The next chapter in the life of the Seminary continues to be written. You are aware that in May, our Board announced the careful, prayerful and difficult decision to move to a new Seminary home after 63 years at our current location at 631 S. Limestone.
Today, we share with you news about our next location. As we noted in May, the Board is committed to maintaining our home in Lexington. Indeed, we are not moving far: less than 4 miles away at 230 Lexington Green Complex. The property, with convenient access to New Circle and Nicholasville Road, has more than 16,000 square feet of space, which includes classrooms, a library, administrative offices on the 3rd floor, and fellowship and worship space on the 5th floor.
As Board of Trustees Chairman Gary Kidwell says, we believe this temporary space better meets the current spatial and financial needs of the Seminary as we assess our future facility requirements, whether a free-standing campus space or an existing facility such as this one. The Board will carefully consider our long-term facility needs as we make our home and open our doors to our students, alumni, supporters and the wider community of which we are a part.
As you know, this is both an exciting and challenging time as we have transformed our curriculum by embracing technology as a tool to transcend barriers, support the student’s relationship with the congregation, and enhance the academic excellence and relevance of our programs.
The Seminary will relocate its administration offices by December 31. On-campus classes will move to the new facility after January 2014. The library will be relocated by August 2014.
A dedication and service of blessing for the Limestone campus is scheduled for November 15 at 11:30 a.m. in the Sanders Chapel. We hope you will be a part of this special service.
As always, we recognize and honor the history of Lexington Theological Seminary, the deep affection and connection to our Limestone campus, and the pioneering spirit and commitment to mission and ministry that have made LTS a leader in theological education – then, now, and in the future.
We continue to provide updates on our website at www.lextheo.edu/transformation. There you will find a list of frequently asked questions, news about the move, and more information as it becomes available.
Thank you for your continued support of the Seminary as we faithfully prepare our students for ministry, thus furthering God’s work in the world.
Dr. Charisse. L. Gillett, President
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Where will the Seminary be located?
The trustees have committed to maintaining the Seminary’s location in Lexington, Kentucky. The next location (for approximately five years) is 230 Lexington Green Complex.
How will the new campus be chosen?
The location will provide administrative and educational space to meet the needs of our growing student body and will be chosen based upon input from a cross section of the LTS community. The Seminary will move to a short-term location for approximately five years. A task force will identify the long-term facility needs of the Seminary and recommend options to the board for a permanent campus including renovation of an existing space and the acquisition of land for a new space.
How will the new campus be paid for?
Trustees voted to set aside proceeds from the sale of the property to pay for a new campus.
Why did the Limestone campus have to be sold?
The current location was constructed to educate and house approximately 250 residential students. The Seminary was never able to sustain this level of enrollment and like many congregations found itself with a costly physical plant, which remained underutilized.
What is the impact on the operating budget?
There will be some costs savings related to overall operating budget.
What will be the policy and practice for the use of the proceeds from the sale?
Proceeds from the sale will be placed in the endowment with some going to a separate fund to make it possible to acquire a permanent campus.
Does the amount of money available to spend on operations increase because of the sale?
The trustees and administration are committed to maintaining the long-term financial stability of the institution, while ensuring that LTS remains a quality place to work and study. Thus, budget decisions will be made to support the educational mission and financial stability of the institution.
Once the sale is complete, does this mean the Seminary will be out of financial exigency?
No. In its October 2010 board meeting the board determined the following three conditions must be met for three consecutive years in order for the Seminary to declare itself out of financial exigency:
- The Seminary must have a balanced budget.
- The Seminary must not exceed the 5% draw on the endowment.
- The value of the historic endowment must be restored and made whole.
Again, once these three conditions have been met for three consecutive years, the trustees will then consider the question of financial exigency.
What is the financial situation of the Seminary?
The financial outlook is encouraging. The Seminary is living within its means with a balanced budget and an endowment draw of 5.34% (FY11) and 5.17% (FY12). The endowment at the end of FY12 was $19,454,756.00
How will the library holdings be managed during the transition period between temporary and permanent?
LTS will always have a library appropriate for its mission. Students will continue to have full access to library services. The long-term configuration of the library is being studied by a task force, which will bring recommendations to the full board at its October 2013 meeting. The library will remain on Limestone Street until August 2014.
How will the sale of the Limestone campus impact current students?
Students will continue to take classes online and complete ministry in their accountable ministry sites. The June 2013 and January 2014 Intensives will be held on the Limestone campus. The transition to a new location will occur in such a way as to minimize any disruption to the online classroom.
Will the move affect the Seminary’s accreditation with the Association of Theological Schools?
No. We are keeping ATS informed about the move, and once we have our new site, they will visit it as a matter of mutual accountability, but it will not affect our accreditation.
Will alumni have a chance to return to the campus?
Absolutely! The LTS Alumni Association is planning an exciting Homecoming celebration for June 21-22, 2013, and leading up to the relocation a Chapel Service and luncheon will be held for all members of the community.
We will post updates on this page as they become available throughout this process.
Founded in 1865, LTS is the oldest seminary affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has been a part of the Lexington community since its early days at Bacon College. Beginning in 2010, Lexington Theological Seminary has transformed its curriculum, is focusing on congregation-based settings for theological formation of students, and is taking advantage of 21stcentury technology to connect students and faculty without requiring students to move to campus to pursue a master’s degree, doctorate and/or certificate program. Students converge on campus twice a year for two weeks at a time while maintaining community through online communications, peer groups, mentorships and events throughout the year. For more information on degrees and continuing education programs please go to www.lextheo.edu.