The Spirit of Truth Institute

Dr. Paul Richardson is the Founder and Chancellor of The Spirit of Truth Institute (SOTI). In one of his books, The Love Book, Richardson recounts his early life and the experiences that led him into the ministry. As a young adult he was an atheist and became involved in street robbery. While incarcerated for his criminal activity, he served a ten-year prison sentence. It was during this period that he was saved and began his preaching ministry. He was paroled in 1966, and he later received a pardon. The first set of books that formed the basis for instruction at his future institute was prepared in 1967 while Richardson was still residing in Texas, and the institute was formed in that same year. He moved to Richmond Virginia in 1986 where he became co-pastor with his wife at the Walmsley Road Christ Worship Center, which is affiliated with the Full Gospel of Christ Fellowship, and began offering degrees through the Spirit of Truth Institute. The institute is formally organized with a Board of Directors and Articles of Organization, Constitution, and By-Laws.

The requirements for enrolling in The Spirit of Truth Institute a diploma from a high school, passing the general educational development (G.E.D.) test, or being a mature individual with a demonstrated aptitude and capacity for doing the required work. Students must also be saved, accept the institute’s Doctrinal Statement, and abide by its Conduct Standards. The students at The Spirit of Truth Institute are independent, middle-age adults and include a mixture of males and females, blacks and whites, and lay church workers, part-time ministers, and full-time ministers. Students can begin the process of earning a certificate or degree by simply completing and returning the application form.

The Spirit of Truth Institute provides Bible college programs for lay Christian workers and seminary training for experienced ministers. The introductory courses offered are for Christians who wish to learn how to integrate biblical principles into their daily lives, homes, and businesses. The more advanced courses are offered for ministerial students who already have a basic working knowledge of the Bible and are seeking to develop more proficient ministerial skills. There are courses in Bible study, full gospel fundamentals, marriage, preliminary and advanced ministerial training, m essianic prophecies and their fulfillment, and end-time evangelism and the book of revelation. According to the website, “At the SOTI  the student is taught how to study Scripture diligently, comparing verse with verse to discover tremendous spiritual riches of the Bible, and learn how to communicate  the urgent  message of the Gospel to others.”

The Spirit of Truth Institute is designed so that students can receive a degree through a program of self-directed learning, without having to attend a university campus or taking classes online. All of the lectures are available in booklet form and are being prepared in CD form. The school offer degrees on all levels including; Bible Diplomas , and Associate, Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral degrees in a variety of areas. These include Biblical Studies, Christian Apologetics, Christian Counseling, Christian Education, Christian Journalism, Christology, Counseling and Communication, Church Administration, Divinity, Messianic Prophecies, Ministry, Missiology, Pastoral Counseling, Sacred Scripture, Systematic Theology, and Youth Ministries. Upon completion of all course work students are invited to attend a periodically scheduled Graduation Ceremony at Christ Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia. The institute has now graduated over six hundred students.

The Spirit of Truth Institute
2800 Blendwell Road
Richmond , VA 23224

The Spirit of Truth Institute website
The Spirit of Truth Institute representative

Profiled prepared by Courtney Culbreath
May, 2009