The Interseminary Committee decided against the PSR proposal and voted in March 1961 to form a cooperative graduate program which would offer a Th.D. in church history. Each accredited seminary would set standards for the degree and confer it.

Immediate problems plagued the group, with church history faculty wanting the support of other disciplines, notably Biblical Studies and Theology. In October 1961, all seminaries except PSR agreed to form a distinct corporation to grant the doctoral degree. SFTS clarified concerns over policy, administration, and academic standards.