MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)—Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary reached a sale agreement for all its campus property in Mill Valley, Calif., and initiated relocation of its primary campus to Southern California.
President Jeff Iorg announced the agreement with North Coast Land Holdings, noting the seminary’s board of trustees approved the sale agreement unanimously.
“The final sale agreement will result in resources for a new primary campus in Southern California, a new commuter campus in the Bay Area to continue to service this area, as well as a substantial addition to the seminary’s endowment,” Iorg said.
Steve Sheldon, chairman of the board of trustees, added, “The board has been fully engaged in land development decisions for years and is unified in the direction we have chosen for the future.” Full details about the sale agreement will be announced after the sale is finalized.
Golden Gate has faced many land development challenges over the years, Iorg acknowledged.
“For the past four years, we have been involved in a lengthy and difficult process trying to further develop the Mill Valley campus property,” he said. “We have engaged top planning firms, real estate specialists, financial analysts, legal counsel and political consultants to help us with this process. Despite these skilled professionals—and much prayer—we have been stymied. Gradually, we have realized these difficulties are not obstacles to overcome but rather signposts pointing us in a different direction.”
The terms of the sale agreement will enable the seminary to remain fully operational during the transition. The seminary will lease back the Mill Valley campus property and continue present operations for at least two more academic years. After that, the seminary will operate a new commuter-style campus in the Bay Area, much like its current Southern California campus.
‘Not abandoning the Bay Area’
“Current Bay Area students will be able to complete their programs at the present campus over the next two years or at the new Bay Area campus. We are not abandoning the Bay Area and will continue to provide a quality program for this region,” Iorg said.
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The decision to build a new primary campus in Southern California reflects church and population demographic projections for that region. The new seminary campus will be in the center of the largest area of projected population growth in the American West.
“Building a new campus does not mean replicating what we already have, only in a different location. It’s an opportunity to build a new kind of seminary campus reflecting the way educational delivery methods are changing in the 21st century. We see it as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance our seminary into the future,” Iorg said.
Iorg assured currently enrolled students at the Mill Valley campus their degree progress will not be interrupted for the next two years as the school has a lease-back agreement for the current campus. All student housing also will remain open during for the next two years. This agreement allows students enrolled at the Mill Valley campus to complete their degrees before the seminary relocates to its two new campuses in Southern California and the Bay Area. Iorg also said the seminary will work closely with those who cannot finish their degrees in the allotted time to assure degree completion.
‘Not closing our doors’
“We are selling a campus, not closing our doors. We are relocating and repositioning for future success, not abandoning our vision. We are sacrificing short-term comfort for long-term fulfillment of our mission,” Iorg said.
“We are positioning ourselves strategically, geographically and financially to impact the Western United States and the world like never before. We will all pay a personal cost for fulfilling our mission and vision this way. It will, at times, be scary and unnerving. Nevertheless, … the mission matters most. Like perhaps no seminary in recent history, we are standing behind that declaration with our actions today.”