Scholars Start First Foundation for Pentecostal Theology

Top Pentecostal scholars have joined hands to form a new foundation for promoting “spirit-filled” research on Pentecostal theology and biblical scholarship.

The Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship has two immediate goals: to fund doctorate and post-doctorate research projects and to recognize those who contributed significantly to Pentecostal academics. The foundation’s 11-member Board of Advisors, comprised of leading Pentecostal scholars including Paul Elbert, William Menzies and Roger Stronstad will monitor research proposals and recommend articles and books for special recognition.

"As far as we know, there has never been another foundation whose goals are to promote Pentecostal scholarship and provide this kind of assistance to Pentecostal scholars,” Robert W. Graves, the foundation’s co-founder and president, said Tuesday. “We really hope to remove the financial impediment many scholars face when it comes to performing research projects on Pentecostal theology.”

According to Graves, who has studied the Pentecostal movement for over three decades, the field of Pentecostal Biblical Studies has “improved drastically” since he first got involved with the movement.

“There were very few interested in graduate degrees in theology or biblical studies,” he said, “but now we have a number of scholars who not only write for Pentecostal journals but fur evangelical highly influential and scholarly journals in the world of religious academic studies.”

However, Graves added that the field has “got a long ways to go.”

“In the immediate time, we just want to fund projects that can influence the academic world,” he said.

There are an estimated 500 million Pentecostals worldwide, with most concentrated in the Southern Hemisphere.

The foundation’s funds are not meant for students wishing to receive a college degree on Pentecostal theology. Instead, the grants will be used to sponsor research projects not connected to the fulfillments of a degree.

Some research project proposals include the study of Biblical verses addressing the doctrine of spirit baptism and the study addressing the differences between Apostles Luke and Paul.

The foundation was established in June and its website went live yesterday. To send in a project proposal or to help support the foundation’s work, visit: tffps.org.