Pentecostalism is recognized and appreciated, for instance, for its fervent evangelism and vibrant worship but generally not well-known for its contributions to scholarship and formal theological education. Why is that the case? Rather than simply pointing to an anti-intellectual attitude within Pentecostalism, this article emphasizes there are complex historical, socioeconomic, and theological factors to be considered when describing the development of early Pentecostal theological education in the United States. From a historical perspective, early Pentecostalism had to come to terms with its nineteenth-century roots, which included the fundamentalist movement. Regarding socio-economic factors, many early Pentecostal leaders came from the margins of society and did therefore not have the means to invest in high-quality education. Theologically speaking, early Pentecostals were often influenced by dispensationalism and its pessimistic eschatology, which hindered them from developing a long-term vision for their theological institutions. By addressing some of these challenges from the past, Pentecostals in the twenty-first century will be able to envision a new kind of theological education that makes relevant contributions to current conversations in both the body of Christ and society as a whole.



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