The School of Mission and Theology (Stavanger) was founded in 1843 by the Norwegian Mission Society, with the purpose of training ministers and teachers for missionary service in other parts of the world on the behalf of the Church of Norway. Until the merger with VID in 2016, the School of Mission and Theology was the third oldest independent institution of higher learning in Norway, after the Military Academy (1750) and the University of Oslo (1811).
The School of Mission and Theology was the first Norwegian college to focus on the world beyond Europe, the first college with African students (from the 1860s onwards) and the only college to provide opportunities for young people from poor sections of society to train to become ordained ministers.
In 2008 the School of Mission and Theology was accredited as a university college with a comprehensive range of study programmes in theology, religion, culture and society. In 2016 the college brought with it this accreditation into VID Specialized University.