Justin Barrett and Rebecca Dorsey Sok have co-founded a new venture, Blueprint 1543, with a mission to integrate Christian theology and the sciences to answer life’s biggest questions. The Knoxville-based organization is focusing on three broad initiatives—leadership development, sciences-engaged theology, and science stewardship—supported by a portfolio of programs and projects. Blueprint 1543 will be developing their own projects, as well as consulting and coaching for partner organizations. Sok and Barrett have managed over $16 million in grants with multiple funding partners (such as the AT project, and TheoPsych: Bringing Theology to Mind). This new venture signals their exit from running Fuller Theological Seminary’s Office for Science, Theology, and Religion (STAR), which also supported interdisciplinary research and programs in faith-science integration. Sarey Martin Concepción joins Barrett and Sok as Blueprint 1543’s Director of Communication. BP1543 is currently building its roster of partners from the fields of theology, philosophy, and the sciences. To stay up to date on projects and opportunities, follow on Facebook, Twitter, or sign up for their newsletter. More information at www.blueprint1543.org.
SPEAKERS AND ABSTRACTS
Rebecca Y. Kim
Leopoldo A. Sánchez M.
Citing restrictions on selling its current Pasadena property and unexpectedly high construction costs, Fuller Theological Seminary officials announced it won’t be moving to Pomona, California, in 2021 as planned.
Fuller president Mark Labberton said Southern California’s high construction costs—higher than the school’s conservative estimates—and “differences with the City of Pasadena” over the sale of the land led the board on October 24 to vote unanimously to stay at its 13-acre Pasadena location.
“Our board just decided … that though our plans were so full of promise and hope and our welcome in Pomona had been so great, that the better and wiser decision for the long-term wellbeing of Fuller is to stay here in Pasadena,” Labberton said in a statement posted last week on the Fuller website.
For the full story see “Christianity Today.”
MISSIOLOGY LECTURES 2019
SPEAKERS AND ABSTRACTS
PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION AT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS
PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION AT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
Ilia Delio, OSF
JOSEPHINE C. CONNELLY CHAIR IN THEOLOGY AT VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PRACTICAL THEOLOGY AT TRUETT THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Madison Kawakami Gilbertson
PHD STUDENT IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE AT FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
CO-PRESENTING WITH SARAH A. SCHNITKER
REUTER PROFESSOR OF SCIENCE AND RELIGION AT THE COLLEGE OF SAINT BENEDICT AND SAINT JOHN’S UNIVERSITY
Sarah A. Schnitker
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
An update on Fuller Theological Seminary’s status regarding the sale of its Pasadena property…
Dear Fuller Community,
Earlier today the board met in an urgent session to discuss the surprising turn of events last week when the buyer for the Pasadena property withdrew. As promised, we are updating you with new developments, knowing that not all questions can be answered.
For many months now, the trustees, administration, faculty, and staff have been working hard on multiple initiatives whose common purpose is to put Fuller on a far more focused path to a flourishing future. While there is much positive momentum, we have met major challenges to the reset for future sustainability. Since formulating our original Pasadena to Pomona move, several things have dramatically changed, including: the buyer we’ve been working with since January has dropped out owing to decisions made by the City of Pasadena, and construction costs for the Pomona campus have escalated significantly.
What are the immediate options?
The Executive Committee of Trustees, senior administrators, and the Real Estate Task Force set in motion immediately to establish two scenarios that we presented this morning to the board for review and final decision in October: (1) pivot to a combination of Pasadena/Houston/Arizona/virtual campus distribution or (2) delay but proceed with the Pomona/Houston/Arizona/virtual option.
There are strong cases for both scenarios which can be discussed in future meetings (including next week’s special employee meeting); however, there are practical measures we must enact immediately in any case, which will include the sale of properties outside the “core” of the Pasadena campus.
The Executive Committee and Administration will deliver to the October Board meeting a strategic plan and fully informed recommendations for a long-term campus strategy with all of these new developments considered. Those scenarios include:
Scenario 1: Pomona/Houston/Arizona/Virtual
The board’s original vision was a Spirit-led one that had the short and long-term future firmly in view. The decision to leave Pasadena as a strategy for establishing long-term sustainability was and is still necessary for Fuller’s viability. The original vision for Pomona is bold, mission-centered, and future thinking. We must determine a location that will best support Fuller’s future.
Scenario 2: Pasadena/Houston/Arizona/Virtual
Our original vision was a good one, but fundamental changes require a major reboot. In this scenario, we keep a portion of the Pasadena campus and split our operations with Houston, Phoenix, and virtual offices offering near-term financial benefits, avoiding escalating construction costs and the disruption associated with building a new campus.
In the next two months, we will engage the research and due diligence necessary to evaluate these scenarios for board consideration in October to determine the direction that we will pursue.
Conclusions for Now
As we wrestle with all of this, it is easy to get overwhelmed. It is important to remember that our overarching goal is to create a new and better Fuller—we are continuing to move forward on that path. There is much good news, there are many ways in which Fuller is strong, and we must remember that God is with us. Whatever scenarios the board finally approves, we will make Fuller stronger with these initiatives:
- Simplify, streamline, and better integrate our degree programs and schools
- Scale Fuller’s students, faculty, staff, and facility size to projected demand
- Eliminate our operating deficit to work with a balanced budget
- Pay off our debt
- Reduce the cost of living for many in the Fuller community
- Create faculty, staff, and educational environments better tuned to the 21st century
- Raise financial resources for Fuller’s long-term benefit
Yours in Christ,