Letter to campus partners regarding the sale of our campus building

March 9, 2023

Dear members and friends of the LSTC community:

I am pleased to report that we have reached the culmination of our building sale to the University of Chicago. At midnight Thursday, the dozen or so building services we have been responsible for will be terminated, and the university will assume these services in whatever ways they determine. By Friday, and for the first time in fifty-seven years, we will be the sole occupant in a building we no longer own. It is a bittersweet time of change and also a long-anticipated moment.

Join me in thanking the stalwart crew who has shepherded this process all along: our attorney, Arnie Karolewski, our broker, Jim Hanson, the entire executive cabinet, and especially our CFO, Richard Vivian, and our incomparable Senior Project Manager for Facilities, Bob Berridge. We happily owe them each an immense debt of gratitude, and I hope some of you might consider writing a note of appreciation.

During this very month in 2019, our board and cabinet leadership held a retreat with Beth Lewis, former CEO of 1517 Media, in which we first explored the question of whether our mission depended upon owning a building or might better be served by claiming a distinctive place but without ownership burdens. The board opted for the latter, and the ensuing four years (yes, four years) have been nothing less than a full exploration of what such a future would entail and the work it would require.

We still have a distance to go—completing the decommissioning, overseeing the buildout, and moving to the new facility—but our campus community has been strong all along the way. I trust we will remain so in the stages ahead.

While ownership of the building is no longer ours, through the end of our stay, much of how we’ve experienced the building will remain the same. This includes the seminary’s building operation hours, access to the mailroom, and the process for receiving support for building operations and making room reservations. Be on the lookout for a message from Bob Berridge about which portions of the facility are ours to use freely and those places from which we are restricted.

Finally, I am thankful for all of you and for God’s providence and guidance for our fine school. May God bless our efforts in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

Signature of President James Nieman, PhD

James Nieman, PhD
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 East 55th Street
Chicago, IL 60615

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