Tyndale University College & Seminary has acquired the property of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto.

Ensuring room for future expansion, Tyndale University College & Seminary, an independent evangelical school in Toronto, is purchasing a 56-acre campus from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, a Roman Catholic religious order that has occupied the site since 1961. The transaction has been valued at 40 million Canadian dollars and was approved by the Vatican.

The new campus is near Tyndale's current home, which will continue to be used by the university. The transfer of the property will take place in stages over a period of up to 10 years.

Tyndale University College & Seminary, established in 1894, is one of a relatively small number of Canadian institutions of higher education that receive no public funding. The school's president and vice chancellor, Dr. Brian C. Stiller, was a member of the board of In Trust Inc. from 2001 to 2006.

Kansas City Baptist seminary moves to new home

Central Baptist Theological Seminary, associated with the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., has moved from its 12-building campus in Kansas City, Kansas, to a new 10-acre site in suburban Shawnee, Kansas.

The school's board voted in November to leave the property that it had occupied for 82 years, mostly because of financial pressures associated with aging buildings. The move promises to save the school up to $400,000 per year in reduced operating expenses. The old campus is now for sale.

In zoning dispute, New York court rules in seminary's favor

In June, the highest appeals court in New York state ruled in favor of the Legionaries of Christ, a Roman Catholic religious congregation involved in a dispute with the town of Mount Pleasant. 

Central Baptist's new home in Shawnee, Kansas.

Since 1997, the Legionaries have been training men for the priesthood on a 97-acre campus that was formerly a corporate training center for IBM. The order had applied for tax-exempt status for the property, which currently generates $1.8 million per year in taxes.

Mount Pleasant officials claimed that the seminary violates the local zoning ordinance, which does not permit a school on that property. The state Court of Appeals sided with the seminary, saying that for zoning purposes, the operation of a seminary is essentially the same as the parcel's former use as a corporate training center.

The town will repay back taxes to the Legionaries of Christ. In its ruling, the state court did not make reference to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.

Groundwater will keep Episcopal seminary comfortable

This fall the General Theological Seminary, an Episcopal school in New York City, will beginning digging wells for an energy-efficient geothermal heating and cooling system. Twenty-two standing column wells, each eight inches in diameter and deeper than the Empire State Building is tall, will be drilled into the sidewalks surrounding the seminary.

Geothermal heat pumps like the one planned for General operate by taking advantage of the constant temperature of groundwater. During warm months, the system will cool 260,000 square feet of campus buildings by transferring heat down into the 55-degree groundwater. During the winter, the heat from the groundwater will be transferred up, helping to warm the buildings. Seminary officials estimate that reduced energy costs will pay for the new system in nine years.

In a related campus matter, the General Theological Seminary is once again reviewing plans for a 17-story mixed-use office tower on its campus, which is in the low-rise Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Nearby residents have objected to the tower, which would generate revenue that the seminary hopes to use to renovate and restore its landmark 19th-century buildings.

Church sues county over zoning restrictions

McLean Bible Church, a large non-denominational congregation in Fairfax County, Virginia, is suing the county in an effort to continue offering accredited seminary classes. County officials claim that by offering the courses, the church is operating as a college and is in violation of local zoning codes.

Capital Bible Seminary in nearby Lanham, Maryland, offers the courses at McLean Bible Church, which lead to master's degrees in theology and divinity. Fairfax County claims that the church's original use permit, approved in 1999, does not allow the 43-acre property to be used as a school. The church asserts that Bible study and education are part of its religious mission, and that with fewer than 100 persons attending classes at any one time, impact on local traffic is negligible.

The suit was filed in July in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, citing the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, which requires local governments to show a compelling, overriding need if they limit religious activity through zoning or other land use regulations.

Other real estate news

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary is planning a new $8.4 million dormitory on its 13-acre campus across the street from the University of Texas. The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Oklahoma, gave the school a $2 million challenge grant toward the project.

