Monday, April 03, 2006

Colgate Rochester to Share Space with Physical Therapy Students (No, This is Not an April Fool's Posting)

Earlier this year, we reported on the "down-sizing" of Central Seminary. Looks like it's not the only ABC related seminary on the ropes. From upstate NY, we read...

Divinity school gets tenant

Ithaca College's physical therapy center is leaving UR

Matthew DanemanStaff writer

(April 3, 2006) — For nearly 80 years, the divinity school on a South Goodman Street hilltop
has housed students seeking answers to the unanswerable. Now it will house numerous physical therapy students, as well.

The Ithaca College School of Health Sciences and Human Performance Rochester Center, its seven full-time faculty members and roughly 100 students will relocate to Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School this summer.

The Ithaca College center has been housed in a University of Rochester facility on East River Road since the early 1990s.But when UR indicated it needed the space, it referred the Ithaca center to Colgate, said Steve Siconolfi, dean of the Ithaca school.

The new tenants come as Colgate has struggled financially in recent years, deciding in 2004 to move most of its 300,000-volume library to UR as a cost-saving effort.

The agreement with Ithaca — a 10-year lease with two options to renew for another 10 years each — "fulfills part of our strategic plan to be better stewards of the property we have and recognize some income from the unutilized portions of our campus," said Colgate President Eugene C. Bay.

Renovations are under way to accommodate the Ithaca center, Bay said. It will occupy 16,000 square feet at Colgate and share another 10,000 with the divinity school. The renovations will create some laboratory space, as well as put in the wiring and technology needed for some instruction, Siconolfi said.

While a divinity school might not seem a likely home for physical therapists, occupational therapists and health educators, "we think this program has a lot of compatibility with the values of the divinity school, and we're anticipating there will be collaborative efforts academically with that program," Bay said.

[I'd say! Based on the theological pedigree of Colgate Rochester, they'll all be dealing with lame ideas!]

Added Siconolfi, "We've discussed what are some things we can work together on. I see that as a definite move in the future."

Bay said Colgate is not pursuing any new space-sharing arrangements with other organizations, although it is in negotiations with the American Baptist Historical Society regarding a new lease for the American Baptist-Samuel Colgate Historical Library, the world's largest repository of Baptist-related research materials.



jesuit spy said...

I'm sure this move will help CR massage the uneasy consciences of the GLTG crowd!

Dennis E. McFadden said...


Check out the following notice from the web site of the ABC of Rochester-Genesee . . .

The Office of the
American Baptist Churches of the
Rochester Genesee Region

has moved to

The Divinity School
1100 South Goodman St.
Suite 320
Rochester, NY 14620

Sounds like everyone in Rochester is moving to high ground. What do they know that we don't?

Dennis E. McFadden said...


This move should be seen against the backdrop of a decades' long trend. There was a time when the seminary was not an acronym as long as your arm (Colgate Rochester Crozer [Bexley Hall]). Crozier, for example, was a separate seminary even as recently as the days of Craig Collemer.

"Throughout its history, Colgate Theological Seminary was noted for its uncompromising commitment to academic freedom. William Newton Clarke (1840-1912), one of its faculty members, wrote an Outline of Christian Theology (1898) that became, in the words of a leading historian, 'virtually the Dogmatik of evangelical liberalism.'"

In 1928 Colgate and Rochester merged. In 1961, the Baptist Missionary Training School joined the "campus on the hill." In 1970, Crozer Theological Seminary affiliated with Colgate Rochester Divinity School. Bexley Hall joined in 1968. And, in 1981 the Roman Catholic St. Barnard's entered into a "covenant relationship" with CRCDS. Still, even with all of the urgin' and mergin' CRCDS is still a relatively small school.

But, even the so-called conservative ABC schools have been "on the ropes" of late. Eastern received a new lease on life only because of the infusion of capital from the Palmer family. Northern still has FTE numbers that are scary small. Perhaps servicing a declining denomination makes for similarly performing seminaries.