Concordia Seminary’s Board of Regents received campus master plan recommendations during its Feb. 12-13 meeting that aim to support and uphold the Seminary’s mission.
The Campus Master Planning Committee – an advisory committee charged with developing a master plan for the best use of the Seminary’s buildings and land – recommended that the Board of Regents concentrate the Seminary’s ministry within the historical campus core and authorize the committee to research and pursue alternative uses for areas outside that core. The Regents agreed to the initial recommendations and will vote on final recommendations in October.
“In the 90 years since our campus was dedicated, the buildings and grounds of Concordia Seminary have provided a beautiful and functional place for the formation of pastors, teachers, missionaries and deaconesses for the church,” said Rev. Ralph Blomenberg, chairman of the Board of Regents. “We are called to be a good steward of these resources for the future. This committee will assess the condition and needs of current buildings and grounds in light of the way education is delivered today and in view of what we project future students will need.”
The committee lauded the vision of early church leaders — “faith-filled optimists” — who sited the Seminary in Clayton, Mo. Committee members noted the proximity to fieldwork congregations, vicarage congregations, an urban mission field, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) entities and other attributes that make it an ideal location for serving ministerial formation students.
The committee also noted the transformation in learning and community in the decades since the campus was designed. The original campus was constructed to support the traditional residential learning model. Today’s enrollment includes a mix of students who live on campus, commuters, and students in distance programs or in the research phase of their programs. The committee is taking into consideration the changed nature of community and mix of campus-based and distance learning programs as it plans its recommendations that support the continuing mission of Concordia Seminary.
“As we look to the future, we expect the mix of students will continue to include traditional, residential students along with non-traditionally trained pastors, graduate students and international students who may not physically be on campus for all of their education,” said Paul Hegland, chairman of the committee and member of the Seminary’s Board of Regents. “The land and buildings currently in use in the core of the campus will serve our needs for the foreseeable future, including allowing for growth in the ministerial formation and graduate school programs.”
The Seminary’s master plan will include library renovations, which have been previously publicized as part of the ongoing Generations Campaign. The committee also is discussing additional, complementary renovations to campus entrances and the surrounding landscape. In its discussions, the board emphasized that no decisions have been made in regard to any housing on campus, whether faculty, married student, single student or guest.
Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer noted that a master plan had not been adopted. “The action taken by the Regents is an intermediate step, showing support for the work and direction of the Campus Master Planning Committee. The final proposal scheduled to be presented to the Regents in October will address all 72 acres of the historic campus. The bylaws of the LCMS charge the Regents with institutional planning and our Regents take that responsibility seriously.”
The Seminary’s Campus Master Planning Committee consists of Hegland, Albert Allen and Bruce Paradis, all members of the Board of Regents; Dr. Timothy Saleska, dean of Ministerial Formation; Lee Hopf (’16), president of the Student Association; Michael Louis, chief operating officer; and Chad Cattoor, chief financial officer.
About Concordia Seminary
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit www.csl.edu.