St. Paul School of Theology, a 54-year-old United Methodist seminary that has occupied 5123 E. Truman Road since 1965, plans to move its main campus to the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood.
The move is expected to take place in the fall of 2013. The financial arrangements have not been settled, although more money will be freed up for scholarships.
Finances are the main reason for the move, said Myron McCoy, school president.
“Since 2008-2009, it has been harder to make our targeted budget,” he said. “We have had to make up the difference with surplus.”
The seminary has about 200 students in its master’s and doctoral programs, including about 45 on a campus in Oklahoma City, he said.
The school’s board of directors recently approved a plan that would allow St. Paul to use classrooms, a chapel, library space and common areas at the Leawood church.
Faculty and staff offices will be off campus, as will residential
spaces for students, many of whom commute.
Seminary officials say this is not a merger or a partnership. Each institution will remain autonomous, said the Rev. Adam Hamilton of Church of the Resurrection.
Both sides see advantages. The seminary will save money and sees the arrangement as ensuring its future.
McCoy said the school does not want to abandon the urban core and is hopeful it can find ministries interested in purchasing the Truman Road campus.
Hamilton said members of the church are excited about the classes they could attend. He said the seminary will attract more students as churches become more aware of it because of its new location.