President's Newsletter Spring 2002
Louisville Seminary | Apr 01, 2002
This spring we are launching a major effort to fund the construction of a new academic building for Louisville Seminary. It is an exciting new venture, for it will address the overcrowded conditions we currently have and offer room for modest expansion in the future.
The building will be located on a stunning site overlooking Seneca Park. It will actually wrap around the current boiler plant and use the roof of the boiler plant as the courtyard. Former Dean Louis Weeks once wryly observed that the best example of original sin at Louisville Seminary was that the boiler plant got the best site, with the best view to the city. No more!
It will have two stories above the ground as you look at the building from the academic quadrangle, and there will be two more floors built beneath that and into the side of the hill, much the way the addition to the library was constructed. It will have a total of 14 new faculty offices, four new staff offices, and nine new classrooms. One floor will be left undeveloped for future expansion.
The cost: $7.8 million, plus another $1.6 million to endow the maintenance of the building. We hope to break ground by the middle of 2003, during the 150th anniversary celebration, and move in during the summer of 2005. The long period of construction is due to what the architects call “a challenging site.” (It is indeed that!)
One question people are asking is why? Let me address this question as follows:
• We are out of space. Three secretaries share offices in a hallway at Gardencourt. Other secretaries are working in former closets. Others are doubling up. Classroom space is at a premium, especially at key hours of the day. We have already created four temporary faculty offices in the Horn Museum in the library, but we have promised to return that space to its original use after the building is completed.
• Enrollment is growing, in both degree and non-degree programs. Louisville Seminary has historically offered the M.Div., M.A., Th.M., and D.Min. programs, but we now also offer the Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT)—with the third largest enrollment in the seminary. We are extensively involved in offering church officer training, education for Commissioned Lay Pastors, a mentoring program in preaching and pastoral counseling recently funded by our late alumnus Donald Deane, educational programs for church leaders through the Center for Congregations and Family Ministries, on site training of counselors through the Louisville Seminary Counseling Ministry, and the expanded program of the Louisville Institute for pastors, church leaders, and religious scholars.
• In short, the chickens have come home to roost. When I became President in 1981, I said that I hoped we would never have to build a building as long as I was President because I wanted the Seminary’s energy and resources poured into people and programs. In large measure, we succeeded, and now we need the physical space to accommodate the expanded programs and enriched services we offer to the church and the community. The new space will help to pull together many of these areas that are now scattered across the campus.
• Furthermore, Louisville Seminary has always built for present need, rather than future need. The buildings on Alta Vista could not accommodate the student body when the Seminary was moved in 1963, so the first item on the agenda became the construction of more married student housing. When we acquired Gardencourt in 1987, it was fully occupied by the time its renovation was completed.
That is our most urgent need—space. But the new academic building will also be equipped with the technological resources needed for effective teaching in theological education today—for counseling, preaching, worship, Bible, theology, church history, and more. We have already equipped most of the classrooms in our present buildings with these resources, and students are enthusiastic about how they enhance their education within the classroom.
You’ll hear more, but I wanted you to know of our excitement as the effort begins. But please remember: All of these bricks are finally in service of our primary mission—to educate men and women for the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ. If the building could not be justified in those terms, it would never be built.
And now may the Lord bless and keep you and your family and friends, and may this Eastertide be the occasion and the opportunity for renewing your relationship with Christ.
John M. Mulder
Please tell us about a candidate for ministry using the enclosed postage-paid response card. We would love to be in touch with them. You may also contact Rev. Marilyn Gamm, Director of Admissions, 502.895.3411, or toll-free, 800.264.1839. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.lpts.edu.
And, of course, if you would like to make a gift to Louisville Seminary or to the Academic Building, please contact the Office for Seminary Relations or me, e-mail: email@example.com.