Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Announces Budget Cuts

November 29, 2008 at 7:40 am Leave a comment

gordon-conwell.jpgGordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, the evangelical seminary headquartered in South Hamilton, today announced budget cutbacks in response to the impact of the economic downturn. Here is the news release:

“Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary will reduce staff and close its full service BookCentre as part of major initiatives to address a $1 million budget deficit.

Speaking to the seminary community November 24, President & Professor of Christian Ethics Dr. Dennis P. Hollinger told faculty and staff: ‘The economic downturn sweeping across our world has significantly affected our organization, as it has most academic institutions. Since July 1, our endowment funds have lost more than 20 percent in value. This means that the amount we can distribute from the endowment for operating expenses is substantially lower.’

‘This fall, enrollment was 7 percent lower than last year, producing an additional revenue shortfall. As a result, we now face a deficit of approximately $1 million in the $20 million FY 08-09 budget.’

Among a number of actions to cut operating expenses, the seminary is reducing staff positions by 15 through attrition, retirement and layoffs. Operating budgets will be cut by more than $400,000, and matching contributions to the employee pension fund will be suspended for the remainder of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. The seminary will also reduce the number of continuing education events offered during 2009.

The BookCentre will close its full service operation in mid-January. It will continue to offer academic texts for the convenience of students.

In explaining the necessity of these actions, Dr. Hollinger noted that the major cuts, based upon a revised revenue forecast, will align limited resources toward the seminary’s core areas of ministry.

‘Our seminal mission,’ he said, ‘is to provide an exceptional academic education, and a spiritual environment that will prepare our students for ministry through the world. With that mission as our highest priority, the Leadership Team, in consultation with other campus leaders, has taken steps to address the immediate financial challenge, ensure an excellent education for our students, and provide the capacity for innovative actions that will strengthen us for future growth.'”

Gordon-Conwell has 2,100 students, from multiple denominations, spread over four campuses — in addition to the South Hamilton headquarters, the school has a Center for Urban Ministerial Education in Boston, and campuses in Charlotte, N.C., and Jacksonville, Fla.
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