Horizon’s History

CPC early days - Copy

Horizon College & Seminary was established in 1935 and continues as a pioneer of Christian Higher Education. Today we are Canada’s first competency-based Christian leadership college, located in the beautiful prairie city of Saskatoon, where we are creating a multi-denominational prairie hub to offer distinct programming for students preparing for leadership in a variety denominations.

And we are excited to announce that our brand new facility will be operational in fall 2020!

As an investment in our student community, our ministry relationships, and a source of sustainable revenue, our new facility will support Horizon and our denominational partners as we continue to thrive into the future.

So, what is Competency-based Education (CBE)?

CBE is a model of education that bases its curriculum on actual roles in society and then assesses students’ ability to perform those roles. It bridges the gap between academic learning and real-world work.

Horizon’s approach to CBE is course-based. Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of those who practice ministry in the field, and our course assignments emphasize skills and knowledge that are transferable to the real world of Christian life and ministry.

Our faculty strive to prepare students who are competent to handle the demands of ministry, ready to offer personal and theological counsel, but equally prepared to read a spreadsheet and manage a board meeting. To help them succeed, we offer personal, extensive, and criteria-based assessment in six areas:

  • Biblical and Theological Literacy
  • Leadership and Administration
  • Skilled Communication
  • Contextual Awareness
  • Spiritual Maturity
  • Ministry Development

We also value evidence of real-world experience and competence, and so Horizon has partnered with Portfolium to help each one of our students demonstrate what they have done, what they know, and what they can do.

Please check out our students’ portfolios to see examples of their work and read full descriptions of why they are ready to serve as competent leaders in God’s Kingdom.

A History of Our College

Horizon began its journey towards competency-based education in 2015, but our story goes back much further than that.

In 1935, Pastor George Hawtin founded a small Bible school in Star City, Saskatchewan. In 1937, Hawtin moved the Bethel Bible Institute to the city of Saskatoon, where he could provide students with a new campus and easier access to the growing college. Over the next decade, Bethel established a relationship with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC) that would sustain it through a difficult administrative change in 1947, and with the support of the Saskatchewan District, the college remained in the campus at Avenue A and 29th Street until 1963.

As Bethel rebuilt after 1947, it expanded its relationships within the PAOC. In 1962 the school changed its name to Central Pentecostal College and came officially under the joint sponsorship of the Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario and Saskatchewan Districts.

In 1968, the college purchased the former Lutheran Theological Seminary building, just off 8th Street East in Saskatoon, and in 1969, built a new residence, capable of housing seventy-two students, to suit the needs of a burgeoning student body. In 1972, Central Pentecostal College strengthened its relationship with the Lutheran Theological Seminary by establishing an agreement whereby qualified students could study at Central Pentecostal College towards attaining a graduate level theological degree.

The college continued to thrive well into the 1980s, adding a 150-seat lecture theatre, an expanded library, and a new office complex to the existing education building. On July 1, 1983, Central Pentecostal College was granted Affiliate College status by the University of Saskatchewan, allowing students access to the University Libraries and creating a number of courses that transfer credit to the University.

In 1997, Central Pentecostal College was granted accredited membership in the American Association of Bible Colleges (now called the Association for Biblical Higher Education, or ABHE).

In 2007, the ABHE approved a new agreement between our college and Providence Theological Seminary in Manitoba to create a Pentecostal Studies track in Providence’s Master of Divinity program.

In 2007, we changed our name to Horizon College & Seminary, a decision that reflected Horizon’s widening network of ministry partnerships. In 2009, Horizon College & Seminary merged libraries with the libraries of the Saskatoon Theological Union, creating one of the largest theological collections in Canada (120,000 volumes). In 2015, the ABHE accrediting agency reaffirmed Horizon for accreditation until 2025.

In September 2015, Horizon commemorated its 80th year of ministry by becoming Canada’s first competency-based Christian leadership college. Our shift to the CBE model of education reflects our belief that we take our greatest strides forward and offer the best programming and resources to our students when we retain strong relationships with those we work beside in the body of Christ.

In June 2018, we signed an agreement with the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, the first of several partnerships that will allow us to offer multi-denominational programming and meet the needs of Christian graduates in our changing culture.

As we begin this stage of our journey, we are focused on building strong connections with our constituency and expanding our multi-denominational partnerships in Christian higher education so together we can advance God’s Kingdom by preparing competent Christian leaders for Spirit-empowered life and ministry.