The Moody Bible Institute Spokane campus may be closing, but former faculty and local Christian leaders are not discouraged.
“God is not done with higher biblical education in Spokane,” said Wendy Lidell, Moody’s former Associate Dean of Academics.
Lidell has been elected president of a new university, which has yet to be named. The school will be a private, nonprofit Christian university with a biblically based curriculum.
“We will have the heart of a Bible college, but going with a Christian university gives us more flexibility,” Lidell said. “We are giving students’ faith a foundation.”
In November, Moody announced it would be closing its Spokane campus by the end of the school year, citing financial reasons. Students were notified at the time that they would be able to continue their education online, or through the Christian evangelical school’s main campus in Chicago.
Lidell is hoping the new school will receive formal accreditation by February and be able to accept students by June of this year. The majority of Moody’s faculty will teach for the new university, even if that means a cut in pay.
Lidell said the university will be founded on three core values – wisdom, scholarship and community. Their broad doctrinal statement will include historical, Orthodox Christianity as a final rule for practice and the definition of marriage as between a man and woman.
“We want to form students of Christ to transform the world,” Lidell said. “These students will be involved in chapel and community service, sending out strong Christian leaders into the region.”
The new university has already elected a board of trustees and has been incorporated into Washington state as a nonprofit university.
The new school will still be located in Fourth Memorial Church, giving students access to its 11 classrooms and two large worship spaces. The space can hold approximately 750 students, but Lidell said she’ll be pleased if 100 students enroll for the 2018-19 school year.
“The application process will reflect our heart,” Lidell said. “We will decide based on a passionate in-person or phone interview.”
The undergraduate programs offered will include communications, biblical studies, leadership studies, intercultural studies, linguistics, family ministries and more. The school will be similar to Moody in that it will create biblically minded students, but the credit load will be smaller and will require students to work more closely with local churches.
The tuition will be $25,000 a year. Lidell said former Moody students should not worry about finances, as they will match whatever tuition rate they were paying before the school change.
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