Prophetic Training Schools? School of the prophets? What are they for? Where do we find it in the bible?
Moses and Paul expressed the heart of God regarding the prophetic ministry in the church. Moses said, “Oh, that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” Paul echoes the same things, “I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied.” Paul of course doesn’t stop there; he gives us the reason for this desire: “…the one who prophesies builds up the church (v4).
Samuel understood it so well that he became the father of the school of prophets. It was the prophet Samuel who brought the prophetic order to prominence after the priesthood sank into a state of degeneration during the time of the judges. Samuel will develop the prophetic order by instituting colleges, companies or schools of prophets. The first school of the prophets that he founded and led during his lifetime was the prophetic school of Ramah (1 Samuel 19:19,20). This first school of the prophets was followed by others such as the prophetic schools at Bethel (2 Kings 2:3), Jericho (2 Kings 2:2,5), Gilgal (2 Kings 4:38) and elsewhere. Those schools were so successful that they supplied Israel with prophets until the end of the Old Testament.
One of the most important features of the school of the prophets were the prophetic order and the prophetic types. The prophetic order is made of three categories of prophets: The prophets in office or senior prophets (e.g. Samuel, Elijah), the prophets in training or mentorship (e.g. Joshua, Elisha) and the prophets in preparation or sons of the prophets who are students in the prophetic schools. Both the sons of the prophets and the prophets in mentorship or prophetic training were disciples of the prophets, but they were not at the same level of discipleship.
The prophets in training are called individually by senior prophets in office for a deeper, closer and more advanced training that results in them becoming prophets ready to take office. The sons of the prophets are all those who operate in the prophetic gifts such as the gift of prophecy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom etc…