Christian Theological Seminary Completes Sale to Butler University

INDIANAPOLIS – Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) sold buildings and approximately 40 acres to Butler University, both schools said today.

Butler’s College of Education will move into the main building on the CTS campus beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year. CTS will continue to reside on campus—in part of the main building, counseling center, and apartments—through a special long-term lease. CTS will also retain ownership of a parcel of land on the far west side of the property on Michigan Road.

Both schools will benefit 

While Butler and CTS will continue to maintain separate and distinct financial affairs, governance, and mission, this agreement marks the renewal of a long-term relationship from which both schools will benefit.

“This purchase supports the growth and momentum of Butler 2020, providing our University with new physical space for potential development as we seek to further enhance the Butler academic experience,” Butler President James Danko says. “This partnership helps advance the vision of both institutions.”

Under the agreement, Butler plans to provide both campuses with services such as grounds maintenance, the cost of which both schools will share.

“Put simply, this is a bold move that enables CTS to be a good steward of our physical and financial resources for the benefit of preparing transformative leaders for the church and community,” CTS Interim President Bill Kincaid says. “This agreement represents an opportunity to ensure the mission of CTS will continue for many generations to come.”

An innovative space 

Renovations to the main building on the CTS campus are set to begin after January 1 and will revolve around classrooms and faculty offices, as well as improvements to technology and accessibility.

Phase Two of the project will focus on the library. Butler and CTS will share the space, which will include a new Teaching and Learning Lab housed on the main level. The inspiration for this 5,000-square-foot space is a similar learning lab at Uppsala University in Sweden.

“This space is absolutely perfect,” College of Education (COE) Dean Ena Shelley says. “It will give our whole University the chance to rethink and reimagine teaching and learning across the entire campus, not just COE. This is a game changer when it comes to innovation, teaching, and learning.”

For example, Shelley says, faculty from any discipline can come and teach a class in this space, while other faculty observe and discuss what is going on while it is happening. It is a way to combine teaching, coaching, and professional development, Shelley says.

“Typically, teaching and learning happen in isolation. This space, because of the way it is structured, will make teaching and learning very visible so we can all learn and grow,” Shelley says.

“I picture amazing people from all disciplines coming and teaching in a very public way so we can all learn from them. This will change the conversation on campus, break down silos and drive relationship-building.”

A shared history

Butler and CTS have a history.

In 1855, the two institutions were founded as a single entity, North Western Christian University. They separated formally in 1958 when Butler’s religion department split from the University and formed what would become today’s CTS.

Since then, CTS and Butler have remained independent, but they have shared a rich and dynamic history of educating students to prepare them for rewarding and meaningful lives. Along the way, the two schools have collaborated academically, programmatically, and through shared services.

Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) is a fully-accredited independent ecumenical graduate school associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) that offers graduate-level degree programs to prepare ministers, counselors and lay people to serve as leaders of the church and the world.

About Brian Scott

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