For the second time in its 87-year history, Palmer Seminary of Eastern University (formerly Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is changing locations. In August, the Seminary will move from its current location in Wynnewood, PA to the American Baptist Churches (ABC) Mission Center in nearby King of Prussia. Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the move are provided below.
What is the latest information regarding Palmer Seminary's move from its Wynnewood location?
The closing date for the purchase of the Seminary property is anticipated at the end of August 2012. The Seminary will relocate during the first few weeks of August in order to begin fall classes as scheduled on August 27th.
Where is the Seminary moving?
The Seminary is moving to the American Baptist Churches (ABC) Mission Center, located at 588 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406.
For the next few years, Palmer will operate out of the ABC Mission Center, the headquarters of the American Baptist Churches USA , with which the Seminary is historically affiliated. The building has excellent space for classrooms, faculty and staff offices, the Seminary library, worship services, and special events such as lectures.
In three to five years, the Seminary expects to move into a new building on Eastern University's West campus.
How will the relocation affect current students?
All Summer 2012 courses (the last of which concludes on August 10) will be held in Wynnewood as planned. The Fall 2012 courses will be held at the ABC Mission Center beginning August 27th. The Fall course schedule will remain the same, with the possible exception of BIBL517 New Testament Greek Exegesis. Students enrolled in BIBL517 will be notified by the Registrar's Office if there is a change in the day or time.
What about housing and transportation?
Palmer students will have access to Eastern University apartments in St. Davids, located less than 15 minutes (by car) from the Mission Center. Additional options include several privately owned area apartment complexes, most also within 15 minutes of the Mission Center.
Arrangements are being made to run shuttle vans between the St. Davids student apartments and the Mission Center at regularly scheduled times according to student demand. Students may also use mass transit. The SEPTA 125 bus line makes regular stops at the Mission Center, and makes connections with other SEPTA routes at the King of Prussia Transit Center (King of Prussia Mall), the Wissahickon Transportation Center, and the Gulph Mills station of the Route 100 Norristown High Speed Line. The Mission Center property includes a large and well-lighted parking lot with more than ample parking.
Any questions related to residency housing, whether in Wynnewood or the Valley Forge area, should be directed to Byron McMillan, Manager of Auxiliary Services, at 484-384-2935.
How will the move affect the Seminary's historic commitment to students who live and minister in urban contexts?
The Seminary's move away from the city does not diminish in the least its commitment to serving students who live or minister in the city. The importance and dynamics of urban ministry will always figure heavily into the Seminary's curriculum. Seminary leaders are currently exploring various options and possibilities for maintaining a presence in the city, a presence that will likely include offering classes, forging partnerships, sponsoring activities, and providing services in one or more urban locations.
Will the move affect student enrollment?
We are confident that many wise women and men—in our region, around the country, and around the world will continue to choose Palmer, regardless of its location, because of its distinctive values and approach to theological education.
What are the main reasons for choosing Palmer?
The Seminary's historic commitment to the whole gospel continues to be among the main reasons students from all over the United States and countries around the world choose Palmer. They are drawn by the Seminary's commitment not only to sharing the good news of salvation in Christ, but to striving for justice, working for peace, and serving the poor.
People are frequently drawn to Palmer because of its unmatched ethnic and denominational diversity among students and faculty. Horizons are expanded, and lives and ministries enriched, when we seize the opportunity to participate in such a variegated learning community. Palmer regularly offers life-changing, periodic study trips abroad, in keeping with its global reach and multi-cultural ethos.
Palmer's full-time and adjunct faculty are uniquely pastoral in their approach to theological education and to mentoring and caring for students. The result is a collegial, caring community in which future leaders form relationships that will nourish and sustain them for the rest of their lives.
Finally, Palmer offers a safe place to grow not just in theological understanding but in terms of moving conscientiously toward spiritual maturity and emotional health. All of these commitments and values are reflected in the Seminary's longstanding motto: "The Whole Gospel for the Whole World through Whole Persons."