The origin of the Liberal Catholic Institute of Study can be traced to the Liberal Catholic Seminar founded after World War II by the Rt. Rev. Adriaan G. Vreede. Bp. Vreede has written a remarkably well prepared and instructive course for the training of the Dutch Clergy, during the war, and wanted to continue to use the St Michaels Center as the source for Clergy training in Europe.
Around 1964, at the request of Bp. Augustus Goetmakers, Bp. Vreede's course was restructured by the then Rev. Maurice Warnon, M.S., a graduated from the Free University of Brussels (Belgium) in Methodology of Education. The result was a course organized in four years of study, each year having two semesters, to conform with the general practices in the academic world.
At the time, and this probably still true today, the Liberal Catholic Clergy came from two major sources: (1) the Theosophical Society, (2) Christian clergy from other denominations in search of a more liberal church.
Most theosophical clergy usually had a very good spiritual training but knew little of Christian doctrine and theology; most non-theosophical clergy had very good doctrinal and theological training, but suffered from a lack of theosophical background. The purpose of the Courses for Clergy training was to address both issues.
During the following years, the Rt. rev. Sten von Krusenstierna, a polyglot very fluent in Swedish, English and Dutch, became impressed by the quality of Clergy training in the Netherlands. He created a task force of ten priests to present a comprehensive program to be used as an international training facility for Liberal Catholic Clergy, based on the 1964 restructured Curriculum by Bp. Vreede. The task force presented its conclusion at the 1976 meeting of the General Episcopal Synod, in Ojai.
The LCIS was officially chartered by the General Episcopal Synod in 1976, and became the recommended program for the training of the Clergy of the Liberal Catholic Church worldwide. The General Episcopal Synod of Sydney has re-affirmed the importance of the Institute for Clergy training, and recommends its course for lay members as well.
The last International Director of the LCIS is the Rt. Rev. Allen Bradley, Auxiliary Bishop of the Australian Province. He succeeded in September 1996 to the Rt. Rev. Sten von Krusenstierna and the Rt. Rev. Tom Degenaars. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, a unified curriculum could not be maintained in the various Campuses of the LCIS mainly for social and cultural reasons. Another was the complexity resulting from the printing and the mailing of the various Study Guides to the students.
Beginning of 1998, the Canadian Campus took the responsibility to offer the courses, free of charge, over the internet, first in French, later in English. A special web site was created, protected by passwords. This web site is intended as a service to the various Liberal Catholic Ordinary Bishops, but does not intend to intervene in the exercise of their ministry. The assignments of the students are sent directly to the respective bishops for evaluation.