GCU seminary destined for 'enthusiasm' with on-time opening

The new home for Grand Canyon Theological Seminary will be on the first floor of Building 71 at the 27th Avenue and Camelback Road business complex.

Photos by Ralph Freso

With the start of fall classes a little more than a week away, Dr. Jason Hiles was encouraged by the progress of the soon-to-be-opened physical space of Grand Canyon Theological Seminary on Sept. 5.

“Everything is on track,” said Hiles, Grand Canyon University's Dean of the College of Theology and GCTS. “The space is beautiful. ... You can see on the outside part of what it will look if you're in that area, but the bones of the structure are beginning to come together, and it's going to be pretty fantastic.”

The new facility, located on the first floor of Building 71 at GCU's business complex on 27th Avenue and Camelback Road, features 17,000 square feet and will include a 4,000-square-foot theological library.

Associate Director of Access and User Services Kelly O’Neill carries books to the proper section of the new seminary library.

Since the inception of GCTS in 2016, Hiles noticed strong growth in the College of Theology's graduate program, which operated primarily through online classes and in-person residencies. Plans for the on-campus seminary weren’t unveiled until late February, but Hiles said it has generated “a lot of enthusiasm.”

“There's a real buzz among the churches,” Hiles said. “We're looking for a very positive start. There’s been some conversation with local students, some conversation with students who just graduated coming onto the campus. There’s even some interesting leads on international students that might be a big part of our story in the coming year.”

The seminary will cultivate a community where students can interact with each other, as well as with local pastors and faculty members.

“I don't know that it could be more ideal in terms of what we're offering them,” Hiles said. “I look at classroom space. I see where the faculty will work. But it's the humans, when they move in and inhabit that, that's going to bring it to life.”

The library is destined to serve as a beacon of resources for those associated with religion in the community. This week, library shelves were being filled with books in preparation for the start of fall semester classes.

Students will soon fill classrooms.

Visiting local pastors and guests doing research can do so in a “beautiful space” conducive to study and meetings, Hiles said.

“And I'm hearing (Grand Canyon Beverage Company at GCU Hotel) will open at about the same time as the seminary, so we'll have plenty of caffeine in that coffee bar to keep things moving ahead,” he added, while sitting behind his desk in the College of Theology building.

Several faculty members already have moved out of their Theology offices to the new seminary space.

Students, faculty and visitors can commune in the seminary's welcoming lobby area.

“We're going to see it come alive soon,” said Hiles, who was delighted to announce the hiring of Dr. Josh Anderson as the director of the seminary and is heavily involved in welcoming new students and guests.

“It will ensure that they feel welcome, they know where to find what they need, and they know who to connect with and how. All the pieces are coming together and happening quickly.

“Facilities is going to do an outstanding job with some of the furniture and beautification. It's just a unique opportunity, kind of special, for a place like Grand Canyon to put together a seminary right in the middle of its operational hub here in Phoenix, and I think students have responded really well so far.”

Hiles said the support of GCU President Brian Mueller and Provost Dr. Randy Gibb in making the seminary space a reality fortifies the College of Theology’s partnerships and friendships among Christian universities.

A student walks through the new home for the College of Theology's graduate school, Grand Canyon Theological Seminary.

At the same time, the seminary supplements GCU’s mission of serving several needs in the community.

“We certainly are trying to serve the needs of local churches, and the more they can see something like the seminary in a physical way, the more they can understand that, ‘hey, this is who we are.’

“This is the sort of thing that we're trying to do, really in coordination with what we’re doing already in the community. I think that the opportunity for us to expand and deepen some relationships is just going to gain momentum at the same time as our programs grow and our students benefit.”

Senior Writer Mark Gonzales can be reached at [email protected]

***

GCU News: Seminary's new home to be a game-changer in the West Valley

GCU News: Seminary space a hub for students and pastoral community

Calendar

Calendar of Events

M Mon

T Tue

W Wed

T Thu

F Fri

S Sat

S Sun

8 events,

5 events,

5 events,

3 events,

5 events,

9 events,

3 events,

4 events,

3 events,

3 events,

1 event,

0 events,

3 events,

2 events,

2 events,

3 events,

2 events,

3 events,

1 event,

4 events,

3 events,

1 event,

3 events,

2 events,

1 event,

4 events,

3 events,

2 events,

3 events,

3 events,

2 events,

Chapel

GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. (1 John 3:1)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/