An Update on Our New Campus & Ligonier Academy
I have some dust on my shoes. I noticed it this morning when polishing them. You see, yesterday I was walking through the buildings now being renovated at the new Ligonier campus. How I wish I could bring every Ligonier student and supporter to Orlando to see the transformation that is taking place. How I wish I could personally thank every donor who has given gifts or made pledges that have brought us thus far in Ligonier’s first-ever Capital Campaign. The Lord is faithful and gracious.
Moving Ligonier to a modern campus to support its ongoing teaching ministry and the new educational programs is one of the most exciting projects I’ve ever worked on. Even as the dust from commercializing the new buildings is stirred up I am reminded of the foundation being laid for future generations. And so, in accord with Dr. Sproul’s vision for ongoing doctrinal reformation in the church and culture, we pray that Ligonier Academy and our new campus will be used of God to combat liberalism in the church and secularism in society.
The founding of the Academy brings us full circle by drawing on the study center heritage of Ligonier Ministries and establishing a place for in-depth instruction and fellowship in central Florida. Ligonier Academy will serve not only pastors and laypeople interested in continuing education, but also will serve the rising generation of young adults eager to serve the Lord in a multitude of vocations. This new school is unique in that it concentrates on studies in Bible, theology, philosophy, church history, and the great works in literature, art, and music. Our plans for the undergraduate degree programs are now complete and we anticipate the inaugural class in August 2011. A college course catalog, detailed information, and application forms will soon be available at www.LigonierAcademy.org.
Led by the Academy’s president, Dr. R. Fowler White, we anticipate additional faculty to be added over the next three years to support the teaching programs. Dr. White has outlined the two-fold goals for the Academy:
- to pass on the historic Christian faith to our children and the generations that follow them; and
- let us give them, as Christ’s disciples, the grounding they need to live lives and engage in vocations that glorify God and foster a new reformation.
The past twelve months have been full of hard work — planning, strategizing, designing, budgeting, fundraising, and praying. It’s a big project. To put this in financial terms, it’s a $15.6 million project. But our donors continue to respond in a big way. We are now at $5.4 million, or about 35% of our goal. Two unexpected and large donations this past summer allowed us to pull permits and begin initial renovation of two of the three existing buildings. Just bringing the Academy and administration buildings up to code for county, state, and federal regulations and converting them from residential to commercial use costs $1.2 million.
There are yet more buildings to renovate and construct to get us fully operational. By June, our need is to raise an additional $1 million to enable us to move in to the new property by mid-summer. We are trying to accomplish as much renovation and construction now while we have workers at the site and can keep costs as low as possible. And if we can raise $3 million in gifts and pledges by the end of 2010 or sooner, we will be able to get started on the new Library that will be home to our growing collection of books, additional classrooms, and offices for new faculty. Lastly, I ask you to pray for the sale of our current office building. We own the property and would like to release the equity for use at the new campus.
We are asking donors to support this new campus with a gift or a pledged gift fulfilled over three years. In this way you can help to ensure the future of Ligonier Ministries. We post regular progress updates on the campus and the campaign at www.HereWeStand.info and encourage you to visit often.
Let’s work together to make a difference in the lives of young adults. Our goals are no less ambitious than what happened in Geneva after John Calvin began his academy. The missionary heritage and world-changing impact of those disciples fueled a reformation we haven’t seen since. May God be pleased to use Ligonier Academy as He raises up for His glory a new generation of students who are able to passionately articulate the majesty of God and His holiness to as many people as possible.
Here are some photos of the ongoing renovation work on the campus: