Lexington Theological Seminary moving to Lexington Green Circle

lblackford@herald-leader.comSeptember 24, 2013 

The 7-acre Lexington Theological Seminary campus was acquired by the neighboring University of Kentucky for $13.5 million. Photo by David Perry | Staff

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The Lexington Theological Seminary will move from its seven-acre South Limestone location to an office building on Lexington Green Circle.

Earlier this year, the seminary sold its campus — where it had been situated since 1950 — to the University of Kentucky for $13.5 million.

The school's new address, 230 Lexington Green Circle, is behind the Lexington Green Mall and has 16,000 square feet for classrooms, a library, administrative offices and worship space, according to a news release sent Tuesday.

"We believe this space better meets the current needs of the seminary as we assess our future facility needs, whether that be a free-standing campus space or an existing facility such as this one," said Board of Trustees Chairman Gary Kidwell.

The property will be rented from Lexington Green Partners, seminary President Charisse Gillett said Tuesday.

Lexington Theological Seminary was founded in 1865 as part of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Gillett said the 2008 economic downturn hit the seminary's finances and enrollment hard, pushing the school to put much of its instruction online by 2011. That meant the school needed much less classroom and residential space.

Enrollment has climbed to about 120 students, 50 of whom are full-time. Most still seek a master's degree in divinity, Gillett said, but a growing number of students are seeking certificates in pastoral ministry.

Half the coursework is online and half is done in congregations. Students also come to campus twice a year for two weeks of intensive residential instruction.

"This new space better equips us to be faithful to our mission to prepare leaders for the church," Gillett said. "We are excited for the future of Lexington Theological Seminary and our work in the church as we begin to write the next chapter in our story. We are grateful for the continued support of our alumni and friends as we transition to our new campus home and continue the work of preparing leaders for the church."

A dedication and service of blessing for the Limestone campus is scheduled for November 15 at 11:30 a.m. in the Sanders Chapel.

The Seminary will relocate its administration offices by December 31. On-campus classes will move to the new facility after January 2014. The library will be relocated by August 2014.

Linda Blackford: (859) 231-1359Twitter: @lbblackford

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