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School has begun leasing excess space on its Rochester, New York, campus to the Ithaca College School of Health Sciences and Human Performance. Ithaca College's Rochester Center, with seven faculty members and 100 students, will occupy 16,000 square feet and share another 10,000 square feet with the seminary.

Denver Seminary's 11.4-acre former campus in Englewood, Colorado, has been sold to a real estate development firm for $12.4 million. Continuum Partners plans a $500 million development on the site, including condos, townhouses, retail, and office space.

Mid-America Baptist Seminary, a 34-year-old school in Memphis, Tennessee, moved into a new 51-acre campus this summer. The new location, formerly a Baptist church, includes a 130,000-square-foot academic and administration building that features a 1,100-seat chapel, a gymnasium, a bookstore, and a dining hall in addition to classroom space.

The city council of Kansas City, Missouri, has approved a zoning change and taxpayer subsidy that will allow Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to sell part of its property to a developer. The sale will generate $8.2 million for the school, and the developer will build a $51 million retail center on the site.

Princeton Theological Seminary has received a $50,000 grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust that will go toward a survey of the school's significant buildings. The survey is the first step in a multiyear plan to renovate and preserve the historic campus.

A former board member has donated $2.5 million to Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia. The funds will help pay for a renovation to a 19th-century building on campus. The nearby Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond has received a $3 million challenge grant as part of a $19 million campaign to improve the seminary's facilities and build its endowment.

New resources for theological school leaders

A Handbook for Seminary Presidents
Edited by G. Douglass Lewis and Lovett H.Weems Jr. (William B. Eerdmans, 2006, 250 pp., $24).

Published in cooperation with the Association of Theological Schools, the long-awaited handbook reflects the wisdom of 16 lead contributors, 32 co-authors, and 12 outside readers -- a monumental enterprise. The first 12 chapters focus largely on the theological school president's various roles: the president's place in administration and personnel management, the president's place in defining mission and strategic planning, the president's place in governance, etc.

The last four chapters examine unique issues facing presidents of color, women presidents, leaders of university-based schools, and leaders of Canadian schools.

Ten of In Trust's board members, governance mentors, and staff are included among the contributors, including editor Douglass Lewis, who serves as chair of In Trust's board. A complete review of the new handbook will appear in a later issue of In Trust.

The Legacy Project: Presidential Leadership in Christian Higher Education
Edited by Steve G.W. Moore (DVD, Providence House Publishers, 2006, $25)

A senior fellow at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and a faculty member at Asbury Theological Seminary, Steve Moore taped one-on-one interviews with 17 veteran presidents of evangelical colleges and seminaries. The edited interviews were then cut into short segments and grouped into DVD "chapters," each of which addresses a topic like board relations, faculty relations, students, and institutional mission. Each chapter includes short clips of interviews with several different presidents.

Even more interesting are the two "roundtable discussions" at the end of the DVD -- one with six of the presidents, and the other with five presidents' wives. The inclusion of the women's voices is a welcome addition to what is otherwise an all-male crowd.

By collecting some of the good advice of experienced presidents and presenting it in an accessible, digital format, Steve Moore has offered a service that new presidents should welcome.

Changes at the top

The Rev. Manfred Zeuch has been named fifth president of Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta, replacing the Rev. Arthur Bacon, a U.S. Army Reserve chaplain who resigned last year when he was called to active duty. Dr. Edward G. Kettner, who is academic dean, director of library services, and professor of systematic theology, has been serving as interim president.

Dr. Zeuch is currently professor of systematic theology at the Universidade Luterana do Brasil, in the Brazilian city of Canoas, and also teaches in the university's law school. Previously he served as a pastor in Brazil and in France, where he was president of the Alsace-Antwerp region of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Synod of France and Belgium. He is a graduate of Concordia Seminary in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and the Université Marc Bloch in Strasbourg, France.

Concordia Lutheran Seminary is a school of the Lutheran Church - Canada, a sister fellowship of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.

