Selling off and building new


Planner’s rendering of new on-campus residences to be nestled among trees on the campus of San Francisco Theological Seminary.

(Photo courtesy of HARTMARIN)

San Francisco Theological Seminary recently announced plans to sell 39 apartments and 18 houses that the school owns near its Northern California campus in the town of San Anselmo. With the proceeds, the Presbyterian Church (USA) seminary plans to build new on-campus residences for students and faculty.

In September, the seminary board endorsed a new master plan amendment and authorized interim president Laird J. Stuart to submit it to town officials. The review and approval process may take as long as 18 months.

The seminary has also announced that it will close its Southern California campus in June 2011 "as part of a larger and urgent effort to reach financial equilibrium." The seminary has been renting space for about 40 students each year from a Presbyterian church in Pasadena. The process that the board and administration used to come to the decision to close the campus is outlined in a newsletter from the seminary, which is at

Planner’s rendering of a proposed residential street to be built on the campus of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.
(Photo courtesy of HARTMARIN)

Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary has submitted a new master plan amendment that calls for expansion of faculty and student housing, the relocation of old student housing, and the sale of 30 acres of its 126-acre campus for development of market-rate homes. The Southern Baptist school is in Mill Valley, California, about 10 miles south of the Presbyterian seminary in San Anselmo.

Plans call for the addition of 12 faculty homes and 33 student housing units. This expansion, along with a significant addition to its endowment, will be funded by the sale of unused campus acreage that will be developed into a community of 72 homes, townhouses, cottages, and condos (illustrated above). A required environmental review for the project, intended to focus on "green development practices," could take a year or more.

Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, the new theological school that was profiled in the New Year 2010 issue of In Trust, has received a $2.5 million commitment toward the construction of a new building on the university campus in Marion, Indiana. The gift is coming from the family of David Green, the founder and owner of the Hobby Lobby retail chain. (See more about Green in article 'Hitting his stride' found in this issue.)

The new seminary — the first owned by the Wesleyan Church — offered its initial classes in 2009, and enrollment now stands at almost 200. Indiana Wesleyan University is pursuing additional funding for the building, which has an estimated cost of $7 million.

Hebrew College in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, is selling its campus to pay off $32 million in debt. The school has occupied its home adjacent to Andover Newton Theological School for less than a decade. The college will continue to operate while leasing space from Andover Newton. Hebrew College has also recently become a member of the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of nine schools of theology in the greater Boston area.

The American College of the Immaculate Conception, a seminary located at the Catholic University of Louvain, in Belgium, has announced its closure due to declining enrollment and difficulty in obtaining faculty.

The school was founded in 1857 by the bishops of the United States to train European men to serve as missionary priests in North America and to offer Americans seminarians the opportunity to study at Europe's oldest Catholic university. It will shut its doors in in June 2011.

Changes at the top

Stanley N. Olson

■ The board of Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, has elected the Rev. Stanley N. Olson as president, succeeding the Rev. David L. Tiede, the interim president who had been serving since the middle of 2010.

Since 2005, Olson has been executive director of the Vocation and Education program unit of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the denomination with which Wartburg is affiliated. Before that, he pastored congregations in Minnesota, taught at Luther Seminary, and served as bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA and then executive director of the denomination's Division for Ministry.

Olson is a graduate of Waldorf College, St. Olaf College, Luther Seminary, and Yale University. He and his wife, Nancy, are parents of two adult daughters.

Kenton C. Anderson

■  The Rev. Kenton C. Anderson has been appointed president of Northwest Baptist Seminary in Langley, British Columbia. He succeeds the Rev. Larry Perkins, president since 2000, who will continue as a member of the seminary faculty.

Anderson is a graduate of Northwest Baptist Seminary and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He pastored churches in British Columbia and Alberta before joining the faculty of Northwest Baptist Seminary in 1996. He was appointed dean of the seminary in 2001. Anderson and his wife, Karen, have three adult children. 

Founded in 1934, Northwest Baptist Seminary is affiliated with the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches of British Columbia, the Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Territories. It is a member of ACTS Seminaries, a consortium of five institutions that form the Graduate School of Theological Studies of Trinity Western University.

Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan

■ The Rev. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan has been appointed dean of the Drew University Theological School in Madison, New Jersey. He replaces Maxine Clarke Beach, who retired in 2010 after 10 years at the helm of the school.

