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Gordon-Conwell Seminary to sell 100-acre main campus to preserve 'long-term fiscal health'

Gordon-Conwell
The Kerr building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts |

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary has announced plans to sell its 100-plus acre campus in Massachusetts and move to a yet-to-be-determined location in the Boston metropolitan area.

In an announcement earlier this week, the multi-site seminary with over 1,400 students worldwide stated intentions to sell its Hamilton campus as part of a "staged process."

Gordon-Conwell Director of Marketing & Communications Debora de Paula Hoyle told The Christian Post in an e-mail that the decision is "aimed at supporting the long-term fiscal health" of the institution, which dates back to 1888. 

"The seminary's budget has been increasingly focused on the maintenance of its Hamilton campus despite more students than ever before utilizing other campuses and remote options in lieu of the in-person Hamilton campus experience," said Hoyle. 

"Selling the campus will allow us to avert these financial trends while funding a new generation of programs and faculty — while connecting us to our urban roots and communities in Boston."

The seminary's announcement stated that it hopes to "leverage the economic value of its main campus" by "selling significant portions, or all, of its 100+ acre Hamilton campus and exploring facilities in the Metro Boston area."

Hoyle said that while Gordon-Conwell doesn't "have exact locations yet" for where it will move its Hamilton campus staff, "we do hope to locate in several neighborhoods throughout the city rather than just one central location."

"It is also important to us that our homes in Boston provide us with a connection to the cultural and religious diversity of the city's many unique neighborhoods," she added. 

Gordon-Conwell President Scott Sunquist stated that the eventual move to Boston "is the latest of a long series of re-inventions for our institution."

"Change has been a constant at Gordon-Conwell, from its origins in the basement of Temple Baptist Church in North Philadelphia and its sister institutions Boston Missionary Training Institute and Clarendon Street Church," Sunquist said.

"In the years since our founding, we've evolved continuously to meet the needs of the global Church and next generation of Christ-centered leaders who will lead it."

Sunquist said the city provides a "rich tapestry of local, diverse churches" for the seminary to embrace its "urban roots."

"We will also be placing ourselves in the strongest financial position we have been in a quarter of a century, allowing us to better fulfill our calling to equip Church leaders to think theologically, engage globally, and live biblically," he said. 

In addition to its Hamilton location, Gordon-Conwell lists campuses in downtown Boston, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida.

The seminary also boasts a student body that includes people representing 85 different denominations and 50 countries. Gordon-Conswell's stated goal is to "develop Christian leaders who are thoughtful, globally aware, spiritually mature and ready for a broad array of ministries."

In an interview with The Christian Post last year, Sunquist said his seminary focuses on "discipleship and virtue formation in theological education," including "communal formation."  

"This is intentional, personal and communal formation that is not detached from academic formation," said Sunquist at the time. "Thus, we are working hard at biblical contexts — as we always have — but we are now working harder than we previously had to understand contemporary contexts: social, political, economic, etc."  

"Thus, we are adding virtue formation, in the form of discipleship, to the lives of all of our students while they are students at Gordon-Conwell."

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