But what will this mean to the future of Fuller?
By Alex Cordero
The Board of Trustees at Fuller Theological Seminary unanimously voted not to relocate to the city of Pomona and to continue the future of Fuller in Pasadena.
Mark Labberton, Clifford L. Penner Presidential Chair, made a formal announcement of the board’s decision: “…until a couple of months ago when it became clear for a variety of reasons, principally restrictions on the sale of our land here in Pasadena and rising costs in Pomona, our board just today [Oct. 24] decided that in fact, though our plans were so full of promise and hope and our welcome in Pomona had been so great, that the better and wiser decision for the long-term wellbeing for Fuller is to stay here, in Pasadena.”
When Fuller announced their plans to sell Chang Commons students and community members began advocating for the City of Pasadena to enforce the affordable housing agreement on the property and for Fuller to disclose the affordable housing agreement to their potential new buyer.
“After many meetings with the City of Pasadena, with community leaders, faith leaders and many hours of prayer, we have witnessed a complete 180-degree in Fuller’s plan to sell Chang Commons at market rate. There are many factors that have weighed in here including Governor Newsom’s new cap on rent increase, the firm stance of the City of Pasadena on enforcing its affordable housing agreement, and time and time again we hear of the power of community – that is us!” Mercy Young and Fuller Friends for Housing Justice announced in an email.
Although Fuller will stay in the Crown City, the board also announced they will be consolidating some of their offices and relocating them to Houston, Texas. “As we’ve discussed in several employee meetings, the new way forward will continue to involve moving some of Fuller’s offices to the modern but underutilized campus the seminary operates in Houston.”
Fuller’s statement continues, “Consolidating the Pasadena campus, selling off non-core properties, rightsizing Fuller’s financial outlook through debt reduction and the launch of a comprehensive capital campaign, and maximizing our admission and retention efforts—will provide the foundation for Fuller’s stability.”
This announcement by Fuller brings a challenging future for students as Young shared, “The good side of Fuller’s decision is that 169 units at Chang Commons are required to remain affordable for Fuller students. The down side of this is this may result in a potential down-sizing of Fuller’s campus, cause more layoffs for employees, and thus less student housing.”
Mercy Young and Fuller Friends for Housing Justice are inviting the local community to join them on a prayer walk on Friday, Nov. 8 at noon at Ambrose Cafe, 509 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, CA 91101, to discuss how to overcome the challenges of the future for Fuller students and employees as well as to pray for “a blessing over Fuller’s campus, the leadership, staff, students and board members.”