Synan graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.A. in American
history in 1958, and in the fall of the same year began his teaching career.
From 1956 to 1962, he helped plant three churches in Virginia and from 1967 to 1974 he planted one in Georgia. From
1963 to 1975, he also taught history at his alma mater, Emmanuel College. Synan received a full scholarship with stipend from
the State of Georgia to prepare for his calling as a historian. In 1965, he
completed his M.A. and in 1967 his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in American Social and Intellectual History.
After Pentecostal World Conf. in TX in 1970 the Society for
Pentecostal Studies was formed and Synan was elected as its first General Secretary and served as the editor of their newsletters for several years.
Synan has published several books, fifteen of which are related to Pentecostal and Charismatic history. He once served as the Director of the Holy Spirit Research Center at Oral Roberts University. He also served as General Secretary of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. Since 1994, he has served as Dean of the School of Divinity at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.