Coinciding with this year’s Centennial Celebration at Foursquare Connection in Anaheim, Calif., The Foursquare Church is releasing an updated and revised edition of Foundations of Pentecostal Theology. The denomination’s best-ever-selling textbook was first published in 1983 at the request of noted pastor and former Foursquare President Jack Hayford.

Hardcover copies will be presented to credentialed U.S. Foursquare ministers at this year’s Connection meeting, May 29-June 1, at the Anaheim Convention Center. Those who don’t attend can purchase a paperback copy online.

In addition, editions translated into various languages will be given to all international leaders attending the Global Summit at Angelus Temple in Los Angeles on May 28.

“We are a growing global movement and, as such, this text is increasingly important to us,” says Ted Vail, D.I.S., Foursquare’s vice president of global operations. “This book provides in one volume a baseline theology.”

Featuring a 110-page study guide, the book can be used “like a school in a box,” says Steve Schell, D.Min., a retired pastor and chairperson of the 20-member doctrine committee that oversaw the update.

“Anybody can teach it,” says Steve, who pastored Northwest Church (Federal Way Foursquare Church) in Federal Way, Wash., for 28 years. “It even has answers to questions so students who don’t have help can locate the right answer.

“It’s not enough to bring somebody to the Lord,” adds Steve, now living in Phoenix and attending Grace Chapel (Scottsdale Foursquare Church) in Scottsdale, Ariz. “They need to be taught what they believe. We’ve been good at leading people to Christ but not at giving them a foundation. That’s what this book is for.”

Three thousand hardback copies of the 784-page volume have been printed, with additional paperbacks being printed for distribution for other nations. The volume will also be available as a PDF download and e-book.

“We are a growing global movement and, as such, this text is increasingly important to us. This book provides in one volume a baseline theology.” —Ted Vail, D.I.S., vice president of global operations

While no figures are available, copies of Foundations are used by numerous denominations, Bible colleges and seminaries.

“This one goes out with licensing materials, so it’s circulated a lot,” Ted says. “It’s a foundation-setting book. When you look at the stability of Foursquare in other countries, this book has played a part in it. Of course, everything centers around the Bible, but this book trains us in the Bible.”

Foundations was written by the late legendary Foursquare pastors and leaders Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. Van Cleve at the request of Pastor Jack when he was president of LIFE Bible College (now Life Pacific University). The book was later updated at Pastor Jack’s request, with the lead Scripture translation changed from King James to New King James. The new update uses the New King James Authorized Version, along with 10 other translations or resources.

Also revised were sections on healing and the baptism with the Holy Spirit, to take a more pastoral approach, Steve says. The new digital version has been “scrubbed” to include new country names and other refinements, he adds.

Ted notes the fact that many paperback copies will be distributed for free to the global audience is a testament to Steve’s efforts to make that possible.

“Steve often raises the money,” Ted explains. “If it’s not there in usual channels, he raises it personally to fund the translation and distribution in other countries. He’s gone well beyond the call of duty to fund this project. This is his calling and assignment from the Lord.”

In addition to Spanish, the book has been translated into French, Arabic, Portuguese and Mandarin. Work is in process on Albanian, Italian, Farsi (Iran), Nepali and Turkish translations.

Steve calls the update one of the most meaningful projects he has ever been involved in during his pastoral career.

“Even now, at a time when I’m actively involved in helping this go forward, I and my church are involved in missions and see the need for this,” he affirms. “In the U.S. a pastor can see a lot of things. Many Americans think pastors elsewhere can just go online to find material, but that’s because they haven’t been on the mission field. It’s not that easy. That’s why this has been a labor of love for me.”

Copies of the paperback are $32.99 and can be ordered online.

is a freelance writer and book editor in Huntington, W.Va.