The Connecticut Institute of Christian Religion (CICR) was founded and organized in the summer of 1977 by seven (7) Baptist Pastors, four of whom are deceased. The founders and organizers were the Reverend Dr. Sulton Stack Jr., Pastor of St. Paul Missionay Baptist Church, Bridgeport, Connecticut; Reverend Dr. Jerome Streets, and Reverend Michael P. Williams, the late Shearon Dudley; then Pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Bridgeport, Connecticut; the late Reverend William O. Johnson, then Pastor of First Baptist Church, Stratford, Connecticut, the late William D. Kenney, then Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, Bridgeport, Connecticut; the late Reverend Ruben E. Williams, then Pastor of Messiah Baptist Church, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
The purpose of the school was to meet the needs of ministers and lay persons that could spend only a limited time in the formal learning situation. The school was designed to make maximum use of limited time, by offering courses in those areas of Christian Religion that can provide knowledge and competence for those immediate life situations and opportunities facing each student.
What the student learns at CICR is what the student needs to know in order to respond with appropiate effectiveness to his or her particular Christian concern or calling.
The first registration for classes occurred on Saturday, September 17, 1977, at the Messiah Baptist Church where thirteen eager students enrolled. The school was housed and nurtured at Messiah Baptist Church from its inception until 1996. CICR enjoyed their hospitality every first, third and fifth Saturday of the month from September to May. As CICR student population increased the programming at Messiah Baptist Church was growing as well, it was evident a new home was needed for the school.
Arrangements were made to move CICR classes to the University of Bridgeport campus for the 1996-1997 academic year. That year proved to be an experience and confirmed that a church environment was needed.
September 1998, the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church opened its newly renovated and remodeled edifice to CICR. Today, CICR continues to enjoy the generosity of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church for its Bridgeport, Connecticut, site.
September 2009, the Danbury, Connecticut, campus was opened. Christian Community Outreach Ministeries graciously opened its facilities to CICR.
Although CICR was founded and organized by Baptist Pastors its thrust and philosophy is Christian but nondenominational.
The teaching staff is comprised of various denominations and beliefs, and incorporates at times lay teachers.
The first Dean of the School was Reverend Michael P. Williams, then Pastor of East End Tabernacle Baptist Church, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
The School's second Dean was Reverend Ruben E. Williams, then Pastor of Messiah Baptist Church, Bridgeport, Connecticut, capably fulfiled the office for 14 years.
In 1993 the torch was passed to Reverend Dr. James R. Cook Sr., Pastor of Christ the Redeemer Missionary Baptist Church, who who continues to serve today as Dean/President.
The student body has consisted of students from all locatons of the State, from as far East as New London, Connecticut , as far North as Hartford, Connecticut, as far West as Danbury, Connecticut, and as far South as Stamford, Connecticut.
Many of our students have gone on to become Pastors, Assistant Pastors, and Ministers. Some have become Evangelists, Foreign Missionaries and they serve in other leadership positions within the church.
We are proud that many of our faculty members are CICR graduates, and have achieved higher academic pursuits.
In 2002 a scholarship was established for the late Rev. Dr. Aaron Samuels, a CICR a tenured instructor of the Gosples, who who went home to Glory, in 2002.
CICR has achieved two milestones:
1. An active Alumni Association that works closely with the School and faculty to increase awareness of the School, and provide support to the student body.
2. A Danbury campus was opened September, 2009.