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TTU Future Plans Update
Our Vision for the Future: Questions and Answers
On Sunday, September 15, I had the wonderful privilege of being at Woodland Park Baptist Church (WPBC). During both morning services, the WPBC pastor, the elder chairman and I made a joint announcement concerning the initiation of discussions about the possibility of a TTU campus on the church site. The reception has been extremely positive from the church, and from TTU students, faculty and staff. In addition, we have had great affirmation from TTU alumni through Facebook, email, and phone calls.
By now many of you have seen the press release and the press coverage, but I also wanted to give you some additional information by responding to some initial questions that we have been receiving. We will update you with additional questions and responses as we progress in the process. Above all, please keep TTU in your prayers as we step forward in faith toward the future that God has for our school.
Why would TTU consider leaving its longtime location at Highland Park and the great heritage of the current campus?
Answer: There is much to celebrate in the heritage of what God has done at the current location. The incredible growth of TTU at an inner city campus with very little acreage was not just an anomaly, but truly a miracle. Yet, thankfully the God who brought that miracle is still in the miracle business. God never runs out of good blessings for His people. Our future is always filled with promise when we are in His hands. Israel celebrated the uniqueness of what happened in the time of Moses, but there was also a time to move on to a new land of opportunity. If Israel had not moved forward in faith, they would never have seen the Jordan River part, the walls of Jericho come down, or the sun stand still. The potential opportunity of partnering with WPBC on the 170 acre site, compared to our current 21 acres, gives us reason to believe that God has new and wonderful blessings in store for the future of TTU.
If the school relocates, will the name be changed?
Answer: The name will not change. We are grateful for the heritage of the Tennessee Temple University name. We see this potential move as building on our past heritage with a vision for new opportunities.
Would TTU be under the direction of WPBC?
Answer: TTU and WPBC would keep a separate polity. It would be a shared partnership, not a shared polity. Not only is this arrangement the desire of both entities, it is also important for accreditation purposes.
If a move has been in the works, why has so much been spent on campus improvements, like new roofs, HVAC systems, a fence around much of the campus, etc.?
Answer: The maintenance that was done was absolutely necessary to keep the buildings functioning. If the property is sold, these improvements will bring a higher sale price.
Concerning the fence, it had been a dream for a number of years to have a defined campus. The fence was finished before the potential partnership with Woodland Park Baptist Church became a serious possibility. Modern day security issues on a university campus, especially in an urban setting, require that pedestrian and vehicle flow be monitored. Our biggest increase in resident enrollment has come after we installed the fence. The resident enrollment increase that has occurred has more than paid for the cost. The fence is a very attractive ornamental type that many other campuses have. It has also enhanced the value of the property.
What will happen if this possibility with WPBC does not become a reality?
Answer: If God does not open the door for this opportunity, we trust and expect that He will continue to bless us at this location. He has done so for the past 67 years.
What is the next step?
Answer: A memorandum of understanding will be developed with the church. The contents of the MOU will likely focus on the purpose and scope as well as conditions and perhaps an initial timetable to the next step.
What will happen to the present campus?
Answer: We have just initiated the marketing of our property. To some degree, the phases of our move will be determined by the possibilities brought through the sale of all or part of our campus. It may be that we will operate two campuses for a season. If the new site becomes the primary location, we would hope that it would be possible for TTU to keep a ministry presence in Highland Park. Of course, WPBC would have to agree to whatever the next stage would be.
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