Verity was founded by Trent Thompson who worked in the Advanced Training Institute (ATI) department of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). He saw a need for a program that would help students obtain a college degree without going into debt or losing their faith. He proposed the idea to Dr William Gothard, President and Founder of IBLP. The idea was to develop a college-level program that would grant an accredited degree in twenty-one months while preparing students to be Christ-like examples in the world around them. After much planning, research, and development, Verity Institute officially began accepting students in the fall of 2001.
Verity Institute’s first facility was the Riverfront Character Inn in Flint, Michigan. Approximately fifty students came to pioneer this innovative learning program.
Proving the viability of this new program, Verity Institute had its first Commencement Ceremony in May 2003. The first graduating class was addressed by Michigan Representative Ken Bradstreet.
In the summer of 2006, under the leadership of Pastor Woody Shoemaker, Verity moved to a new location on the southeast side of Indianapolis, Indiana. The new facility included green fields for recreational activities, space for new classrooms, and ample dorm rooms and apartments for students and staff. Renovation began immediately and the hallways were transformed into Verity Institute’s campus.
From its inception, Verity Institute has placed a high priority on ministry and service. Verity’s first class went on a two-week mission trip to Monterrey, Mexico in 2003, and since then, Verity has sent teams to Peru, Romania, China, Israel, Mexico, and Taiwan to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dr . Kevin McCray joined the Verity team as the Director of Biblical Studies in 2004, after he and his family had served for three years in Romania with IBLP. In 2007 Dr. McCray became Verity’s third director, with a renewed vision to “disciple college students.” He was supported by Dr. Gabriel Castelino, Director of Academics.
As Verity grew, new degrees were added to the program, most of which were granted from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey. In 2009, Thomas Edison and Verity Institute developed a partnership which includes the benefit of in-state tuition for Verity students. This ongoing partnership also provides increased efficiency and effectiveness for Verity students enrolled with Thomas Edison.
The list of Verity’s degree programs continued to grow as the Culinary Arts Program was added in 2010, followed by Elementary Education in 2011. Verity now provides over 20 degree programs, and works with over 30 universities and colleges to help students complete their degrees.
In the fall of 2011 Verity reached its ten-year milestone when it welcomed the 2013 class for their Orientation. That same year, Verity reached another milestone when it became incorporated in the state of Indiana. The newly formed Verity Institute Foundation Board first convened in 2011 as well, headed by G. Thomas Samaha as Chairman, joining the Board of Advisors, under the leadership of Dr. Larry Guthrie, organized in 2009. The two boards were merged in 2012.
Today, Verity Institute exists “to develop leaders who love Jesus Christ and the Word of God.” Throughout its journey as an educational institution, from 2001 until now, God has continually allowed Verity to stay on mission and adhere to the authority of Scripture, the supremacy of Christ, and the love of God. Verity was established to equip Christian leaders to change the world, and continues to this day with the primary goal of bringing glory and honor to Jesus Christ and bringing the gospel to the ends of the world.