New Campus to Maximize Space, Enhance Community
August 28, 2006
Throughout its history, North American Baptist Seminary has gone through some important changes in order to best serve the churches of the North American Baptist (NAB) Conference - even relocating its campus in 1949 from Rochester, NY, to Sioux Falls, SD. Today, much is the same. The scope of the seminary has been expanding to accommodate the changing needs of churches and students. In addition to serving the NAB Conference, NABS has become a regional seminary. Building a new facility will allow North American Baptist Seminary to enhance its ability to provide a solid and quality theological education to students in Sioux Falls and at a distance.
Since the Sioux Falls campus opened in 1950, additional buildings have been added several times resulting in nearly 20,000 square feet of hallway space, plus separated faculty and administrative offices and common areas. Design of the new campus building, located near 29th Street and Summit Avenue in Sioux Falls, will integrate faculty, administration, and staff offices, classrooms, and common spaces to have 30-40,000 square feet of efficiently used space. In addition, the new building will give all students - both on campus and in ministry - access to the latest technology, even allowing those already serving in ministry positions the ability to learn via Internet videoconferencing.
Creating common space and areas that foster fellowship in the new facility will become a priority. Since more students could be visiting campus for short periods of time each year due to increased opportunities for learning in ministry, new building plans will include more space for students to interact with one another and faculty on a personal level. It is the seminary's hope that the amount of community experienced by all students, whether on campus full time or just for intensive courses, will be maximized.
"A large part of students' experiences at North American Baptist Seminary come out of community," said Dr. Ronald Sisk, Academic Vice President and Dean. "Whether being mentored by a faculty member, spending time with fellow students, having in-depth conversations online, or going to chapel, our students value the community that is fostered at NABS and see it as part of their personal development."