John Hartog III

The Rev. John Hartog III has been named acting president of Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary in Ankeny, Iowa. The school, founded in 1921 as the Omaha Bible Institute, is affiliated with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.

Hartog has been acting president since May 2005, when the school's president, Dr. Richard Houg, began a sabbatical for reasons of health. In September 2005, Dr. Houg announced that he would continue his sabbatical until his resignation date of June 30, 2006. He served as president for 10 years.

Dr. Hartog is vice president for academic services and dean of the seminary, as well as professor of Old Testament studies and Old Testament department chair. He is a graduate of Calvary Bible College, Faith Baptist Theological Seminary, Grace Theological Seminary, the University of Minnesota, and Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis. He is also senior pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Cambridge, Iowa.

Kevin Ogilvie

The Rev. Kevin Ogilvie has been named president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, replacing the Rev. Faith E. Rohrbough, who retired in 2004. The Rev. Erwin Buck, now professor emeritus of New Testament at the seminary, served as interim president.

Ogilvie was previously a missionary to Madagascar with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. While there, he was an administrator and instructor at the Regional Lutheran Theological Seminary in Bezaha between 1996 and 2000.

Ogilvie graduated from Davidson College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and he has done graduate work at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa. He is the father of a 12-year-old adopted son from Madagascar.

Lutheran Theological Seminary is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

The Rev. Marcus J. Miller has been named president of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, replacing the Rev. H. Frederick Reisz Jr., who retired after 14 years as president of the school.

Marcus J. Miller

Dr. Miller has been bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 1995. Previously he was the pastor of Lutheran congregations in Brooklyn, Ohio, and Mount Vernon, NewYork.

Dr. Miller is a graduate of Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne, Indiana; Concordia Seminary in St. Louis; and New York Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Katherine, a middle school band director, have two adult children.

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, in Columbia, South Carolina, was founded in 1830 and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Dr. Michael Palmer has been named dean of the Regent University School of Divinity, replacing Dr. Vinson Synan, who was named dean emeritus and has returned to teaching as professor of divinity.

Michael Palmer

Dr. Palmer has been on the faculty of Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, since 1985, most recently as professor of philosophy. From 1992 to 2002 he was chair of theology at the school, and from 2003 to 2006 he was director of Project Envision, an initiative funded by the Lilly Endowment. He is a graduate of the University of Montana and Marquette University. Members of the Assemblies of God, Dr. Palmer and his wife, Connie, a music educator, are the parents of two adult sons (one of whom is no longer living).

Regent University School of Divinity is a non-denominational evangelical school in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The university was founded in 1978 by Pat Robertson, president of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and Robertson remains the school's president and chancellor.

Jeffrey Monforton

Cardinal Adam Maida, archbishop of Detroit, has appointed Msgr. Jeffrey Monforton as rector and president of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, replacing Father Steven Boguslawski, who has become acting director of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.

Msgr. Monforton was previously pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in Detroit, and before that was the personal priest secretary to Cardinal Maida. A Detroit native, he was ordained in 1994 after studying for the priesthood at Sacred Heart and at the Gregorian University in Rome.

Sacred Heart is the seminary of the Archdiocese of Detroit, with 97 seminarians as well as 420 lay students in its Institute for Ministry.

Dr. Nadine Pence has been named the third director of the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, replacing Dr. Lucinda Huffaker, who joined the Center as associated director in 1997 and became director in 2002. The center, founded 10 years ago and funded by the Lilly Endowment, encourages improvements in teaching and learning in theological schools and in college religion departments throughout North America. The center is housed at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Dr. Pence will assume her new duties on January 1. She is currently professor of theology at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Indiana, where she has taught since 1991. She has served as acting dean and has been director of the M.A. in theology program since 1995.

Dr. Pence graduated from Manchester College, Bethany Seminary, and the University of Chicago. She is a lifelong member of the Church of the Brethren.


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