Fuller Theological Seminary Will Pack Up and Leave Pasadena, Sell Campus

Published : Tuesday, May 22, 2018 | 3:20 PM

[Updated]  Fuller Theological Seminary, for 70 years a fixture in Pasadena’s downtown, will leave the city and put up its entire current 13-acre campus complex for sale.

Fuller President Mark Labberton announced Tuesday a new vision for the future of the seminary’s education programs.

Fuller will relocate to Pomona by 2021, Labberton said.

In a letter on Fuller’s website, President Mark Labberton announced the move saying, “In the last few years we have been through meticulous financial excavation, budget scrutiny, and painful cuts as we’ve navigated an increasingly challenging and disrupted higher education landscape. Belt-tightening alone, though, is not enough for the level of change occurring…Through the extensive labor of some of Fuller’s most skilled and influential advisors and trustees, we have decided to begin our next season 27 miles east in Pomona.”

Acting provost Mari Clements Fuller confirmed the move Tuesday to the LA Times saying the school’s relocation “will make a Fuller education in reach of more people.”

Fuller leaves behind several buildings spread over a six-block area near the intersection of Los Robles Avenue and Walnut Street in Pasadena.

The current campus, founded by evangelist Charles E. Fuller, host of the radio broadcast “Old Fashioned Revival Hour,” opened in 1947 with just 39 students enrolled. Today, more than 400 students roam the school’s halls in pursuit of post-graduate degrees in theology, psychology, and intercultural studies.

Fuller’s houses located in the Ford Place Historic District are protected, as they are on the National Register of Historic Places, but other buildings owned by the school could be repurposed or razed—those include 248 apartments, a recently built library, administrative offices, an auditorium and lecture halls.

The campus will be on the market in about 30 days, real estate broker Chalvis Evans of CBRE told the LA Times. Potential buyers range from businesses looking to occupy their own buildings to developers who want build on the property.

Fuller spokesman Britt Vaughan said a price has not been set for the sale of the Pasadena property, but if the campus is sells quickly, Fuller will lease the space as a tenant until it makes the move to Pomona in 2021.

The new campus will feature state-of-the-art facilities designed to serve both traditional and online learning along with smarter centralized administration. The relocation to Pomona is expected to take place in three years.

Building on its history of the institution’s theological scholarship paired with “courageous innovation,” Labberton declared Fuller will be undergoing a transformation that will bring its scholarship to more leaders in communities that need it most.

Labberton said that Fuller plans to expand its offerings to allow leaders around the globe to participate in substantive learning experiences while serving in their communities, churches, and jobs. The offerings include traditional degree education, formation experiences, professional certificates, and resources.

“Wider access to Fuller’s scholarship is a critical element in this time of transformation,” said President Labberton. “As we innovate new applications of technology and vocation formation, distance is not an obstacle to forming local leaders around the globe. In fact, when leaders from widespread contexts come together for dynamic online learning experiences, it facilitates a global perspective not previously possible in the history of the church.”

“As CEO of one of the great high-tech innovative companies, I live daily in the need to innovate or die,” said Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware and a friend of the seminary. “Fuller has constantly sought to bring an innovative spirit and deep theological scholarship as it equips influencers of all kinds. Fuller has always known how to adapt to shifting needs without losing its biblical grounding—shaping the kinds of courageous, innovative, and faithful evangelical leaders we’re going to need more than ever.”

Fuller’s seven decades of robust theological scholarship has been defined by innovation, from Charles Fuller’s Old Fashioned Revival Hour radio show to offerings like FULLER studio, Fuller Leadership Platform, and fully online master’s degrees, all while remaining committed to on-campus education and biblical orthodoxy.

Additional information and ongoing updates about this transformation are available at www.fuller.edu/future.

blog comments powered by Disqus