant, Associate Professor of Theology and Associate Dean of Ambrose Seminary, became the interim ACTS Academic Dean on May 1, 2008.
Source: Intercomm announcement, May 8, 2008
Dr. Kenton Anderson accepted the Northwest Baptist Seminary Board's offer to become its eighth President, effective January 1, 2011. The Board's decision and Dr. Anderson's acceptance culminate an 18 month process of succession planning and searching.
Dr. Larry Perkins is retiring from the role of president, a position he has held since 2000. He will be continuing at Northwest in a teaching capacity.
Source: Intercomm announcement, November 4, 2010
ACTS Seminaries is pleased to announce that MBBS Canada has appointed Dr. Bruce Guenther as Interim President and Developer for Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (MBBS) Canada, effective immediately. Dr. Guenther has been on Faculty with MBBS/ACTS since 1999.
Source: Intercomm announcement, January 20, 2011