About Azusa Pacific Seminary
Cornelius Paul Haggard (1911–1975) served as president of the Training School for Christian Workers (TSCW) beginning at age 27. He labored for 36 years, through four college mergers and name changes, until the school was known as Azusa Pacific College.
He began his studies at the Training School for Christian Workers in 1930 and grew spiritually, becoming active in the numerous prayer activities on campus. Haggard graduated from the three-year Bible program in 1933 and was ordained in 1934.
Haggard shared a lifestyle that might be recognizable to many students today. His wife, Emma, wrote, “While continuing his pastorate, Cornelius began his work towards a state-recognized degree from the University of Southern California. Early each weekday, he drove seven miles to the university, attended classes all day, then returned home to prepare for prayer meetings, business meetings, counseling with members, visiting, or any other demands that face a pastor. At the end of a busy day, he delved into his studies.”
Haggard served as a pastor for seven years while simultaneously completing his studies at TSCW, the Los Angeles College of Architecture and Engineering (he was working with his father to construct a building for his church), and USC.
He was asked by TSCW to begin serving as president in June 1939, when he was 27. He continued to teach theology classes 14–16 hours per week, as the school could not afford to hire a replacement for him. It was a difficult time for TSCW—enrollment was down and donations from the prior year totaled $27, which was supplemented with the room, board, and tuition, totaling only $5 per week. The school’s board was having difficulties, and Haggard’s early years as president were fraught with opposition.
Haggard was known as a man who befriended many, and for his long hours of prayer. Among his many accomplishments as president, several stand out:
- He launched a variety of innovative ways to raise funds for the school, including the annual Dinner Rally (which continues today). He drove around the United States to raise resources for the school and always believed that God would provide a miracle to meet the needs. Many wonderful stories of how these needs were met appear in Emma’s book The Intrepid Builder.
- He was one of the co-founders of the American Association of Bible Institutes and Colleges, which was created to seek recognition and accreditation for the work of Bible schools.
- He dreamed of training foreign nationals so they would return to their homelands, qualified to serve as ministers, nurses, and teachers. He was convinced that “The training of foreign nationals for the evangelization of the world is at the present moment the most vitally necessary and the most urgently needed missionary activity with which we can engage ourselves.” In his lifetime, he had opportunities to travel and see the work of missions throughout the world—traveling to at least 50 countries at the request of missions boards and always visiting and encouraging alumni of the Training School and Azusa College whenever he was able.
- He served on the boards of many well known ministry organizations, including the National Association of Evangelicals, American Association of Bible Institutes and Colleges, and the National Holiness Association. He pastored three churches, and in 1974, served as a delegate to the International Conference on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Today, Azusa Pacific Seminary continues Haggard’s legacy and mission, training men and women for effective, practical ministry both locally and around the world.
“As to the future, what tomorrow will bring, we don’t know, but we are not afraid. The God who can work miracles is able for the tomorrows.”
—Cornelius P. Haggard, September 1941