From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Episcopalians: Sullivan shares with Executive Council seminary's reaction to report on potential church center move to GTS

Date Fri, 6 Dec 2002 16:37:04 -0500

December 6, 2002


Episcopalians: Sullivan shares with Executive Council 
seminary's reaction to report on potential church center move to 

(ENS) The Rev. Rosemari Sullivan, executive officer of the 
General Convention Office, today shared with members of the 
church's Executive Council a General Theological Seminary (GTS) 
news release. The release was in reaction to a subcommittee 
report to the council that raised questions about a potential 
move of the Church Center to the seminary campus.

Sullivan said in a brief covering memo, "While you not doubt 
realize, as we do, that the subcommittee's report was part of an 
ongoing process and not a decision, the General Seminary has 
apparently chosen to view this report from a different 

(Text of the memos from the subcommittee and Griswold are 
available on the web site of the General Convention Office at

The text of the December 5 seminary news release:

GTS Responds to Decision on 815 Relocation

New York City - Responding to the Presiding Bishop's 
endorsement of an advisory committee's decision to terminate the 
proposed plan to move the Episcopal Church Center to the campus 
of The General Theological Seminary (GTS), the Very Rev. Ward B. 
Ewing, Dean and President, expressed disappointment but 
underscored his confidence in alternative plans for the 
redevelopment of the Seminary's historic campus in the Chelsea 
district of Manhattan. Details of the decision may be found the 
Episcopal Church's web site 

"We at the Seminary are understandably disappointed by this turn 
of events," said the Dean at a special meeting of the GTS 
faculty and administration held at 2 pm today. "It was an 
exciting vision held by many throughout our Church. But in the 
end, no partnership can be truly effective without the shared 
enthusiasm and commitment of both parties."

The Dean also cited the considerable amount of time, talent, and 
money that had been expended on the project to date but said 
that many of the studies would be invaluable in the ongoing 
discussions with other development partners. "We are looking 
toward the future. Besides the great resource of the Chelsea 
Square property, GTS is blessed with a generous endowment; 
enrollment is the highest it has been in fifteen years; we have 
an outstanding faculty and staff; and innovative outreach and 
continuing education programs are underway - all of these are 
evidence of the Seminary's enduring commitment to serving the 
Church in a changing world." 

>From Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, where he serves as 
dean, the Very Rev. Robert Giannini, chairman of General's Board 
of Trustees expressed surprise at the recent developments. "My 
understanding was that Executive Council had approved moving 
forward and that Bishop Griswold had expressed his endorsement 
of their action. Though regrettable, I'm in agreement that such 
a move needs to have the complete support of all parties 

Asked what he would say to the Seminary's student body gathering 
for a special meeting this evening at 7 pm, the Dean Ewing 
commented, "I will express some sadness, of course, but also my 
very real and renewed confidence that, with their help, the help 
of the our alumni/ae, our trustees, our many benefactors and, 
certainly, the support of the national Church by whom we were 
founded, GTS will pursue the great calling it has followed for 
the last 186 years in providing the finest in theological 
training and formation for Church's future leaders."


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