EVANSTON, September 23, 2011—Officials at Seabury Western Theological Seminary announced today that the school will move from suburban Evanston into space at the Lutheran Center, the headquarters of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in Chicago.
“Our new quarters, just a few minutes from O’Hare Airport, will not only make it easier for us to attract top-quality faculty and students, but will make tangible our commitment to ecumenical collaboration like that exemplified by our partners at Bexley Hall,” said Robert Bottoms, who serves as interim president of both Seabury and Bexley Hall, which is located on the campus of Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.
The move, expected to take place in early December, will provide Seabury with more flexible offices and classrooms, said Elizabeth Jameson, Seabury’s vice president and chief operating officer. In particular, said Jameson, “We will continue to have space for worship at our center. Renowned liturgist Dent Davidson and scholar John Dally are helping to create what John referred to as ‘a striking statement of presence’ in the midst of new offices and classrooms.”
Seabury sold its property and buildings in Evanston to Northwestern University as part of its 2008 reorganization and has been renting back part of that space since the sale.
“Seabury is flourishing,” said Bottoms. “Our old space will no longer accommodate our needs. Our faculty, students, and partners travel from across the Midwest and beyond, and we are eager to welcome them in a place that is convenient and reflects our commitment to the church of the future. The Lutheran Center suits us very well, and we have received a warm welcome there.”
"In the 10 years since approving Called to Common Mission, both The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have enjoyed a good and developing relationship,” said the Rev. Donald McCoid, assistant to the ELCA presiding bishop for ecumenical and inter-religious relations.
“In recent years, we have looked at how we could deepen this relationship with shared ministry, shared staffing and even shared space. Seabury's move into the Lutheran Center is an exciting realization of this vision. We welcome Seabury into our offices as we begin to share our 'home' together and anticipate even more cooperation in the years to come."
On Friday, January 6, Seabury will host a leave-taking of its old campus in Evanston, followed by a reception at its new space. Details will be available in November at www.seabury.edu.
Seabury is what's next in a seminary: Our theological education—from single classes to certificates and doctoral degrees—embodies generous Christianity and is open to the intellectually and spiritually curious. For church leaders, for seminarians and for seekers, Seabury’s innovative programs are rooted in the Episcopal tradition and presented with academic rigor. Find out what’s next at www.seabury.edu.
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with approximately 4.2 million members in 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.
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