In 1991, Kuan began teaching Old Testament at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, and in 2007, he was named acting vice president for academic affairs and dean at the school. Kuan was also a member of the core graduate faculty of the Graduate Theological Union, the consortium of Bay Area theological schools, and in 2009, he was named convener of the union's Biblical Studies Area.

A graduate of Trinity Theological College in Singapore, Southern Methodist University, and Emory University, Kuan is an ordained elder and full member of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Drew Theological School, founded in 1867, is also affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

■ Father Shaun L. Mahoney has been named rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. He succeeds Msgr. Joseph G. Prior, rector since 2004, who was appointed pastor of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Morrisville, Pennsylvania.

Father Mahoney was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1991. A graduate of Harvard University, St. Charles Seminary, and the Gregorian University in Rome, he taught theology at St. Charles from 2000 to 2005 and served as chaplain of the Newman Center at Temple University from 2005 to 2010.

Founded in 1832 and in its present location since 1871, St. Charles Borromeo is the seminary of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

■ The Rev. Terence Hidichuk has been appointed acting dean of the University of Winnipeg Faculty of Theology in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He succeeds the Rev. James Christie, who is now director of the Ridd Institute for Religion and Global Policy at the University of Winnipeg. Christie will also continue in the Faculty of Theology as professor of whole world ecumenism and dialogue theology.

Hidichuk, an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada, was team minister at St. Andrew's River Heights United Church at the time of his appointment. He also served as chair of the university's board of regents and was a director of the University of Winnipeg Foundation.

As part of his new responsibilities, Hidichuk has been named chair of the President's Task Force on the Academic Renewal of the Faculty of Theology. He is a graduate of Lakehead University, Queen's University, and McCormick Theological Seminary.

Jim Porter

■ The Rev. Jim Porter has been named president of Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. His predecessor, the Rev. Ronald E. Smith, president from 1998 until 2010, is now vice president of strategic development for the Francis Asbury Society and a visiting scholar in residence at Asbury Theological Seminary.

A graduate of the Oregon College of Education, Western Evangelical Seminary, Wayne State University, and the University of Oregon, Porter is an ordained United Methodist minister who has served congregations in Nebraska, Iowa, and Mississippi. He has also served as an associate professor at Wesley Biblical Seminary and as vice president of academic affairs at Wesley College. Porter and his wife, Beverly, have two adult children.

Founded in 1974, Wesley Biblical Seminary is a multidenominational school within the Methodist tradition.

Ronald E. Peters

■ The Rev. Ronald E. Peters has been named president of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia. He succeeds interim president Thomas Winston Cole Jr., the president emeritus of Clark Atlanta University. Cole had been leading the school since Dr. Michael A. Battle, ITC president since 2003, resigned in 2009 to become U.S. representative to the African Union.

Peters was formerly professor of urban ministry and director of the Metro-Urban Institute at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Peters served as a pastor in Florida for 18 years before joining the Pittsburgh faculty in 1991.

Peters is a graduate of Southern University (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and the University of Massachusetts at Amhest. He and his wife, Mary Smith Peters, have two adult children.

The Interdenominational Theological Center is a consortium of six historically black seminaries. Chartered in 1958, its members include schools from the Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, and Presbyterian traditions. The Lutheran Theological Center of Atlanta also operates on the center's campus.

Mergers Partnerships Alliances

Lutheran seminary and university to merge

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) has announced plans to unite with Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU), a Lutheran liberal arts university in Hickory, North Carolina. Under the proposal, the seminary will become the university's school of theology. It will continue to operate in Columbia, South Carolina — more than 100 miles away from LRU's main campus — and it will remain a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). 

The boards of trustees of each institution, at their spring 2011 meetings, affirmed the intent to pursue a merger after hearing the report of the partnership feasibility study committee, which was authorized in fall 2010.

The trustees also approved a preliminary timeline for completion of the merger. This summer, the two institutions will identify areas where they can combine operations to become more efficient. As part of this process, this year LRU and LTSS will begin to combine their administrative responsibilities and operations in enrollment management, financial aid, and advancement. In March 2012, the trustees of each school will receive a final recommendation for a merger agreement. The earliest possible date for a completed consolidation is summer 2012.

Shaun L. Mahoney
Shaun L. Mahoney
Top Topics
Roles & Responsibilities
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